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Grief is inordinately lonely and the pain is torturous. Nonetheless, many bereaved continue to suffer through their losses with little support or acknowledgment of their emptiness. One hundred years ago, however, this was not the case. In the past, families took care of their own and abided by specific funeral rituals, primarily because they lived closer to one another and could easily offer their support and concern. Families today, however, are more scattered, in both a physical and emotional sense. After the march to the graveside, families disperse; they return to their homes, jobs, and private lives. As a result, the bereaved are left to deal with their grief alone and their only channels of support are the professional caregivers. In the modern age, the caregivers are handed the challenge to help mourners grieve and cope with the pain, isolation, and emotional tumult experienced after the loss of a loved one. But, as every bereavement counselor knows, grief and individual responses to it are much more varied than traditional psychotherapeutic models allow. Clearly, more rigorous researchbased models that acknowledge the multitudinal nature and manifestations of grief, in addition to the psychosociobiological factors that shape it, are needed. Dr. Sanders’ book provides such a model. In this revised edition of her classic guide, Catherine Sanders develops an integrative theory of bereavement that serves as the basis for effective strategic interventions for those suffering with grief. At the heart of her approach is a model comprised of five distinct stages of bereavement—shock, awareness of loss, conservation-withdrawal, healing, and renewal. Her theory also emphasizes the need to tailor interventions so as to allow the bereaved to experience grief in a manner consistent with his or her unique personality. Dr. Sanders begins with a detailed overview of contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches to bereavement and then goes on to describe the five phases of grief and their symptoms, as well as the core biological and psychological aspects. Defining the emotional tasks that must be completed within each phase in the series of chapters that follow, Dr. Sanders then explores the ways in which pre-morbid personality traits shape responses to grief and how certain social and physiological factors can interfere with grief resolution. This section is followed by a series of chapters on especially traumatic grievances, including suicide, homicide, and AIDS-related deaths, as well as the loss of a child, spouse, or parent. The final section of the book provides practical guidelines for clinical interventions. Dr. Sanders not only explores several new and promising approaches to grief interventions, she also outlines techniques therapists can use to help themselves cope with the continual stress of treating grief. Grief: The Mourning After is a necessary working resource for psychotherapists, social workers, psychiatrists, nurses, grief counselors, and anyone who works in the health care profession.
The book contains black-and-white illustrations.
BACKGROUND AND THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS.
Theoretical Foundations: The Evolution of BereavementTheories.
Sanders' Integrative Theory of Bereavement.
PHASES OF BEREAVEMENT.
The First Phase: Shock—The Impact of Grief.
The Second Phase: Awareness of Loss.
The Third Phase: Conservation-Withdrawal.
The Fourth Phase: Healing—The Turning Point.
The Fifth Phase: Renewal.
THE MULTIDIMENSIONALITY OF GRIEF.
Early Childhood Impact.
Death and the Family Constellation.
Suicide, Homicide, and AIDS-Related Death.
TYPES OF BEREAVEMENT.
The Death of a Child.
The Death of a Spouse.
The Death of a Parent.
RITUALS OF LOSS.
Rites of Passage.
Care of the Caregiver.
The Lessons of Grief.