Loving and grieving are two sides of the same coin: we cannot have one without risking the other. Only by understanding the nature and pattern of loving can we begin to understand the problems of grieving. Conversely, the loss of a loved person can teach us much about the nature of love.

Love and Loss, the result of a lifetime's work, has important implications for the study of attachment and bereavement. In this volume, Colin Murray Parkes reports his innovative research that enables us to bring together knowledge of childhood attachments and problems of bereavement, resulting in a new way of thinking about love, bereavement and other losses. Areas covered include:

  • patterns of attachment and grief
  • loss of a parent, child or spouse in adult life
  • social isolation and support.

The book concludes by looking at disorders of attachment and considering bereavement in terms of its implications on love, loss, and change in a wider context.

Illuminating the structure and focus of thinking about love and loss, this book sheds light on a wide range of psychological issues. It will be essential reading for professionals working with bereavement, as well as graduate students of psychology, psychiatry, and sociology.

chapter |6 pages


part I|55 pages

Attachment and loss

chapter 1|18 pages

Review I: Attachment and love

chapter 2|11 pages

Review II: Loss and change

chapter 3|24 pages

The research project

part II|60 pages

Patterns of attachment and patterns of grief

chapter 4|12 pages

Secure and insecure attachments

chapter 5|12 pages

Anxious/ambivalent attachments

chapter 6|17 pages

Avoidant attachments

chapter 7|15 pages

Disorganised attachments

chapter |2 pages

Conclusions from Part II

part III|88 pages

Other influences on attachment and loss

chapter 8|11 pages

Separation from parents

chapter 9|13 pages

Trauma and bereavement

chapter 11|8 pages

Loss of a parent in adult life

chapter 12|10 pages

Loss of a child

chapter 13|7 pages

Loss of a spouse or partner

chapter 14|9 pages

Social isolation and support

chapter 16|4 pages

Conclusions from Part III

part IV|61 pages

Disorders of attachment, other psychiatric problems and their prevention and treatment

chapter 17|23 pages

Disorders of attachment

chapter 18|24 pages

Prevention, therapies and outcome