Martha Atkins is the founder and chief executive officer of Atkinsosity, LLC, where she works with individuals who are dying and the families who love them. She offers mentoring and coaching for mental health professionals around personal and professional losses. Her work is steeped in activities that create opportunities to bypass the thinking brain such as equus and energy work, play, experiential art, and shamanism. Her work in the world is to help people be less afraid of death and dying.
Atkins originally moved to San Antonio in 1992 to work as a child life specialist at Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital. The unexpected death of her brother nudged her toward nonprofit work as the founder and executive director of the Children’s Bereavement Center (CBC) of South Texas. Soon after leaving the CBC in 2005, Atkin’s mother, Dorothy, was diagnosed with end stage breast cancer and experienced deathbed visions as part of her dying process. This aspect of her mother’s process led her to focus her graduate research on this topic.
Martha earned her doctorate from UTSA in counselor education and supervision in May of this year. She loves Boxer dogs, Dr. Pepper, and all things magical.
More to dying than meets the eye
Those who work with the dying are familiar with patients seeing long deceased loved ones, angelic beings, even hearing music and comforting voices as the patient nears death. Deathbed phenomena have been documented in the days, weeks, and months before death since the 1500s. Often confused with hallucinations, deathbed phenomena can bring comfort to patients and caregivers if those involved know what they are experiencing. This talk will explain deathbed phenomena and present on-going research about the topic. Accounts from the dying and bedside witnesses will be shared.