After a suicide death in a high school: Exploring students’ perspectives

By the time they leave high school, 17% of adolescents will have experienced the suicide death of a friend, peer, or classmate. While some will be unaffected or experience a brief period of distress following the death, for others the death will cause significant disruption and distress, even increasing their risk of suicidal thoughts and […]

Unpacking the meaning of closeness, reconsidering the concept of impact in suicide exposure, and expanding beyond bereavement: “Just, I hope you don’t forget about us”

Suicide exposure research has relied on samples of treatment-seeking kin, resulting in an attachment-based model centering bereavement as the most significant form of impact and obscuring other forms of significant and  life-altering impact. From a community-based sample (N = 3010) exposed to suicide, we examine a subset (n = 104) with perceived high impact from […]

Suicide bereavement and loneliness among UK Armed Forces veterans under the care of mental health services: Prevalence and associations

Suicide bereavement is a risk factor for suicide and psychiatric illness. Its lifetime prevalence in the general population is estimated at 22%, and in one (US) veteran sample as 47%, but no estimates exist for a UK veteran sample. We aimed to measure the lifetime prevalence of suicide bereavement in a clinical sample of UK […]

Feelings of blameworthiness and their associations with the grieving process in suicide mourning

Aims: This study focuses on identifying the correlates associated with the emergence of feelings of blameworthiness associated with a suicide or other traumatic death and its associations with grief complications. Methods: Based on a mailed questionnaire survey of 575 mostly white and economically advantaged bereaved parents, 462 who lost a child to suicide, 48 to a drug […]

How to facilitate a grief group

This guide is written for those who, while not certified grief therapists or regulated professionals, feel called to work with grieving and/or bereaved people. Whether planning to facilitate a group as a volunteer, as a student or  professional-in-training, or because of your own personal life experience with loss and grief, you know how important it […]

The relationship between working alliance and treatment outcome in an internet-based grief therapy for people bereaved by suicide

Background Working alliance is an important component in the therapy process, however its’ role in bereavement interventions has rarely been studied. This study investigates the relationship between working alliance and treatment outcome, the change of working alliance throughout therapy and patient characteristics as predictors of working alliance. Methods Data from a randomized controlled trial including […]

A CBT-based psychoeducational intervention for suicide survivors: A cluster randomized controlled study

Background: Bereavement following suicide is associated with an increased vulnerability for depression, complicated grief, suicidal ideation, and suicide. There is, however, a paucity of studies of the effects of interventions in suicide survivors. Aims: This study therefore examined the effects of a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based psychoeducational intervention on depression, complicated grief, and suicide risk factors in […]

What do the bereaved by suicide communicate in online support groups? A content analysis

Background: Every year, more than six million people lose a loved one through suicide. These bereaved by suicide are at relatively high risk for mental illnesses including suicide. The social stigma attached to suicide often makes it difficult to talk about grief. Participating in online forums may be beneficial for the bereaved by suicide, but it […]

Considerations for developing online bereavement support groups

The loss of a family member or friend can have profound psychological and physical implications, particularly for individuals without bereavement support services. Online support groups can be an effective means of extending services beyond the traditional modes of delivery. This is especially true for populations that include isolated individuals and those with limited support networks, […]

Coping strategies and considering the possibility of death in those bereaved by sudden, and violent deaths: Grief severity, depression, and posttraumatic growth

Background: Bereavement by sudden and violent deaths can lead to increased grief severity, depression, and reduced posttraumatic growth compared to those bereaved by natural causes. These outcomes can be affected by coping strategies and whether a survivor had been “prepared” for the death. The present study examined the effect of coping and considering the possibility of […]

The clinical utility of spirituality and religion in meaning-making theory for suicide loss survivors: A scoping review

In the case of violent/traumatic loss due to a completed suicide, there can be an overwhelming and complicated grief reaction followed by a spiritual need for the process of sense making and finding meaning. Some emerging literature on suicide loss survivors (SLSs) denotes that suicide loss is more similar to other forms of bereavement but […]

Lessons learned: Forty years of clinical work with suicide loss survivors

The author has been a grief therapist in private practice for almost 40 years. The largest percentage of his clients have been suicide loss survivors, and in this article, the author reflects on the “lessons learned” about how grief therapy with survivors is both the same as, and very different from, work with clients bereaved […]

Suicide bereavement in the UK: Descriptive findings from a national survey

Background Those bereaved by suicide are a high-risk group of adverse health outcomes and suicidal behavior, yet little is known about the experiences and support needs of these individuals in the UK. Methods We conducted a national cross-sectional study using an online survey and analyzed the experiences of 7158 participants who had been bereaved or […]

The experiences of adults bereaved by the suicide of a close elderly relative: A qualitative pilot study

Suicide in older persons is a serious issue in many countries. The act of intentionally causing one’s own death is often associated with lack of social support, thwarted belongingness, or chronic interpersonal difficulties. Therefore, suicide has a significant interpersonal dimension that can influence those left behind. However, studies that have investigated the impact of older […]

A comparison of spousal anticipatory grief and conventional grief

The purpose of the present investigation was to compare the degree of similarity between the grief experienced by spouses of terminally-ill patients prior to (anticipatory grief) and following the death (conventional grief). Responses of this sample were also compared with those of two control groups: spouses of chronically-ill patients and spouses of relatively healthy individuals […]

The myth of closure

Therapies for grief and loss have traditionally focused on the work of grieving. The goal was to reach an endpoint, now popularly called closure. There are, however, many people who, through no fault of their own,  find a loss so unclear that there can be no end to grief. They have not failed in the […]

Facing the music: Creative and experiential group strategies for working with grief and loss

This article outlines how group practitioners can harness creative strategies to assist addicted clients in verbalizing and addressing the losses associated with addictive disorders. This article overviews the implementation of an experiential process that includes a warm up activity, a psychodrama, and utilization of empty chair techniques to address addiction related grief and loss. In […]

Spirituality and loss: Approaches for counseling grieving adolescents

The death of a loved one has serious implications for adolescent growth and development. The authors review relevant research on the grief process and spirituality in adolescence, and they give a rationale for integrating spirituality into adolescent grief work. By way of a case illustration, they draw implications for counselors’ use of spirituality in addressing […]

Narratives and story telling in coping with grief and bereavement

My daughter was a normal, healthy young lady, looking forward to becoming a teenager. Then, a strange sensation appeared in the muscle of her upper arm and everything changed! She waged the toughest battle of her life, but died of cancer in the middle of her thirteenth year. How does a mother cope with so […]

How best to provide help to bereaved adolescents: A Delphi consensus study

Background: Many adolescents struggle with their grief and mental health issues after the death of a close person, such as a family member or a friend. Given the potentially devastating impact of the loss on the adolescent and their family, professional help can be warranted. However, little is known about how to best help these […]

An integrative systematic review of online resources and interventions for people bereaved by suicide

Suicide bereavement is frequent in the general population and it can have deleterious consequences on the mental health and social functioning of the bereaved individuals. However, those bereaved can face substantial barriers to receive support, and online resources may improve the accessibility of support. This systematic review aimed at examining the use and benefits of online resources […]

Using multiple regression analyses to uncover patterns of correlates of grief problems, depression and suicidal ideation among suicide bereaved individuals

This analysis of a convenience sample survey of 195 suicide bereaved adults focuses on predictors of three important highly interrelated experiences among the suicide bereaved: grief problems, depression and suicidal thinking. Although each of these three experiences can be explained by a unique set of predictors, they share many commonalities. Several predictors stood out especially […]

Addressing psychological distress in people bereaved through suicide: From care to cure

To illustrate the main characteristics of the request for and choice of support by a population accessing a dedicated service for people bereaved through suicide.The participants were divided first according to their reason for requesting support and based on their choice of intervention, which were “caring” services (improve knowledge about suicide prevention, postvention and grief […]