Bereavement Care for Families: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Bereavement Care for Families

1st Edition

Edited by David W. Kissane, Francine Parnes


296 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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Grief is a family affair. When a loved one dies, the distress reverberates throughout the immediate and extended family. Family therapy has long attended to issues of loss and grief, yet not as the dominant therapeutic paradigm. Bereavement Care for Families changes that: it is a practical resource for the clinician, one that draws upon the evidence supporting family approaches to bereavement care and also provides clinically oriented, strategic guidance on how to incorporate family approaches into other models. Subsequent chapters set forth a detailed, research-based therapeutic model that clinicians can use to facilitate therapy, engage the ambivalent, deal with uncertainty, manage family conflict, develop realistic goals, and more. Any clinician sensitive to the roles family members play in bereavement care need look no further than this groundbreaking text.


"Bereavement Care for Families is groundbreaking in its recognition that grief is inescapably and quintessentially a family affair. No one has studied family grief more extensively nor offered clearer insights and practical guidance to therapists on this topic than David Kissane. Countless bereft families will benefit enormously from the wisdom imparted by this book."

—Holly G. Prigerson, PhD, director of the Center for Psychosocial Epidemiology and Outcomes Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

"Bereavement Care for Families is a tremendously important contribution to the bereavement literature in general, not just a useful resource for clinicians. It provides a novel family-centered bereavement-care model, one that complements individual and group approaches. Diverse, highly accessible chapters describe myriad ways in which understanding family-level functioning can benefit care provision, from advantages of harnessing the natural family-support system to potential cost effectiveness. Incorporating this perspective holds every promise of contributing to the welfare of bereaved persons."

—Margaret Stroebe, PhD, author of Complicated Grief

"Bereavement Care for Families draws together a wide range of contributors from the field of family studies and therapies to produce an integrated account both of the problems of families facing loss, death, and bereavement, as well as their solutions. Most important is the recognition that timely support for families faced with major loss can restore the family as a continuing support to its members, thereby reducing the need for long-term care from psychiatric and other services."

—Colin Murray Parkes, consultant psychiatrist emeritus at St. Christopher's Hospice and life president of Cruse Bereavement Care

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Foreword Robert A. Neimeyer Preface David W. Kissane & Francine Parnes List of Contributors Part 1: Overview of the Clinical Development of Bereavement Care for Families Chapter 1. Family Grief David W. Kissane Chapter 2. Conceptual Framework for Family Bereavement Care: Strengthening Resilience Froma Walsh Chapter 3. The Family with Chronic Physical Disorders: An Integrative Model John Rolland Chapter 4. The Family With Mental Illness Peter Steinglass and Tammy Schuler Chapter 5. Ethical Dimensions of Family Bereavement Care Tomer T. Levin and Marguerite Lederberg Part 2: Grief Therapy with Families – A Practical Approach to Care Delivery Chapter 6. Assessing Bereaved Families Talia I. Zaider Chapter 7. Therapist Techniques in Family Work David W. Kissane and Isabelle Dumont Chapter 8. Culture and Grief in Families David W. Kissane, Bridgette Boucher and Francesca Del Gaudio Chapter 9. An Account of Family Therapy in Bereavement: One Mother’s Dying Legacy for her Family Su Jin Kim Part 3: Family Grief Therapy in Particular Circumstances Chapter 10. Family Therapy in the Context of Traumatic Losses Darcy Harris and Stephanie Rabenstein Chapter 11. Family Therapy Following Suicide Diana C. Sands and Julian L. North Chapter 12. Family Therapy for the Unresolved Grief of Ambiguous Loss Pauline Boss and Carla M. Dahl Chapter 13. Perinatal Loss: Unforeseen Tragedy With On-going Grief Trajectories Nicole Alston and Valerie R. Samuels Chapter 14. Family Bereavement Care after the Death of a Child Lori Wiener and Cynthia A. Gerhardt Chapter 15. Care of Families With Children Anticipating the Death of a Parent Anna C. Muriel Chapter 16. Family-Centered Approach to Helping Older Grieving People J. Shep Jeffreys Part 4: Future Directions Chapter 17. Families ‘At Risk’ of Complicated Bereavement Wendy Lichtenthal and Corinne Sweeney Chapter 18. The Family with Socioeconomic and Cultural Issues Sarah Gehlert, Teresa Moro and Lailea Noel Chapter 19. Future Development and Dissemination of Models of Family Bereavement Care David W. Kissane and Talia I. Zaider Index

About the Editors

David W. Kissane, MD, is an academic psychiatrist, psycho-oncology researcher, author, professor, and head of psychiatry for Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. From 2003 to 2012, he was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is currently an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. His books include Family-Focused Grief Therapy, Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care, and Handbook of Psychotherapy in Cancer Care.

Francine Parnes, MA, MA, JD, is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively for The New York Times, the Associated Press, and other leading news organizations. Formerly a reporter and editor at The Denver Post for 10 years, she was a member of the staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Columbine High School shootings. Previously, she was an attorney in New York and Los Angeles.

About the Series

Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Volumes published in the Series in Death, Dying and Bereavement are representative of the multidisciplinary nature of the intersecting fields of death studies, suicidology, end-of-life care, and grief counseling.

The series meets the needs of clinicians, researchers, paraprofessionals, pastoral counselors, and educators by providing cutting edge research, theory, and best practices on the most important topics in these fields—for today and for tomorrow.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Couples & Family