Ambiguous Loss and the Myth of Closure
Ambiguous loss is loss without closure, and thus its grief also has no closure. When loved ones cannot be found or healed from an illness, when families are uprooted and separated by forced migrations, or when loss makes no sense (suicide, homicide), the lens of ambiguous loss helps therapists as they work with families when there is no clear solution. While lingering grief from ambiguous loss is akin to that of complicated grief, it is a normal reaction to an abnormal type of loss. Traditional grief and PTSD therapies are thus insufficient. Using case analysis and self-of-the-therapist reflection, Pauline Boss, PhD, will discuss relational and contextual assessments and interventions, as well as cultural differences regarding the need for closure. Boss’ six therapeutic guidelines to increase the resiliency to tolerate and even embrace ambiguity, focus on meaning; mastery, identity, ambivalence, attachment and hope.
- April 6, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm