Inhabiting a body on Planet Earth means facing the question of loss, and some losses cut deep, generating a profound sense of grief. How can mental health professionals help clients face situations of loss so overwhelming that they feel like it is the end of their world? In some cases, it is chronic and terminal illness which engenders the grief. Bereavement is generally a difficult hurdle to get over, but when it occurs as a result of suicide, the situation is even more challenging. In any case where people have, for whatever reason, been unable to fully grieve at the time of incurring the loss, they may experience what used to be called “complicated grief”: persistent complex bereavement disorder.
Some stages of life are associated with loss and the resultant grief; thus, one course examines the particular grieving that accompanies the losses of mid-life. All of these aspects of loss and grief are important for the helping professional to understand if he or she would successfully move clients beyond their deepest stage of grieving toward healing. That said, one course in the collection proposes using a form of narrative therapy, “re-membering”, to help clients find ways to keep their love maintained and nurtured when a cherished person has died, as opposed to the traditional expectation of helping the client finish grieving and move on. This collection examines these and other aspects of this most sensitive and crucial aspect of counselling.
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