The Magical Thoughts of Grieving Children: Treating Children with Complicated Mourning and Advice for Parents, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Magical Thoughts of Grieving Children

Treating Children with Complicated Mourning and Advice for Parents, 1st Edition

By James. A. Fogarty


184 pages

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Paperback: 9780895032065
pub: 2000-06-15
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This book is designed for clinicians, educators, clergy, and nurses - anyone who is assisting children who have experienced the death of a loved one. This work offers a unique framework for helping children heal from the wounds created by the life process of death, a framework that has its defining basis in children's magical thought. Magical thought is motivated by the desire of a child with incomplete cognitive equipment to understand his world. Magical thought helps children develop inaccurate conclusions about many aspects of death and their own personal grief, often suggesting that they or someone else is responsible for the loss.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 — Children's View of Grief

How to be an Expert in the Eyes of Children

A New Look at the Normal Grief Emotions of Children

The Normal Grief Emotions

The Numb and Stunned Reaction • Commotion • Attempts to Re-create Coupled with Balancing Denial • Anguish • Anger •



Chapter 2 — Cognition: The Most Definitive Feature of Children's Grief

To Bond or Not to Bond? • Imitation • Concrete Thinking • The Onset of Abstract Reasoning • Adolescence—Abstract

Thought Unleashed


Chapter 3 — The Model of Magical Thought

What is Magical Thought? • The Model of Magical Thought: "Seeds for the Destruction of Children's Personality Development"

• Key Definitions for the Model of Magical Thought


Chapter 4 — The Tasks of Mourning Distorted by Destructive Magical Thought

The Five Tasks of Healthy Mourning • Complicated Mourning • Therese Rando's Six "R" Response • Disenfranchised Grief •

Conversions from the Unhealthy Model of Magical Thought to the Tasks of Healthy Mourning


Chapter 5 — Action-Focused Techniques to Eliminate Destructive Magical Thought

Action-Focused Techniques Defined • Advantages of Action-Focused Techniques with Bereaved Children and Families • Five

Purposes of Action-Focused Techniques • The Interview Process • Parental Involvement • Examples of Action-Focused

Techniques Eliminating Magical Thought


Chapter 6 — Anger and Magical Thought

Prescription for Anger Management • Summary of a Plan of Treatment for Anger Management

Chapter 7 — A Special Note for Parents

Chapter 8 — Magical Thought of Adults and Society

The Functions of Magical Thought of this Society • The Trickle Down Effect

Chapter 9 — Final Thoughts


Appendix A — Resources for Action-Focused Techniques


About the Author

James A. Fogarty, Ed .D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified School Psychologist

About the Series

Death, Value and Meaning Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health