Loss and Grief

Edited by Neil Thompson.
ISBN 0 333 96328 8

Loss lies at the heart of much social work practice, and
attachment theory and the traditional “stages model” of loss have
had a profound impact on practitioners’ view of the grieving
process. But should we rely so heavily on theories, which are
beginning to be criticised for being reductive, narrow and
culturally insensitive?

Loss and Grief is an edited collection that explores new
approaches to working with loss and considers the influence of
cultural expectations on the individual’s ability to grieve.
It covers a range of possible losses, including those brought about
by ill health, those created by racism and those caused by the
forcible removal of Australian aboriginal children from their
families. Disenfranchised grief – that which is unacknowledged or
seen as unacceptable – is explored as a cultural phenomenon and is
one of the book’s centralising themes.

This book is strongly written and well edited into a coherent
structure. It draws together recent developments in thinking about
bereavement and grief and widens the loss spectrum to include
situations other than the traditional ones of disability and death.
Anyone working with loss, which is to say everyone in social care,
should read this book.

Rachel Wooller is an outreach worker, Alzheimer’s

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