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Loss, Trauma, and Resilience : Therapeutic Work With Ambiguous Loss - Pauline Boss

Loss, Trauma, and Resilience

Therapeutic Work With Ambiguous Loss


Published: 1st January 2006
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
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All losses are touched with ambiguity. Yet those who suffer losses without finality bear a particular burden. Whether it is the experience of caring for a parent in the grip of Alzheimer? or waiting to learn the fate of a spouse gone missing in a disastrous event, the loss is disastrously coupled with a lack of closure. Bereft of rituals and social support, persons who experience such ambiguous losses find it hard to understand their situation, difficult to cope, and almost impossible to move ahead with their lives. In Loss, Trauma, and Resilience, 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 in clients who face of the trauma of loss without resolution. In Part I 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 these first three chapters Boss updates and expands her earlier understanding of ambiguous loss in a way that not only refines the character of the phenomenon but relates the phenomenon to other critical psychological and therapeutic categories. In Part II Boss leads readers through the various aspects of and target points for working with those suffering ambiguous loss. From meaning to mastery, identity to ambivalence, attachment to hope?hese chapters cover key states of mind for those undergoing ambiguous loss. Boss then offers techniques for fostering in clients a healthy and sustainable posture toward loss. Readers are encouraged to lead clients toward modifications of their more typical inclinations to control their situation and resolve all uncertainty. The therapeutic lesson is to learn to live with ambiguity and thereby nurture resilience in clients and their families. The Epilogue addresses the therapist directly and his or her own ambiguous losses. Closing the circle of the therapeutic process, Boss shows therapists how fundamental their own experiences of loss are to their own clinical work. In Loss, Trauma, and Resilience, Boss provides the therapeutic insight and wisdom that aids mental health professionals in not "going for closure," but rather building strength and acceptance of ambiguity. What readers will find is a concrete therapeutic approach that is at once directive and open to the complex contexts in which people find meaning and discover hope in the face of ambiguous losses.

"The author's many years of clinical experience in this area will help to educate and guide clinicians who encounter the growing number of clients who have experienced ambiguous loss." -- The Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
"In a dominant culture that denies death and marginalizes those most closely affected by it, the work of Pauline Boss is indeed welcome....[D]efies many traditional Western ways of thinking about and responding to loss by examining it head on and giving voice to the experiences of those whom even mental health professionals may be least prepared to assist....[A] worthy contribution." -- Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care
"Comprehensive, clear, well-referenced guide....[that] presents valuable insight into the common feature in the situations so many people find themselves in..." -- Counseling Resource

Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xvii
How to Read This Bookp. xix
Coming Full Circlep. xx
Introduction: Loss and Ambiguityp. 1
The Contextual Viewp. 2
Ambiguous Loss and Traumatic Stressp. 4
The Ambiguous Loss Modelp. 7
History of the Research Basep. 8
The Conceptual Base: Stress and Resiliencep. 11
The Trainingp. 13
Needed Researchp. 20
Conclusionp. 22
The Developing Theory of Ambiguous Lossp. 23
The Psychological Familyp. 25
Linking the Psychological Family With Stress and Resiliencep. 26
The Psychological Family and Diversityp. 28
Theoretical Assumptionsp. 30
The Ambiguity of Absence and Presencep. 32
Conclusionp. 33
Trauma and Stressp. 35
Expanding the Repertoire for Treatmentp. 36
Stress and Traumap. 38
PTSD: A Need for Caution and Collaboration With Family Therapyp. 40
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: A Need for Caution and Collaboration With Family Therapyp. 42
Treatment and Interventionp. 43
Resilience and Healthp. 47
Definitionsp. 47
History and Research Update for Cliniciansp. 50
Cautions About Resiliencyp. 58
Principles for Therapeutic Treatment and Preventive Interventionp. 59
Case Studyp. 67
Therapeutic Goals for Treating Ambiguous Lossp. 71
Finding Meaningp. 73
The Search for Meaningp. 74
The Phenomenology of Meaningp. 77
What Helps Find Meaning?p. 83
What Hinders?p. 83
Therapy Methods and Guidelines for Finding Meaningp. 87
Conclusionp. 97
Tempering Masteryp. 98
What is Mastery?p. 99
Theory Basep. 101
What Helps Temper Mastery?p. 103
What Hinders?p. 103
Therapy Methods and Guidelines for Tempering Masteryp. 105
Conclusionp. 114
Reconstructing Identityp. 115
Identity and Ambiguous Lossp. 115
Social Construction as a Theory Basep. 122
What Helps Reconstruct Identity?p. 124
What Hinders?p. 124
Therapy Methods and Guidelines for Reconstructing Identityp. 128
Conclusionp. 142
Normalizing Ambivalencep. 143
Ambiguity and Ambivalencep. 144
How Does Normalizing Ambivalence Relate to Resilience?p. 145
Theory Basep. 146
What Helps Normalize Ambivalence?p. 148
What Hinders?p. 148
Therapy Methods and Guidelines for Normalizing Ambivalencep. 149
Conclusionp. 160
Revising Attachmentp. 162
Attachment and Ambiguityp. 163
Theoretical Considerations of Environmental Problems and Contextp. 167
What Helps Revise Attachment?p. 168
What Hinders?p. 168
Therapy Methods and Guidelines for Revising Attachmentp. 169
Conclusionp. 176
Discovering Hopep. 177
Hope and Ambiguous Lossp. 179
Theory Basep. 180
When Hope Helpsp. 182
When Hope Hindersp. 183
Therapy Methods and Guidelines for Discovering New Hopep. 184
Conclusionp. 195
Epilogue: The Self of the Therapistp. 197
The Place To Startp. 199
Increasing Our Own Comfort with Ambiguity and Lossp. 203
Conclusionp. 209
Acknowledgmentsp. 211
Endnotesp. 213
Referencesp. 221
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393704495
ISBN-10: 0393704491
Series: Norton Professional Bks.
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st January 2006
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.4  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.58
Edition Number: 1