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Loss in the Family

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Grief is not about abandoning the – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Loss in the Family


1
Loss in the Family
  • Marriage and Family Interaction
  • HPER F258

2
Write A Letter -- the follow-up
  • In your small group, discuss the experience of
    writing the letter. Include the following
    discussion points
  • Who mailed their letter or plans to mail it?
  • Did anyone write to someone who had already died?
  • Was this a positive experience or a negative one?
  • Would you do it again?

3
Loss and the grief that results from loss are
normal.
4
What grief is not
  • Grief is not about abandoning the "lost love
    object.
  • Grief is not about giving up the past or your
    connection to the loved one
  • Grief is not about working through stages

5
What grief is
  • Grief is about not interacting with that person
    again.
  • Grief is about transition and change.
  • You do not let go of your past, you transform
    your understanding of your past and your
    relationship with that person.

6
A brief discussion of the idea of stages of grief
  • There is a great deal of controversy about the
    entire concept of stages
  • No support in research for stage models
  • People are drawn to stages because they give us a
    sense of security but
  • They complicate grief for people who need to
    believe that grief follows a set pattern.

7
The Underlying Process of Grief
  • Grief is the response of the individual to an
    assault on the "assumptive world" (the beliefs
    that we hold about how life should be)
  • Grief is a "redefinition of normal
  • The reality that existed before no longer exists.
    You are forever changed by your loss experience.

8
More on the process
  • Grief is a highly complicated, highly individual
    process which is dependent on
  • how you organize meaning
  • the specific assumptions that make up your
    assumptive world
  • the degree to which the death and surrounding
    events affect these assumptions
  • Includes social context
  • the coping strategies used.

9
Article facilitation
  • In your small group, discuss the web-based
    reading by Dr. Gilbert on Weve had the same
    loss, why dont we have the same grief?

10
Gender Differences in Grief
  • Relates back to report talk vs rapport talk
  • Cognitive-solitary grief (masculine)
  • head-level
  • Need to be alone to deal with loss
  • Can lead to isolation and emotional freezing
  • Emotional-social grief (feminine)
  • Emotionally expressive
  • Need company of others
  • Can lead to getting stuck and alienating others

11
Grief and Children
  • Children may respond to grief physically,
    emotionally, and/or behaviorally
  • Childrens grief looks very different from adults
  • What looks to an adult like resilience may, in
    fact, be the childs efforts to cope with an
    emotionally and intellectually overwhelming loss.
  • In particular, the child may use play as a
    mechanism to help them understand and manage the
    situation.

12
Reconstructing Meaning in the Family
  • Share acknowledgement of reality of death
  • Share experience of the pain of grief
  • Reorganize the family system
  • Redirect the familys relationships and goals
  • The meaning of a death and the individual
    responses to it are shaped by the system of
    beliefs in the family.

13
Reconstructing Meaning in the Family
  • Sharing feelings about the loss (i.e., shared
    meaning)
  • facilitate communication,
  • provide structure and meaning to their
    interactions, and
  • serve as the basis for familial coping.

14
Differential Grief in the Family
  • Differential grief having family members at
    different points in their grief reconciliation
    and reality reconstruction process
  • BUT family members may expect each other to be at
    a similar place
  • The result is that family members may be the
    worst people to help each other.

15
Supporting People Who Have Experienced a Loss
  • LISTEN
  • Dont make assumptions
  • Dont take it personally
  • Take the initiative (choices can be overwhelming)
  • Be gentle and kind
  • Be patient

16
Small group discussion
  • Coping with grief in families is highly
    complicated. Discuss how you believe your family
    would respond in the face of a loss and how you
    would help a friend and her/his family in dealing
    with a loss.

17
Final Thoughts on Lecture Material
  • Identify one thing you learned about grief that
    you didnt know before this lecture.
  • Turn this in to your discussion leader.
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