Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician's Guide

Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician's Guide

Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician's Guide

Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician's Guide

Synopsis

This book provides a concise, yet comprehensive guide to effective work with bereaved parents, combining a broad overview of current research, theory, and practice with the authors' own extensive clinical experience. Transcripts of individual, couple, and group meetings illustrate the delicate subtleties of this work, giving the reader helpful insights into more effective clinical practice. The authors emphasize the importance of approaching each parent as a unique person, while also considering the socio-cultural context of the bereaved. This book helps clinicians approach work with bereaved parents with a less scripted format, suggesting an alternative role as expert companion to the bereaved, allowing for a more uplifting experience for both parties.

Excerpt

Now numbering over 60 books published over a period of twenty years, the Brunner Routledge Series on Death, Dying and Bereavement aspires to bring the results of the most important contemporary research to professional readers, providing authoritative but readable reports of leading edge scholarship on the human engagement with grief, loss, and end-of-life issues. By synthesizing, analyzing, and interpreting the wealth of studies that are opening new vistas of understanding into the human engagement with death, previous volumes have offered a trove of valuable information, tools, and perspectives to practicing clinicians of many disciplines confronting such problems as life-threatening illness, death anxiety, suicide, and bereavement in its many forms. Although well grounded in research, series authors have above all attempted to speak practically to fellow professionals, translating sometimes-abstract findings into “news you can use” in the crucial crucible of the clinical context.

In this respect, Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician's Guide succeeds admirably. Between its covers the reader will encounter the frank advice and practice wisdom of two of the bereavement field's leading contributors, Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun. What distinguishes this book is its remarkable blend of research sophistication and clinical acumen, bridging two worlds that are too often isolated from one another. Thus, Tedeschi and Calhoun begin by disabusing the reader of many timehonored assumptions about the experience of bereavement based on older theories, assumptions having to do with the stage-like progression of “healing, ” the universal need for “grief work, ” the danger of “denial, ” and the eventuality of “recovery, ” none of which is well-supported by contemporary research. But rather than leave the reader adrift from old conceptual anchors, they then help the informed clinician chart a new and more helpful course in working with bereaved parents, complementing a realistic assessment of the dangers of the journey with a hopeful, growthoriented perspective that profound learning can arise from profound tragedy. Speaking frequently in the words of the parents themselves, chapter

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