Techniques of Grief Therapy is an indispensable guidebook to the most inventive and inspirational interventions in grief and bereavement counseling and therapy. Individually, each technique emphasizes creativity and practicality. As a whole, they capture the richness of practices in the field and the innovative approaches that clinicians in diverse settings have developed, in some cases over decades, to effectively address the needs of the bereaved. New professionals and seasoned clinicians will find dozens of ideas that are ready to implement and are packed with useful features, including:
- Careful discussion of the therapeutic relationship that provides a "container" for specific procedures
- An intuitive, thematic organization that makes it easy to find the right technique for a particular situation
- Detailed explanations of when to use (and when not to use) particular techniques
- Expert guidance on implementing each technique and tips on avoiding common pitfalls
- Sample worksheets and activities for use in session and as homework assignments
- Illustrative case studies and transcripts
- Recommended readings to learn more about theory, research and practice associated with each technique
Table of Contents
Framing the Work. Neimeyer, Presence, Process and Procedure: A Relational Frame for Technical Proficiency in Grief Therapy. Kauffman, The Empathic Spirit in Grief Therapy. Cacciatore, Selah: A Mindfulness Guide Through Grief. Rubin, Tracking Through Bereavement: A Framework for Intervention. Modulating Emotion. Turret, Shear, Grief Monitoring Diary. Kosminsky, Mapping the Terrain of Loss: Grief and Not Grief. Winokuer, Experiencing the Pain of Grief. Holcomb, Psychotropic Medication for Grieving Adults. Thompson, Mindfulness Training. Simington, Multiple Losses and the Circle of Significance. Armstrong, Reconstructing Nightmares. Morgan, Visualization for Anticipatory Grief. Morgan, Intuitive Humor. Working With the Body. Neimeyer, Analogical Listening. Chan, Leung, Clapping Qigong. Harris, Hands in the Sand. Mitchell, Moving and Breathing Through Grief. Krawchuk. Body Imagery for Sustaining Connections, Moss, Written on the Body. Sands, The Body of Trust. Transforming Trauma. Fleming, Complicated Grief and Trauma: What to Treat First? Neimeyer, Retelling the Narrative of Death. Rynearson, Invoking an Alliance With the Deceased After Violent Death. Kosminsky, Mcdevitt, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Roos, Making Meaning of Flashbacks. Mehr, Blakley, Trauma Dialogues. Morgan, Treating Traumatic Bereavement in Conflicted and Inter-Generational Families. Changing Behavior. Holcomb, Behavioral Activation. Turret, Shear, Working With Difficult Times. Arnal, Juliá, Assertiveness Training. Holtslander, A Finding Balance Writing Intervention. Restructuring Cognition. Boelen, Van Den Bout, Changing Catastrophic Misinterpretations With Behavioral Experiments. Malkinson, The ABC of Rational Response to Loss. Romanoff, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Malkinson, Rational Emotive Body Imagery. Lichtenthal, Schema Therapy for the Lost Relationship. Spuij, Boelen, Cognitive Restructuring for Childhood Prolonged Grief. Encountering Resistance. Rando, “Is It Okay for You to Be Okay?” Ecker, Overt Statements for Deep Work in Grief Therapy. Jeffreys, Controlled Avoidance in the Management of Grief. Finding Meaning. Lichtenthal, Breitbart, Finding Meaning Through the Attitude One Takes. Lichtenthal, Neimeyer, Directed Journaling to Facilitate Meaning-Making. Gerrish, Using the Loss Characterization With Bereaved Parents. Witztum, Metaphorical Reframing. Burke, Elacqua, Spiritual Devotionals. Rewriting Life Narratives. Jenko, Life Review. Dunton,
Loss Timelines. Neimeyer, Virtual Dream Stories. Noppe-Brandon, Find Your Voice, De Preter, Hooghe, Documenting Children’s Life Stories.
Way, The Story Mountain. Integrating the Arts. Near, Intermodal Expressive Arts. Gershman, Prescriptive Photomontage. Berger, Playing With Playlists. Bardot, Figurative Sand Tray Therapy. Moss, What’s in a Name? Entenman, Secrets of the Heart. Strouse, Lamorie, The Art Studio Process. Consolidating Memories. Gamino, Opening the Family Photo Album. Thompson, The Commemorative Flag. Smith, En-Training Memoir Slices. Goldman, Memory Work With Children. Potash, Handel, Memory Boxes. Thiel, Barrett, Natural Reminders. Renewing the Bond. Hedtke, Introducing the Deceased. Armstrong, Envisioning Connection Through Guided Imagery. Neimeyer, Correspondence With the Deceased. Jordan, Guided Imaginal Conversations With the Deceased. Neimeyer, Chair Work. Neimeyer, The Life Imprint. Attig, Reaching Through Sorrow to Legacy. Hochberg, “Moments Held” Documentary. Revising Goals. Holcomb, Goal Setting for Self-Care During the Grieving Process. Panagotacos, Defining and Envisioning Self. Axler, Mind Map for Coping Through the Holidays. Beder, Worden’s Paradigm in Wartime Bereavement. Accessing Resources. Bowman, Poetry and Bibliotherapy. Robinson, Bibliotherapy With Children. Horsley, Horsley, Grief and Loss Support on the Web. Grieving With Others. Doka, Neimeyer, Orchestrating Social Support. Mackinnon, Smith, Henry, Berish, Milman, Copeland. Addressing Therapeutic Ruptures In Bereavement Support Groups. Hooghe, Talking About Talking With Couples and Families. Barski-Carrow, The Workplace Study Circle. Cacciatore, The Kindness Project. Luiten, All the Stars Above. Morgan, Group Treatment of Anticipatory Grief in Senior Pseudo-Psychosis. Ritualizing Transition. Doka, Therapeutic Ritual. Cacciatore, The “Barefoot Walkabout.” Barrett, The Grief Spiral. Mayer, Barrett, Memory Boats. Marshall, Supporting the “Lost Ritual” After a Suicide Death. Healing the Healer. Krawchuk, Wisdom Circles for When Helping Hurts. Moss, Stand in These Shoes. Prashant, Degriefing Caregiver Burden. Epilogue.
Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, is a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. He has published more than two dozen books, including Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice and Constructivist Psychotherapy, both with Routledge. He is also the editor of Death Studies and has served as president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling as well as chair of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement.
Featured Author Profiles
"The book is organized in an intuitive, thematic way where each section covers a different aspect of grief counseling. Each of the ninety-four chapters tells you which clients the technique is appropriate for followed by a detailed description of the technique, a case example and concluding thoughts. It is highly practical and points out common pitfalls that can be avoided as well as providing sample worksheets and activities to be used both in and between sessions. The book is concise and clearly written. It is an essential resource for all professionals working in the palliative care field"
-Dr Ann Rowland, Director of Bereavement Services, Child Bereavement Charity
"Thanks to the user friendly organization, easy accessibility, emphasis on practicality, and the great range of techniques, the usefulness and applicability of Niemeyer’s work will extend way beyond psychologists, to include social workers, nurses, pastors, spiritual directors, caring family and friends and anyone else who finds themselves confronted with the invitation to be a soul companion for a grieving soul. The sheer volume and rich diversity of techniques represented almost guarantees that there is something of value in every reader."
–Brendon Jones, Journal of Psychology and Theology
"Those who struggle desperately to find meaning and purpose after a loss need creative approaches to healing their existential and psychic pain. With impressive scope, Techniques of Grief Therapy draws together many of the best research-informed methods for working with the challenges of bereavement and complements them with wisdom from the field. The result is an uncommon blend of scientific insight and clinical savvy in a sourcebook that every bereavement counselor and therapist will want to have on the office shelf."
—Holly Prigerson, PhD, Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
"A major goal of Techniques of Grief Therapy is ‘to present a rich and representative smorgasbord of methods for engaging grief and its complications,’ and toward that goal it succeeds brilliantly. While every reader may not test taste each ‘dish,’ the useful blend of practice and research support will foster an engaging, creative, and rich contribution to therapeutic practice. Prepare to be challenged, and dig in!"
—Donna L. Schuurman, EdD, FT, executive director of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
"Finally, a handbook for clinicians in the trenches! Whether working individually, with families, or with groups; whether providing supportive, cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic or experiential therapies; whether working with the very young or very old—this volume delivers. No clinician need ever feel 'stuck' again... This is a treasure trove of options for helping professionals across the spectrum of care."
—Renee S. Katz, PhD, FT, coeditor of When Professionals Weep: Emotional and Countertransference Responses in End-of-Life Care
"Techniques of Grief Therapy offers a generous trove of newly developed practices to help counselors augment their own skills and to help bereaved people make more informed choices about what they need. I recommend it highly."
—Dennis Klass, PhD, author of Dead but Not Lost: Grief Narratives in Religious Traditions and The Spiritual Lives of Bereaved Parents