For some, life’s introduction to death and grief comes early, and when it does it can take many forms. Not only does Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence tackle them all, it does so with David Balk’s remarkable sensitivity to and deep knowledge of the pressures and opportunities adolescents face in their transition from childhood to adulthood. In seamless, jargon-free language, Balk brings readers up to date with what we know about adolescent development, because over time such changes form the backstory we need to comprehend the impact of death and bereavement in an adolescent’s life. The book’s later chapters break down the recent findings in the study of life-threatening illness and bereavement during adolescence. And, crucially, these chapters also examine interventions that assist adolescents coping with these difficulties. Clinicians will come away from this book with both a grounded understanding of adolescent development and the adolescent experience of death, and they’ll also gain specific tools for helping adolescents cope with death and grief on their own terms. For any clinician committed to supporting adolescents facing some of life’s most difficult experiences, this integrated, up-to-date, and deeply insightful text is simply the book to have.
David E. Balk is professor in the department of health and nutrition sciences at Brooklyn College (CUNY), where he directs the graduate program in thanatology. He is the author of Adolescent Development: Early Through Late Adolescence, Helping the Bereaved College Student, and several other books on death and bereavement. He is also co-editor of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Thanatology (Routledge, 2013).