ERIC Number: ED309348
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Goodbye Therapy: Use of Imagery Techniques for Problematic Grief Intervention.
Brown, James C.
This document addresses the issue of problematic grief reactions, reactions which tend to be more common than are often realized and which may be a source of "existential" anxiety. It presents a treatment model which can be used with any loss-elicited grief reaction including the acute grief reaction typically encountered subsequent to the death of a close relative or friend, especially if the grief reaction becomes prolonged and unresolved. Variables which need to be assessed as determinants of the severity of the grief reaction and its prognosis are discussed, including intensity of the relationship, security involved in the attachment, degree of ambivalence, mode of separation, personality variables, social variables, and loss/grief history. The identification of obstacles to effective grieving is recommended. These barriers may include persistent desire for recovery of the loss object; the desire to express negative affect because of the loss but being unable to do so; difficulties in dealing with ambivalence and feelings of anger related to the loss; Pandora's box phenomenon; powerful covert contracts with the lost person or object; unfinished business and unexpressed secrets; reinforcement or secondary gain for inappropriate grief reactions; and absence of or limited coping skills and support network. The action phase of therapy incorporating the imagery restructuring technique is described as a systematic model consisting of these seven steps: structure; relaxation training; introduction of imagery; introduction of loss related images; imagery restructuring; coping imagery; and imagery projection. (ABL)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Counseling and Development (New Orleans, LA, April 21-25, 1987).