chapter  10
14 Pages

Death, Bereavement, and the Therapist

WithJudith W. Rhue

Susan H., a 16-year-old girl, was referred to me by her family physician when her mother expressed concerns about Susan’s response to the death of her younger sister some 6 months earlier. Susan was very close to her 5-year-old sister, Denise, despite the 10 year difference in their ages. Since the time of her sister’s accidental death, Susan suffered from a variety of depressive symptoms that had not abated. Susan’s mother felt that Susan was becoming increasingly depressed and withdrawn, and she was anxious about Susan’s condition. Susan had lost interest in all of the things she used to enjoy, particularly painting. She dropped out of school activities and spent most of her time at home in her room. She lost about 10 pounds from not eating, and she took virtually no interest in her appearance.