Expired Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change

Dr. Pauline Boss will focus on the ambiguous losses caused by—and illuminated by—the pandemic. What were they? How did we see them more clearly? From lack of trust in the world as a safe place, to racial inequities, disparities, and injustices, how do we as therapists see systemic change and how can it happen? How can we help resolve some of the painful unresolved losses still endured today by people of color?

Dr. Boss’ focus this time at Ackerman will include cross-generational traumatic losses from slavery, genocide, and the continued racism and injustices suffered by families of color still today. We must “see” these losses that have been hidden in plain sight before change will happen. The stress of change will be discussed for both the people we work with, as well as for ourselves as therapists. Thus, the personal and professional will both be addressed.

Learning Objectives:

  • To apply the theory of ambiguous loss more broadly regarding intergenerational trauma and loss
  • To see more clearly the disparities and injustices that cause more losses among U.S. families
  • To practice the recommended paradoxical interventions and the dialectics of both/and thinking to understand that seeing, acknowledging losses, and changing are our therapeutic goals, not closure


Pauline Boss, PhD

Pauline Boss, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus at University of Minnesota, a family therapist, consultant, and Fellow in the American Psychological Association and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. With her groundbreaking work as a scientist-practitioner, Dr. Boss is the principal theorist in the study of ambiguous loss, a term she coined in the 1970s. Books include Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (Harvard University Press, 2000); Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss ( Norton, 2006); Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief (Jossey-Bass, 2011); and The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change (Norton, November 2021). For her many peer-revised publications, see www.ambiguousloss.com.

  • November 12, 2021
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Pauline Boss, Ph.D.

3 CE Contact Hours

Location:   Online Event


A link will be emailed to you one day before the event. Online events are held in Eastern Standard Time (ET).

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