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(p. 43) Grief 

Chapter:
(p. 43) Grief
Author(s):

Myrna M. Weissman

, John C. Markowitz

, and Gerald L. Klerman

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190662592.003.0005
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date: 09 July 2020

The symptoms of a normal grief reaction typically resolve over the course of a few months as the person processes the loss, thinking through remembered experiences with the deceased. This period of grief or mourning is a normal, useful, adaptive process. In contrast, in complicated grief, the person tries to contain her emotions, distancing herself from emotional life. This postponing and avoidance of grief is characteristic of complicated bereavement, a long-recognized form of major depression. This chapter discusses both normal and complicated grief and how grief is defined by the DSM-5 and how it presents as a problem area in IPT. The two goals of the therapist are to facilitate mourning (catharsis) and to reestablish interests and relationships that can to some degree substitute for the person and the relationship that have been lost. Case examples are included.

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