Clinical applications of the continuing bonds with the deceased: The ABC of facilitating healthy grief - Ruth Malkinson
Throughout our lives relationships with significant others are being formed and transformed but only with the death of a loved one is the relationship organized by the bereaved with the person who died as a silent partner. The death ends the physical relationship and there begins an inner journey to reconstruct meaning to life without the person who died but one based on history and memories. Grief following loss through death is a normal, human and universal response. When grief goes awry or when there are complications in the normal process interventions aim to assist normalize the process. The Two-Track Model of Bereavement (Rubin, 1981, 1999; Rubin, Malkinson & Witztum, 2012) assists in the specification of how to adapt interventions to the needs of the client. By separating biopsychosocial functioning (Track I) and the nature of the ongoing relationship with the deceased and the death story (Track II) following loss, it is possible to assess and plan intervention based on one or both tracks in the intervention schema.
The importance of reworking and reorganizing the connection to the person who died is the primary focus in this workshop. Such reworking can assist the bereaved take up authorship of their life narratives, live fully in the world with themselves and others, and retain the connection to the deceased (Rubin, Malkinson & Witztum, 2012). Assessment and intervention benefit from an understanding of the contribution of individual, family, and cultural factors. The ABC of REBT which distinguishes between Healthy Negative Emotions (HNE)and Unhealthy Negative Emotions (UNG) will be adapted to grief therapy along with interpersonal interventions that will be presented (Malkinson,2019; 2007).