Psychodynamic therapy with the bereaved: Listening for conflict, relationship and transference

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Three main themes of classical and contemporary psychodynamic theories of therapy are reviewed and their application to intervention with the bereaved is considered: 1) The unconscious experience of bereaved individuals following loss is a central aspect of psychodynamic therapy as it addresses drive, defense and conflict. 2) The bereaved's self- and other-focused relational schema are considered under the object-relations paradigm. 3) The transference relationship in therapy of the bereaved must make allowances for the bereaved's involvement with the deceased. The application of these aspects of theory to the specifics of working with bereaved individuals is explored in the therapy of a young man bereft of his father.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalOmega: Journal of Death and Dying
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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