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Reading activities

Select any 4 activities
Bowlby, J. (1982) Attachment and loss: retrospect and prospect. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52 (4), 664-678.

Freud, S. (1957) Mourning and melancholia. In J. Rickman (ed.) A General Selection from the Works of Sigmund Freud. New York: Doubleday.

Lindemann, E. (1944) Symptomotology and management of acute grief. American Journal of Psychiatry, 101.

Lindemann, E. (1976) Grief and grief management: some reflections. The Journal of Pastoral Care, 30 (3), 198-207.

Parkes, C.M. (1988) Research: bereavement. Omega, 18 (4), 365-377.

Learning Activity #1
Select one of the key readings from Freud, Lindemann, Parkes or Bowlby and in approximately 500 words, identify how ideas presented in this reading are still useful in today’s context.
Doka, K. (1993) Disenfranchised grief: A mark of our time. In Wandarna Coowar: HiIDen Grief, Proceedings of the Eighth National Conference. Yeppoon, Qld: National Association for Loss and Grief.
Weenolsen, P. (1991) Transcending the many deaths of life: Clinical implications for cure versus healing. Death Studies, 15, pp. 59-80.
Weenolsen, P. (1988) “Loss”. In Transcendence of Loss over the Life Span. New York: Hemisphere.
Learning Activity #2
Using Weenolsen’s framework, discuss in approximately 500 words the different levels of loss that Thelma has experienced. Post your comments to the Discussions – Learning Activity #2

Bull, M. (1998) Losses in families affected by dementia: strategies and service issues. Journal of Family Studies, 4, 187-199.
Gray, I. & Lawrence, G. (1995) Unmasking the situational grief in rural families. In Unmasking the Grief – Facing the Issues, proceedings of the 9th National Conference of the National Association for Loss and Grief. Adelaide: National Association for Loss and Grief (SA).
Irizarry, C. & Willard, B. (1998-9) The grief of SIDS parents and their understanding of each other’s responses. Omega, 38(4), 313-323.
Kastenbaum, R. (1977) Death and development through the lifespan. In H. Feifel (ed) New Meanings of Death. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Read the following summary of theorists’ descriptions of non-death related events.

Examples of Losses Encountered through the Lifecycle
Below is a list of some life events that may be experienced as loss during the lifecycle. Some of these loss events are death related and some are non-death related, although there is an emphasis on non-death events in this module.
It is important to note that some events, such as the birth of a child, are generally associated with happiness, not loss. In this section, however, we will draw attention to the potential losses that might be elicited from the same event. At the same time there are some loss experiences that transcend life stages and rather can be encountered at any stage or age.
Learning Activity #3
In order to expand your understanding of the impact of some of the events in the lifecycle stages, each section below will provide at least one link to further reading. Click on the lifestage heading to see relevant readings. Please read one article in each section. Then choose one of the articles you have read and write approximately 500 words on how the ideas in the material you have read would be helpful in working with this age group or population. Post your comments to Discussions – Learning Activity #4.

• birth of a sibling (loss of parent’s attention)
• moving house and relocating neighbourhood, schools, etc.
• living with a chronically-ill sibling (loss of parent’s attention)
• parental illness (loss of vigorous parent)
• separation/divorce/death of a parent
? loss of daily contact with one parent
? loss of familiarity of two parents and of family structure
• foster-care
? loss of security and familiarity of family
? loss of both parents
• adoption
? recognition as children develop that they have lost biological parents
• death of a grandparent
• losses associated with early relationship break-ups
• loss of first dream if anticipated standards are not achieved (ie. sport, academics, artistic)
• puberty and loss of innocence and childhood
• loss of fantasy regarding immortality
• loss of friendships through accidents, moving
• death and/or suicide of friends
• adopted children search for biological parents
Young Adults
• leaving home and financial independence (loss of dependence, security)
• giving up career choices (loss of dreams)
• loss of opportunity
• partnerships (loss of freedom, experimentation)
• parenthood (loss of free time)
• pregnancy & childbirth
? loss of childless state
? miscarriage – loss of anticipated child
? stillbirth or early death after birth
? birth of child with a disability (loss of “perfect” child)
? multiple birth (loss of intimacy with one child)
? relinquishing a child (loss of parenting role)
? infertility
• separation and divorce
? loss of fulfilling marriage
? loss of dream of raising children together
? loss of emotional (and often financial) support in parenting
? loss of “ideal” family
• continuing infertility
? loss of dream of parenthood
? loss of parenting role
• job loss/retrenchment
? loss of income
? loss of social and/or professional contacts
? loss of status as income earner
• illness of self, friends or partner
? loss of relationships
• loss of children through leaving home, moving, loss of parent role
• loss of family, friends children through death
• parental care for ageing parents
? loss of income and independence (role reversal)
Later Life
• loss of socially-valued roles
• loss of earning potential and earning power
• loss of meaningful others (family, friends, partner, community)
• loss of health, beauty, sexuality
• loss of youth
• loss of confidence and self-esteem
• death and illness of friends
Old Age
• loss of physical functioning
• loss of mental capacity
• loss of home, belongings, former lifestyle, privacy and control over one’s life
• loss of meaningful social relationships/contact with others
• loss of social and communication skills
• loss of identity
• loss of purpose and meaning in life
• loss of independence
• death of family members, even adult children
• death of friends
Cross Generational
Some losses can occur at any point during an individual’s life.
• migration
? loss of cultural context, familiarity with environment, language, customs, past associations
• disaster/war loss of safety and security, experience of trauma
? loss of former way of life
? change of status ie. refugees or homeless
loss of ability to predict future with confidence

Bull, M. (1992) The role of the social worker with paediatric bereavement patients. In M Holosko and P. Taylor (eds) Social Work Practice in Health Care Settings (2nd ed). Toronto, The Canadian Scholars’ Press (available as eBook, do Google search using book title)
Irizarry, C. (1996) Children’s grief. Presented for Sands 6th National Biennial Conference, Adelaide. (in reading pack)
Irizarry, C. (1992) Spirituality and the child: a grandparent’s death. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 10(2), 39-58.
Kastenbaum, R. (1977) Death and development through the lifespan. In H. Feifel (ed) New Meanings of Death. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Rosen, H. (1986) Prohibitions against mourning in sibling loss. Omega, 15(4), 307-316.
Williams, M.L. (1995) Sibling reaction to cot death. The Medical Journal of Australia, September 5, 227-231.

The first part of this module explores the theoretical understanding of children and grief. Following on from this a section is presented on helping children with grief and loss.
Learning Activity #4
After completing the previous sections of this module, reflect on some of the losses and changes that you experienced in childhood or that you have observed in a child who is in your life. How did the adults respond? What was said or thought about the child’s situation, i.e. how was it viewed? Who was there for the child (if anyone) and what was helpful for the child? Post your 500-word summary
Boelen, P. (2007) Treatment of complicated grief: a comparison between cognitive-behavioural therapy and supportive counselling. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75 (2), 277-284.
Bradey, R. (1990) Set a place at the table: pathological grief or creative coping? Australian Social Work, 43, 29-33.
Burke, M., Hainsworth, M., Eakes, G. and Lingren, C. (1992) Current knowledge and research on chronic sorrow: a foundation for inquiry. Death Studies, 16, 231-245.
Freud, S. (1917) Mourning and melancholia. In J Rickman (ed) (1957) A General Selection from the Works of Sigmund Freud. New York: Doubleday.
Neimeyer, R. (2006) Complicated grief and the reconstruction of meaning: conceptual and empirical contributions to a cognitive-constructivist model. Clinical Psychology Science and Practice, 13 (2), 141-145.
Prigerson H. (2008) A case for inclusion of prolonged grief disorder in DSM-IV, Grief Matters, 11 (1), 23-30.
Raphael, B. & MiIDleton W. (1990) What is pathologic grief? Psychiatric Annals, 20(6), 304-307.
Yalom, I. (1989) “The wrong one died”. In Love’s Executioner & Other Tales of Psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.


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