Grief / Loss

Grief / Loss

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The Courage to Grieve: Creative living, recovery and growth through grief

Judy Tatelbaum; Great Britain: Vermilion, Random House; 1997 ISBN 0-7493-0936-9

Profound loss and disappointment are emotions that each of us will experience at some point in our lives. Loss is one of the most difficult experiences to come to terms with. This book explores how we can deal with every kind of grief and reveals:

  1. How grief manifests itself in many ways, ranging from anguish, exhaustion, emptiness, resentment, longing, tension, confusion, sleeplessness and sometimes the temporary loss of the will to live
  2. How we can help ourselves and others to cope with the immediate experience of death and the grief that follows
  3. How children and adults cope with grief in different ways
  4. What we should do mentally and physically to prepare ourselves for loss and bereavement
  5. How grief can transform our lives in unexpected ways, encouraging joy and growth.

This book offers spiritual, optimistic, creative and practical guidance and shows us how to live with courage, not fearing death.

Loss, Trauma and Resilience – Therapeutic work with Ambiguous Loss

Pauline Boss; New York, USA: Norton Professional Book; 2006 ISBN 0-393-70449-1

All losses are touched with ambiguity. Yet those who suffer losses without finality bear a particular burden. Whether it is the experience for a parent in the grip of Alzheimer’s or waiting to learn the fate of a spouse gone missing in a disastrous event, the painful loss is coupled with a lack of closure. Bereft of rituals and social support, persons who experience such ambiguous losses find it hard to understand the situation, difficult to cope, and almost impossible to move ahead with their lives.

In this book, Boss, the principal theorist of the concept of ambiguous loss, offers new concepts and clinical practices for addressing this critical psychological experience that, in one form or another, touches all of our experiences of loss.

Boss draws on research and extensive clinical experience working with families in order to frame a powerful but flexible therapeutic approach. The fundamental goal is to guide readers in the task of building resilience when faced with the trauma of loss without resolution.

In Part 1, readers are introduced to the concept of ambiguous loss and shown how such losses relate to concepts of the family, definitions of trauma, and capacities for resilience. Over the course of the first three chapters, Boss updates and expands her earlier understanding of ambiguous loss. She does so in a way that not only refines the character of the phenomenon but relates ambiguous loss to other critical psychological and therapeutic categories.

In Part 2, Boss leads readers through the various aspects of target points for working with those suffering ambiguous loss. From meaning to mastery, identity to ambivalence, attachment to hope – these chapters cover key states of mind for those undergoing ambiguous loss. Readers are encouraged to lead clients toward modifications of their more typical inclinations to control their situation. The fundamental therapeutic lesson is to learn to live with ambiguity and thereby nurture resilience in clients and their families.

The Epilogue addresses directly the therapist and his or her own ambiguous losses. Closing the circle of the therapeutic process, Boss shows the therapists how fundamental their own experiences of loss are to their own clinical work.