Feeling sad and feeling anxious are two common signs of ambiguous loss. Dr. Pauline Boss, one of the world's leading experts on ambiguous loss, shares insights and research in The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change, her newest book.
Dr. Boss is a psychologist, thought leader, emeritus professor, and author of the seminal books Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss, and The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss In A Time of Pandemic and Change.
She's known worldwide for developing the theory of ambiguous loss and as a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of family stress management.
And at the age of 87, she's having a moment!
A delightful guest, Pauline freely shares some of her personal journey and how her experiences of loss changed the scope of her newest book even as she was writing it.
She says that ambiguous loss is "an unclear loss." And that many people don't realize they're grieving. The result can be that the grief then becomes frozen.
When we understand that how we're feeling and why we're feeling it is because we're grieving an unclear loss, our lives can begin making more sense.
Examples of ambiguous loss include
Pauline Boss makes it clear that most caregivers are not depressed. Nor should they be labeled with a pathogizing diagnosis they don't deserve.
What many caregivers are is sad. And it's a sadness that's very normal and understandable given the circumstances.
Closure on normal grieving is a myth. Grief does not end. Further, if we've loved someone or something, we want to remember. Because we're remembering with love.
Pauline offers thoughtful, and helpful counsel for how to increase our tolerance for ambiguous loss, and continue moving forward with our lives, even as we hold what's dear to us in our hearts.
If you're feeling sad, depressed, confused about how to move forward after a traumatic change, or if you'd like to explore grief counseling in Santa Fe, please reach out to the Santa Fe Therapist for a free 15-minute phone consult.
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