The Myths of Coping with Loss

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.85). 07/1989; 57(3):349-57. DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.57.3.349
Source: PubMed


Drawing from theory and clinical lore, we consider how individuals are assumed to cope following irrevocable loss. Several assumptions are reviewed reflecting beliefs concerning the grieving process. Specifically, we examine the expectation that depression is inevitable following loss; that distress is necessary, and failure to experience it is indicative of pathology; that it is necessary to "work through" or process a loss; and that recovery and resolution are to be expected following loss. Although limited research has examined these assumptions systematically, available empirical work fails to support and in some cases contradicts them. Implications of our analysis for theoretical development and research are explored. Finally, we maintain that mistaken assumptions held about the process of coping with loss fail to acknowledge the variability that exists in response to loss, and may lead others to respond to those who have endured loss in ways that are unhelpful.

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Available from: Roxane Cohen Silver
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    • "Por el contrario, se señala que existen dos estudios que no encontraron evidencia de las fases de duelo. Uno fue realizado en pacientes con diabetes mellitus (Isla et al., 2008) y el otro en personas que pasaban por un duelo a raíz de la muerte de un ser querido (Wortman y Silver, 2001). Los estudios citados anteriormente evalúan las fases de duelo por medio de indicadores y escalas creadas para medir otros constructos, como depresión o ira, debido a que no existe ningún cuestionario que permita evaluar las cinco fases de duelo. "

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    • "Seemingly, positive emotions produce significant changes in life's schemes and prospects. Wortman and Silver (1989) found in a pioneering study on widowhood that many people who had lost a beloved one did not get depressed and that the absence of depressive symptoms did not indicate the existence, present or future, of disruption. Indeed, most people resist life's onslaught with surprising strength. "
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