Therapeutic issues and the relationship to the deceased: Working clinically with the two-track model of bereavement

Ruth Malkinson, Simon Shimshon Rubin, Eliezer Witztum

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    22 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Psychological intervention with the bereaved can provide critical assistance to individuals, families, and communities contending with the loss of significant others. In the organizational paradigm of the Two-Track Model of Bereavement, the outcome of both successful and problematic mourning are manifest along two distinct but interrelated tracks of functioning and relationship to the deceased. Reworking relationships to the deceased can help people resume authorship of their life narratives following loss. Two cases of spousal death are presented and significant features of the treatments discussed. The Two-Track Model of Bereavement emphasizes that the dimensions of a person's functioning reflect only part of the response to loss. The ongoing relationship with the complex of memories, thoughts, emotions, and needs associated with the person who has died is no less important. Although the domains of general functioning and relationship to the deceased are related, they are far from identical. Attending to the memories and emotions bound up with the deceased should continue to demand our sustained attention as therapists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)797-815
    Number of pages19
    JournalDeath Studies
    Volume30
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Oct 2006

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