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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 26, Number 2, April 2004


1. Introduction: Perspectives on Counseling the Bereaved (Pages 95-97)
Heather L. Servaty-Seib, Guest Editor

The death of a loved one is a universal human experience. Consistent with long-term trends, just under two and one half million people died in the United States during the year 2001 (Arias, Anderson, Kung, Murphy, & Kochanek, 2003). Although it is difficult to estimate the number of family members, friends, and acquaintances affected by these death losses, it is clear that many in our society find themselves in a state of bereavement during any given year. The loss of a loved one has been referred to “as life’s most stressful event” (National Mental Health Association, n.d., p. 1), and bereavement has been identified as a risk factor for the development of common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression (Kendrick, 1999). In fact, research points to various mental health-related difficulties commonly experienced by bereaved adolescents (Harrison & Harrington, 2001), adults (Ott & Lueger, 2002), and older adults (Bennett, 1998). Full Article

2. The Relationship Between Adjustment and Bereavement-Related Distress: A Longitudinal Study (Pages 98-124)
John M. Henderson; Bert Hayslip, Jr.; Jennifer K. King

The current study assessed 125 conjugally bereaved persons using multiple self-report measures as indicators of personal adjustment and bereavement distress across three times of testing (initial, 6- month, and 3-year follow-up). Cross-lagged panel analyses were conducted to examine the potentially causal relationships between indicators of both adjustment and bereavement distress. Across nearly all measures of general adjustment and bereavement distress, adjustment was significantly more predictive of bereavement distress than bereavement distress was predictive of adjustment from both Time 1 to Time 3 and Time 2 to Time 3. These findings suggest that difficulties in general adjustment may exacerbate bereavement distress and emphasize the importance of interventions targeting the acquisition of adaptive coping skills in conjugally bereaved persons. Full Article

3. Connections Between Counseling Theories and Current Theories of Grief and Mourning (Pages 125-145)
Heather L. Servaty-Seib

The primary purpose of the present article is to provide an overview of three theories of mourning—The Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement, Meaning Reconstruction and Loss, and Attachment Theory and Loss: Revisited. These are linked both by their emphasis on the phenomenological and by ideas such as balance and flexibility. Connections are drawn between the mourning theories and counseling theories that are commonly employed by mental health counselors. Full Article

4. Adolescent Experiences with Death: Letting Go of Immortality (Pages 146-167)
Illene Cupit Noppe; Lloyd D. Noppe

Adolescents increasingly are exposed to death, and the quality of their grief differs from that of adults or children. This article highlights adolescent experiences with death within the context of normative developmental tasks and a consideration of ethnic and gender variations. Full Article

5. Counseling With Children in Contemporary Society (Pages 168-187)

Linda Goldman

This article examines elements related to children’s developmental understandings of death, ways to talk to children about death, a broad understanding of the nature of children’s grief and bereavement, recognition of the common characteristics of grieving children, and useful interventions.The research related to the child grief process and the intrinsic value of therapeutic and educational supports in working with grieving children are discussed through case studies, the professional literature, and practical interventions that support the process of grief therapy for mental health counselors and the bereaved child. Full Article

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