1st Edition

Writing Through Grief A Therapeutic Workbook for Bereaved Parents

    130 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    130 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This workbook is designed to help bereaved parents find words for grief in their quest for well-being after the devastating death of a child by offering a hands-on approach to therapeutic writing that can be used as a means of self-help, in collaboration with therapists, or in the context of support groups featuring writing for wellbeing.

    The book presents a 7-week therapeutic writing program that integrates field tested writing techniques with general psychoeducation around grief and related emotions as well as the quest for meaning in a life transformed by loss. Each module shares a common structure, checking in with the writer, introducing a theme for the week, and providing specific prompts to safely engage the loss, explore the emotions it engenders, and foster more adaptive meaning making about a devastating life experience.  Readers are given the opportunity to tailor the brief immersive writing to their unique circumstances, and to respond to reflective questions that invite greater clarity and self-compassion as they attempt to re-enter life following loss. In this respect, the book acknowledges the diversity of ways that parents can adapt to the loss of a child and offers practical counsel and self-reflective tools to support them in this effort.

    Bereaved parents, grandparents, and family members will find the workbook to be a valuable resource as they work to cope with their grief. It will also be of use to professionals who want to facilitate writing courses for bereaved parents or provide them individual support.

    Therapeutic Writing through Grief:  An Introduction  1. A Tale of Three Stories  2. What am I resisting?  3. Dialogue and self-compassion  4. Anger, shame compassion, and self-compassion   5. Loving-kindness as we tend to our life story  6. From Self-Blame to Life Lessons  7. Meaning in Life  Epilogue: Finding Meaning in Mourning  



    Olga V. Lehmann, PhD, Psychotherapist, educator and mental health activist, as well as Associate professor in psychology at the University of Stavanger (Norway).

    Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, Professor emeritus at the University of Memphis, and Director of the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition. Neimeyer has published 35 books, including New Techniques of Grief Therapy:  Bereavement and Beyond and edits the Routledge Series on Death, Dying and Bereavement

    Trine Giving Kalstad, MSc, is a social anthropologist and cognitive therapist who has, since 2001, been the director of public health and bereavement support in The Norwegian SIDS and Stillbirth Society (LUB). She is currently a Ph.D fellow at the Centre of Crisis Psychology, University of Bergen.

    ‘This book is a heart centered invitation to do the important soul work of grieving. What I appreciated so much was how this book approached grief with mindful compassion and tenderness. It will be salve to many grieving parents.’

    Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, Professor, Arizona State University, Director of the Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement Program andnFounder, MISS Foundation and Selah Carefarm

    ‘Although much has been written about grieving and how we might survive the loss of a child, few resources have been available about how to deal with such a devastating bereavement. This therapeutic writing workbook respects the magnitude of child loss and takes parents through a process where they may make meaning as they honour their experience and create new ground for wellbeing. This is a valuable and heartfelt resource founded in evidence-based research on child death.’

    Dr. Reinekke Lengelle, Associate Professor, Athabasca University, curriculum designer of writing for wellbeing, author of Writing the Self in Bereavement: A Story of Love, Spousal Loss and Resilience, and co-editor of Writing for Wellbeing: Theory, Research and Practice

    ‘A deeply humane companion to grief, which demonstrates the powerful potential of creativity in bereavement. 'Writing through grief' offers detailed, compassionate and holistic guidance built upon years of experience, and it makes exemplary use of theory, presenting complex ideas lightly, accessibly and never without practical relevance to readers' own experiences. A much-needed book which I will strongly recommend to the grieving families I work with, and those who support them.’

    Dr Tamarin Norwood, Doctoral Prize Research Fellow, Loughborough University UK, Author of the memoir The Song of the Whole Wide World (Indigo, 2024) about parenthood and bereavement