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Principles and Practice of Grief Counseling

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Principles and Practice of Grief Counseling

Darcy L. Harris

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This core, introductory textbook for undergraduate and graduate level courses is the first volume to combine the knowledge and skills of counseling psychology with current theory and research in grief and bereavement. It is grounded in the belief that grief counseling is distinct from other therapeutic issues because grief is an adaptive response rather than a form of pathology. The book describes the unique aspects of grief as a normal response to loss, and views the goal of counseling bereaved individuals as one of facilitating the unfolding of the healthy and adaptive aspects of the process as it manifests itself within each client. Grief is considered a response to losses that are both death- and non-death-related; and psychological, physical, social, economical and practical experiences of grief are addressed.

The text introduces various theories of bereavement and examines different therapeutic modalities that can be used in the context of grief and loss. Specific counseling practices that facilitate successful interventions are discussed, particularly that of presence, considered by the authors to be the primary therapeutic stance when working with bereaved individuals. The text also addresses grief counseling with special populations, ethical issues, and self-care concerns for counselors. Case studies, discussion and reflection questions, and suggested additional resources are included in each chapter.

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