In social work and sociology the treatment discussed in the Neimeyer et al. chapter, which one did you like the best? In Grief and Loss, the suggestions for treatment discussed are there certain...

In social work and sociology the treatment discussed in the Neimeyer et al. chapter, which one did you like the best? In Grief and Loss, the suggestions for treatment discussed are there certain circumstances that the model would be more appropriate for?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Since this question asks for the student to discuss a treatment that he prefers, it is best that this choice be made by the student. The task here, then, is to provide an example response that can assist the student in his individual evaluation. Here, then, is an example:

One model that is used in the treatment of grief and loss in the work of Neimeyer et. al. is that of a forty-two year old secretary and divorced mother of two sons named Sandra, who has recently lost her mother to cancer. Neimeyer writes that since there is an individuality to grief, some treatments which prove positive later on are negative if they are utilized too soon after the loss.

  • Find meaning in the experience of loss

The grieving family member must find meaning in experiences that will lead to "positive adaptation." In Sandra's case, she expected the loss, so she did not have to seek a reason for her loss; however, she did need to find something positive that she could carry away from this experience. One meaningful aspect for Sandra was that she had become more assertive; at first, she had assumed a "mask of competence," but gradually Sandra felt herself truly competent in the handling of her mother's affairs. When Neimeyer talked with Sandra's family, he found that Sandra was perceived by them as possessing "a mantle of authority" and a new confidence and "positive adaptation."

  • The person suffering grief "evolves"

After having cared for her mother, Sandra acquired a solicitude for others. So, she began to give more attention to friends and other family members. As Neimeyer notes, grief is a social process as much as an individual one. Family members, then, can support the grieving person; on the other hand, they can impeded the healing process, too. 

  • Reconstruction can assuage grief

Neimeyer states that human beings are "meaning makers"; that is, they reconstruct narratives that afford significance to what has happened to them. This "constructivist view" can involve a symbolic conversation with the parent, such as Sandra engaged in so that she could extract meaning in the plot of her life by "talking" to her mother as though she were in her chair.

______________________

One Treatment liked--

For anyone who writes notes and letters to people, or who keeps records, this meaning reconstruction approach by the creation of a narrative seems to have the potential of offering closure for those grieving and would be a great treatment. The dramatization of a conversation, or the writing of a letter, or poem assists the family member who remains after a death with an avenue of profound and tangible expression that can be read and reread. 

As an example, here is part of a poem found in Neimeyer's work written by a grieving person:

...the clock’s pulse
measures the silence
like a tin heart,
registers only hours
since,never, until.
 
Slowly we are hollowing
ourselves through our grief,
as rocks are carved by sand in a hard wind.
When we have let go of enough
of what we were....
Sources:

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