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Riv Psichiatr. 2011 Sep-Dec;46(5-6):332-6. doi: 10.1708/1009.10982.

Reconstructing meaning in bereavement.

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Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, TN, USA.


Bereavement, in the form of the loss of a significant attachment figure to death, disrupts the self-narratives of survivors, and typically launches them into an unsought quest for meaning in the loss as well as in their changed lives. A growing body of research on diverse groups – bereaved parents, young people, elders – suffering loss through both natural and violent death, documents the link between inability to find meaning in the experience and the intensity of complicated grief they suffer. This article reviews this literature, arguing that processes of sense-making and benefit-finding play a crucial role in bereavement adaptation for many of the bereaved, and accordingly that interventions that facilitate processes of meaning reconstruction can support effective psychotherapy for those struggling with intense and prolonged grief.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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