The unexpected loss of a client can be a lonely and isolating
experience for therapists. While family and friends can ritually
mourn the deceased, the nature of the therapeutic relationship
prohibits therapists from engaging in such activities.
Practitioners can only share memories of a client in circumscribed
ways, while respecting the patient's confidentiality. Therefore,
they may find it difficult to discuss the things that made the
therapeutic relationship meaningful. Similarly, when a therapist
loses someone in their private lives, they are expected to isolate
themselves from grief, since allowing one's personal life to enter
the working relationship can interfere with a client's
self-discovery and healing.
For therapists caught between their grief and the empathy they
provide for their clients, this collection explores the complexity
of bereavement within the practice setting. It also examines the
professional and personal ramifications of death and loss for the
practicing clinician. Featuring original essays from longstanding
practitioners, the collection demonstrates the universal experience
of bereavement while outlining a theoretical framework for the
position of the bereft therapist. Essays cover the unexpected death
of clients and patient suicide, personal loss in a therapist's
life, the grief of clients who lose a therapist, disastrous loss
within a community, and the grief resulting from professional
losses and disruptions. The first of its kind, this volume gives
voice to long-suppressed thoughts and emotions, enabling
psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and other mental health
specialists to achieve the connection and healing they bring to
their own work.
Subjects: Psychology, Sociology
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