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[…]

Suicide risk after suicide bereavement: The role of loss-related characteristics, mental health, and hopelessness

Suicide bereavement is associated with increased risk for severe negative mental health outcomes and suicidality. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between mental health symptoms and suicidal ideation among suicide bereaved while taking multiple factors into account.
The sample consisted of N = 157 German suicide bereaved who were interested in receiving an online[…]

Suicide loss survivors: Navigating social stigma and threats to social bonds

The complicated grief experienced by suicide loss survivors leads to feelings of abandonment, rejection, intense self-blame, and depression. Stigma surrounding suicide further burdens survivors who can experience rejection by their community and social networks. Research in the field of psychology has delved into the grieving process of suicide loss survivors, however the effects of suicide[…]

Suicide loss in the modern era: An exploration of digital suicide loss obituaries

The unfortunate increase of suicides in the modern era has provided a vast body of obituaries ripe for analysis. We analyzed 52 suicide loss obituaries retrieved from, an online obituary aggregator, to determine how they differ from what we know about traditional obituaries and suicide reporting. These suicide obituaries combined emotional appeals with educational[…]

Perceived social support and mental health after suicide loss

Background: Despite great need, social support is limited after suicide loss, which could contribute to worse mental health outcomes including increased suicidality among suicide loss survivors. Aims: To examine the associations between perceived social support, grief difficulties, depressive symptoms, suicidality, and personal growth among 195 suicide loss survivors. Method: The associations between perceived social support, grief difficulties, depressive symptoms, suicidality,[…]

The process of long-term suicide bereavement: Responsibility, familial support, and meaning making

The purpose of this qualitative study was to develop understanding of the experience of long-term suicide loss survivors and begin to develop theory of the process of healing. Ten suicide loss survivors were interviewed. Our analyses identified three major categories—one harmful, one helpful, and one that helped to move from harmful to the helpful. Feelings[…]

Anishinabek spirituality: Traversing grief and loss

This research was an interpretive study that sought to understand how Anishinabek individuals work through death and loss within the context of culture and spirituality. Multicultural counselling is discussed in the “tangential way in which issues of diversity and multiculturalism are addressed” (Parham, 1995, p. xi) within the counselling forum. Observing that “racial identity is[…]

Shadows from the past: The mothering experience of women survivors of maternal suicide

Raising children, while challenging in the best of times, can be more complicated for a woman who lost her own mother during her childhood/adolescent years. This study examines the long-term impact of maternal suicide as evident in the mothering experiences of 12 Israeli women.
The participants’ descriptions reveal a constant Sisyphean struggle[…]