3rd Edition

Helping Bereaved Children
A Handbook for Practitioners

Edited By

Nancy Boyd-Webb

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ISBN 9781462504510
Published December 29, 2011 by Guilford Press
408 Pages

USD $43.00

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Book Description

This acclaimed work describes a range of counseling and therapy approaches for children who have experienced loss. Practitioners and students are given practical strategies for helping preschoolers through adolescents cope with different forms of bereavement, including death in the family, school, and community. Grounded in research on child therapy, bereavement, trauma, and child development, the volume includes rich case presentations and clearly explains the principles that guide interventions. Eleven reproducible assessment tools and handouts can also be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8 1/2"" x 11"" size.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

1. The Child and Death, Nancy Boyd Webb

2. Assessment of the Bereaved Child, Nancy Boyd Webb

II. Death in the Family

3. The Death of a Grandparent or a Parent, Lois Carey

4. The Grief of Siblings, Betty Davies and Rana Limbo

5. The Disenfranchised Grief of Children, David A. Crenshaw and Jennifer Lee

6. Suicide in the Family: Helping Child and Adolescent Survivors, Cynthia McCormack and Nancy Boyd Webb

7. The Loss and Death of a Pet, Sharon M. McMahon

8. War-Related Deaths in the Family, Diane L. Scott

III. Death in the School and the Wider World

9. The Terminally Ill Child in School and the Sudden Death of a Teacher, Roxia Bullock

10. Violent, Traumatic Death in Schools and Community Responses, Patti Homan Anewalt

11. Children’s and Adolescents’ Exposure to the Mass Violence of War and Terrorism: Role of the Media, Kathleen Nader

12. Deaths Connected to Natural Disasters, Jennifer Baggerly and Alison Salloum

IV. Interventions with Bereaved Children

13. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Play Therapy for Childhood Trauma and Loss, Janine Shelby

14. Conjoint Caregiver–Child Treatment Following a Parent’s Death, Patricia Van Horn

15. Bereavement Groups and Camps for Children: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Priscilla A. Ruffin and Sarah A. Zimmerman

16. Storytelling with Bereaved Children, Donna O’Toole

V. Help for Counselors, Parents, and Teachers

17. Professional Self-Care and Prevention of Secondary Trauma, Tina Maschi and Derek Brown

18. Guidelines to Help Parents and Teachers of Bereaved Children, Nancy Boyd Webb


*Selected Training Programs and Certifications

*Suppliers of Play Materials

*Bereavement Resources

*References on Religious/Cultural/Ethnic Practices Related to Death

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Nancy Boyd Webb, DSW, LICSW, RPT-S, is a leading authority on play therapy with children who have experienced loss and traumatic bereavement. She is University Distinguished Professor Emerita of Social Work in the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University, where she held an endowed Chair in Child Welfare Studies and founded the Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Child and Adolescent Therapy. Dr. Webb taught clinical practice at Fordham for 30 years. She has published numerous books on child therapy, trauma, and bereavement, including Helping Bereaved Children, Third Edition; Play Therapy with Children and Adolescents in Crisis, Fourth Edition; and Social Work Practice with Children, Fourth Edition. Dr. Webb is an active supervisor, consultant, and trainer who presents frequently at conferences in the United States and internationally. She is a recipient of honors including the Day-Garrett Award from the Smith College School for Social Work, the Clinical Practice Award from the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the designation of Distinguished Scholar by the National Academies of Practice in Social Work.


"This is an essential update and revision for our changing world. Grounded in developmental theory, the book provides detailed and phase-specific guidelines for assessing and helping bereaved children in a variety of contexts. Perhaps the most compelling characteristic of the book is the use of thorough case presentations that illustrate interventions such as Sandplay, art therapy, storytelling, role play, and puppetry, in individual, family, and group modalities. Webb concludes the volume with a much-needed section on self-care for those who engage in this rewarding and demanding work."--M. Carlean Gilbert, DSW, LCSW, CGP, School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago
"Renowned scholar and author Nancy Boyd Webb's revised handbook is strategically comprehensive in scope and abundant in practice tools. Chapters provide resources for culturally competent, developmentally appropriate child- and family-focused practice. Graduate students, practitioners, and educators in social work, psychology, family studies, and ethnic studies will find this book richly insightful."--Rowena Fong, MSW, EdD, Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor in Services to Children and Families, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin
"This third edition is an important and valuable update. With strong attention to child development, the quality of the child's relationship to the deceased, and both the supports and challenges posed by family and community, this book is valuable for students, instructors, and experienced clinicians. The contributors address a wide range of circumstances and types of loss that are prevalent in today's diverse practice world. Methods of assessment and intervention are woven throughout. Resources of many kinds are offered, along with guidelines for clinician self-care to limit the secondary impact of doing this difficult work."--James W. Drisko, PhD, LICSW, Professor and Co-Director of the Doctoral Program, Smith College School for Social Work
"A necessary book for child and adolescent practitioners. Webb has brought together experts who cover a range of classic and cutting-edge topics and who consistently communicate an understanding of the holistic nature of grief. The book is packed with practical resources, including clinical material, sample forms, and tables. This text will be an excellent fit for my graduate-level course on children and death. The range of topics, the case examples, and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter are unique and refreshing elements."--Heather L. Servaty-Seib, PhD, Counseling Psychology Program, Purdue University College of Education
"Some of the most powerful human dramas occur within the heart of the family. Of these, none is more poignant or consequential than the child's loss of a parent or sibling. This remarkable book balances theory and practice for any reader who has accepted the challenge of entering the lives of troubled families. It is a wise and reliable guide that covers not only loss in the family, but other types of bereavement as well. Indispensable for therapists and human service providers."--Robert Kastenbaum, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Gerontology and Communication, Arizona State University

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