1st Edition

Understanding Grief
An Introduction

ISBN 9781138839793
Published October 7, 2015 by Routledge
220 Pages

USD $39.95

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Book Description

Understanding Grief is a comprehensive and accessible 'one stop' introduction to all the major models of grief. In addition to the individual perspective, bereavement is discussed in relation to social, cultural and religious factors and influences. Richard Gross also examines the impact of different types of bereavement, such as the death of a child, parent, spouse/partner, and sibling, and discusses the impact of traumatic death in relation to complicated grief. The text also covers pet loss, death anxiety, and post-traumatic growth.

This innovative book combines personal accounts of grief with clinical accounts of patients provided by psychiatrists and psychologists, and research involving large numbers of bereaved individuals.

Understanding Grief will be invaluable to all those working with bereaved clients, including bereavement counsellors, counselling and clinical psychologists, healthcare professionals, social workers, and the interested layperson. It is also suitable for people training to work with bereaved individuals.

Table of Contents

The Nature and Experience of Grief. Attachment, Loss and Grief. Theories and Models of Grief. The Social Context of Grief. Cultural and Religious Aspects of Death and Dying. Grief and Relationship With the Deceased: Kinship. Complicated Grief. The Wider Context of Grief: Loss of Pets and Loss of Self. Recommended Reading and Websites.

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Richard Gross is a leading author of psychology texts. Since 2006 he has been working as a bereavement volunteer and trainer with Cruse Bereavement Care.


"Masterly, Richard Gross plots a path through the maze of theories and research literature on bereavement to provide a synthesis that is up-to-date, informative and well written. It will be of particular value to professionals and volunteers who care for and about people lost in the maze of bereavement. I couldn't put it down." - Colin Murray Parkes

 "This book provides a long awaited resource for anyone embarking upon the journey of understanding grief in their role of supporting those that are bereaved. An essential read for anyone involved in the field of bereavement." - Elizabeth Thomas, Cruse Bereavement Care, Bereavement Volunteer and Trainer

"With Understanding Grief: An Introduction, Richard Gross aims to provide an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the major models of grief, focusing on the individual experience of bereavement just as on how bereavement is experienced in relation to the social, cultural, and religious contexts... The author certainly successed in his aim of providing a comprehensive introduction to the major models of grief. Furhtermore, he does an excellent job in emphasizing the importance of contextualizing the loss in order to better understanding individuals' grief following bereavement and helping the bereaved... The author also does a great job in examining the many topics surrounding the experience of grief while generally maintaining a smooth and very clear writing style. [The] brief summaries provided at the end of every chapter can be of good help... for singling out the most relevant information." - Flavia Felletti, University of Barcelona, metapsychology.net

"Richard Gross provides a comprehensive overview of the research literature on grief... In a reasonably concise volume, the book lives up to its name by trying to understand grief in its entirety. Written in an accessible style, it provides a holistic sweep of past and recent research. This book would be an asset to those who work with bereaved individuals." -Aruna Sankaranarayanan, Director, PRAYATNA, The Psychologist