Trauma and bereavement: Conceptual and clinical issues revolving around relationships

Simon Shimshon Rubin, Ruth Malkinson, Eliezer Witztum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article re-examines trauma and bereavement and the category of loss considered to be traumatic bereavement. It is argued that the perspective of the relation to the deceased is an insufficiently acknowledged source of traumatic disruption following bereavement. The significance of the relational aspect in bereavement is present in the paradigm of the Two-Track Model of Bereavement (S. Rubin, 1981, 1999). The implications of this approach are examined in the case of a soldier exposed to trauma and death. The case is examined from a traditional trauma perspective stressing exposure to life threat and again from a perspective stressing the significance of the relationship to the deceased. An examination of the different intervention strategies and their outcome lends support to the importance of the relational aspects in this case of trauma and supports the use of the Two-Track Model of Bereavement. The location of trauma as basic to the experience of all bereavement for its impact on the reorganization vis á vis the representation of the loved one now deceased is considered as fundamental to the trauma of all bereavement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-690
Number of pages24
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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