Ambiguous Loss by Pauline Boss
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Ambiguous Loss
By Pauline Boss

Ambiguous Loss

Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief

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Format: Paperback

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Ambiguous Loss by Pauline Boss

Book Description

Frozen sadness - what we have when we cannot really know what we have lost. This is what Pauline Boss illuminates, and helps to ease. It could be a loved one still alive yet lost to a person: a soldier son missing in action, or a constantly travelling spouse. In another kind of ambiguous loss, the loved one may be physically present but beyond a person's reach - such as someone with Alzheimer's disease.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674003811
ISBN-10: 0674003810
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 13mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 19-Sep-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Pauline Boss

Loving Someone Who Has Dementia by Pauline Boss Loving Someone Who Has Dementia, Paperback (August 2011)

Research-based advice for people who care for someone with dementia Nearly half of U.S. citizens over the age of 85 are suffering from some kind of dementia and require care. Loving Someone Who Has Dementia is a new kind of caregiving book.

Loss, Trauma and Resilience by Pauline Boss Loss, Trauma and Resilience, Hardback (February 2006)

All losses are touched with ambiguity. Yet those who suffer losses without finality bear a particular burden.

» View all books by Pauline Boss

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A compassionate exploration of the effects of ambiguous loss and how those experiencing it handle this most devastating of losses. Family therapist and researcher Boss (Univ. of Minnesota) has studied ambiguous loss in the families of pilots declared missing in action in Vietnam and Cambodia, in midlife couples whose adolescent children have recently left home, and in families where one member has Alzheimer's. This latter group includes Native American women of the Ashinabe tribe in northern Minnesota. The author divides ambiguous loss into two basic types: first, where someone is perceived as physically absent but psychologically present, e.g., men declared missing in action who are not known to be alive or dead; second, where someone is perceived to be psychologically absent but physically present, e.g., a spouse with dementia or other mental illness. Situations that can create a feeling of ambiguous loss also include such common phenomena as immigration or a move, adoption, divorce, and the workaholism of a partner. Boss finds that the uncertainty of such situations can easily lead to depression, anxiety, and family conflict. Using personal narratives of those she has worked with, she reports how those experiencing ambiguous loss often struggle to control an unclear situation by searching for absolutes, either denying that anything has changed or, alternatively, acting as though the loved one is completely gone. Among the Ashinabe women, however, she found a spiritual acceptance of ambiguity, indicating that a tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty seems to be related to cultural values and spiritual beliefs. As a family therapist, Boss's own approach is to encourage families to talk together, to reach a consensus about how to mourn that which has been lost and how to celebrate that which remains. Her simple stories of families doing just that contain lessons for all. Insightful, practical, and refreshingly free of psychobabble. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Pauline Boss

Pauline Boss is Professor of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, past President of the National Council on Family Relations, and a psychotherapist in private practice.

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