Current Perspectives on Bereavement
W hat are the most important things that should inform the clinician working with the bereaved? This chapter contains a summary of our answer to that question. Here we address the topics and controversies that characterize current knowledge and practice in the field of loss and bereavement. Many of the issues and themes addressed here reverberate throughout this book and are the product of advances in theory, research, and intervention work. Those interested in understanding these issues more fully will do well to refer to the referenced articles, chapters, and books that give them the fuller exposition they deserve. Our goal in this chapter, however, is to allow the reader an overview of what to look for in other places in this book to better appreciate the dynamism and sense of excitement surrounding the field of loss and bereavement today. The chapter is divided into five sections based on the following themes: (1) right and wrong in the bereavement response, (2) the centrality of interpersonal relationships, (3) the potential for change following loss, (4) facilitating adaptive grief and bereavement, and (5) ethics and bereavement.