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Attachment Theory in Grief Counselling Therapy

Attachment, loss and the experience of grief

Attachment Theory founded by John Bowlby (1977) it explains how we as humans obtain affectionate bonds with others and how when they are threatened how we as humans tend to react. He suggests that these attachments come from a need for security and safety. (P7) when it comes to loss of a loved one it then explains how we as humans are very much the same as the animal world in the way that we grieve a loved one.

Grief is the term used to describe the loss that someone has experienced , morning is the process that the person goes through in adapting to the loss bereavement defines the loss to which the person is adapting to. Grief affects people in very different ways it can effect them physically, emotionally and cognitively, all of this can effect the way in which people function and go about there everyday life, this is all very normal and everyone who is grieving will go though this process in one way or another.

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Chapter 2 25-47 understanding the mourning process

Since mourning is a process, it has been viewed in various ways, primarily as stages, phases, and tasks of mourning. The tasks of mourning are: to accept reality; to experience the pain; to adjust to environment without loved one including external, internal and spiritual adjustments; to relocate and memorialize loved one. The second task in this chapter is that of the counsellor who is helping the client through the grieving process.

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The counsellor needs to look at the following things; the person who died, nature of attachment, circumstances of death, personality mediators, historical mediators, social mediators, concurrent changes.

Chapter 3 51-80 Grief counseling Facilitating uncomplicated grief

Grief counselling is not for everyone who has had a loss, most people are able to work though the mourning process on their own without any outside help. Some may just need time to process their loss and time to try and rebuild their lives after the loss this can be done on their own or some ay need the help of a counsellor to walk alongside them. The counsellor then needs to identify weather or not the bereaved fits into the at risk Category, at risk meaning at risk of falling into the category on complicated grief. Some medications can be helpful when going through the grief process, but are mainly helpful in dealing with anxiety issues or insomnia issues. Grief counselling can also be effective in counselling the bereaved as it gives them more support than just the counsellor.

Chapter 4 83- 98 Abnormal Grief reactions: Complicated Mourning

This is looking at why people fail to grieve. Many factors can stand in the way as to why people fail to grieve. These are; relational factors, these are what type of relationship did the person have with the deceased. Circumstantial Factor; this relates to the circumstances of the loss they can be a hindrance if there is uncertainty as to how the deceased died. Historical factor; if the person has had trouble grieving in the past they may have trouble grieving in the future. Personality Factors; some are unable to cope with distress and this makes it hard for them to grieve appropriately.

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Attachment Theory in Grief Counselling Therapy. (2018, Aug 30). Retrieved from

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