Helping the Bereaved: Therapeutic Interventions for Children, Adolescents, and Adults

Helping the Bereaved: Therapeutic Interventions for Children, Adolescents, and Adults

Helping the Bereaved: Therapeutic Interventions for Children, Adolescents, and Adults

Helping the Bereaved: Therapeutic Interventions for Children, Adolescents, and Adults

Synopsis

Much has been written in the last twenty years to advance our understanding of the bereavement process. However, few books have focused specifically on therapeutic intervention with the bereaved. This book fills that gap. It offers guidance to mental health professionals working with the bereaved in a variety of settings, from hospices and hospitals to elementary and secondary schools to private practice. The authors present individual and group approaches to assessment and intervention and include numerous case examples drawn from their own extensive work with the bereaved. While many therapy books assume that clients will be from white, middle-class backgrounds, this book includes a chapter on the impact of cultural factors. In addition, because the needs of younger grievers are often overlooked, the book includes two chapters on therapy with children and adolescents. The book closes with a chapter inviting readers to engage in self-examination to promote self-awareness and growth, for the benefit of both,patient and therapist. The therapeutic strategies are grounded in empirical studies and clinical experience. The authors draw from psychodynamic, existential, cognitive/behavioral, and family systems perspectives, bringing together the work of a diverse spectrum of theoreticians and clinicians including Freud, Bowlby, Yalom, Kubler-Ross, and many others, to fully address the needs of the bereaved.

Excerpt

In the 1970s when we started consulting, teaching, and doing clinical work in grief and bereavement, little information was available to guide the practitioner. During the intervening period, much has been written to advance our understanding of the bereavement process, but less work has been done specifically on therapeutic intervention with the bereaved. Few books to date have focused on the psychotherapeutic aspects of working with this population from a mental health perspective.

This book, based on twenty years of experience, was written to give guidance to mental health professionals working with the bereaved in a variety of settings. In it we discuss issues pertaining to diagnosis, assessment, and treatment in the context of grief and loss. We present individual and group approaches to intervention and offer practical suggestions for incorporating a variety of intervention strategies into therapy.

Because we believe that the practice of grief counseling and therapy should be based on sound therapeutic principles informed by experience, research, and theory, we have integrated information from these sources throughout this work.

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