The two-track model of bereavement: Overview, retrospect, and prospect

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Sustaining meaning in life, maintaining emotional well-being, and balancing attachments to the living and the deceased are features associated with the psychological (and often private) impact of loss. In the Two-Track Model of Bereavement, the loss process is conceptualized along two distinct but interactive axes that attend to these overt and covert aspects of the response to loss. Whereas Track 1 is concerned with biopsychosocial functioning in the wake of loss, it is Track II that focuses on the bereaved's ongoing emotional attachment and relationship to the deceased. The contributions of the model to theory and research can serve to clarify our thinking about bereavement as a process resonating throughout one's life. Initially, research and clinical findings from bereaved parents are presented to illustrate the Two-Track Model and its contribution to the deepening of our understanding of loss throughout the life cycle. The contributions of the model to clinical practice are then considered for their ability to clarify our thinking and interventions. Two clinical cases illustrate situations where a predominant focus is on one or the other of these tracks. Ultimately, the Two-Track Model of Bereavement's use extends to the organization and clarification of theory, research, and clinical work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-714
Number of pages34
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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