ERIC Number: ED356439
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug-20
Post-Abortion Counseling: Helping To Heal the Grief.
Tentoni, Stuart C.
A university health center has experienced an increase in the number of women undergoing elective abortion which resulted in their seeking counseling services to assist them in dealing with overwhelming feelings of guilt and grief. The loss of a pregnancy is often followed by a typical grief reaction that occurs after any bereavement. In working with a number of women who were experiencing post-abortion grief and guilt, the women indicated that their abortions were performed at a variety of public and private clinic settings. The settings were described as being highly medical in nature. An amalgamation and synthesis of the literature review led to the therapeutic concept with these women that the clinic in which their abortion occurred was now a "sacred site" because of their experiences there. Using the setting to help validate the loss, the women were recommended to re-visit the site of their abortions and sit outside the facility for 10-15 minutes so that they could re-live their experience and speak to their fetus/child. If they chose, they could leave something behind as an offering after they had time to reflect upon their experience. It is recommended that practicing therapists continue to develop creative approaches to ease any guilt/grief reactions caused in the aftermath of elective abortion, and more importantly for women to be there for each other. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).