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NAMI Ambiguous Loss Talk Deck

NAMI Ambiguous Loss Talk Deck



This is the deck used for our NAMI PA Main Line Forum on November 17, 2013 in Ardmore, PA at Ardmore Presbyterian Church, led by Craig DeLarge

This is the deck used for our NAMI PA Main Line Forum on November 17, 2013 in Ardmore, PA at Ardmore Presbyterian Church, led by Craig DeLarge



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    NAMI Ambiguous Loss Talk Deck NAMI Ambiguous Loss Talk Deck Presentation Transcript

    • The Author: Pauline Boss —  Pauline Boss, Ph.D., is emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota and was visiting professor at Harvard Medical School, 1995-1996, and Hunter School of Social Work, 2004-2005. —  She is best known for groundbreaking research as the pioneer theorist and clinical practitioner of stress reduction for people whose loved ones are ambiguously lost. Show Pauline Boss Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vYyefAgZ0&list=PLKohpxO3szDgqAnKS_9UIZiLKnBXBcNpG
    • What is Ambiguous Loss? —  Loss without closure, social acknowledgement or ritual, or normal means of coping & grieving, unlike ordinary loss —  2 Types: ¡  Type #1 - Physically absent but psychologically present ¡  Type #2 - Physically present but psychologically absent —  Stressful, tormenting, confusing, uncontrollable, indeterminate, exhausting, guiltful, conflicting
    • What is Ambiguous Loss? —  Ambiguous loss is a relational disorder and not an individual pathology.   —  With ambiguous loss, the problem comes from the outside context (situation) and not from your psyche.   —  It follows, then, that family- and community-based interventions—as opposed to individual therapy— will be less resisted and thus more effective. – Pauline Boss
    • Ambiguous Loss Types & Examples T1: Physical Absence T2: Psychological Absence —  Missing loved ones from —  Dementia/Alzheimer’s abduction, military, college —  Missing from war, terrorism or natural disaster —  Abandonment —  Adoption —  Immigration —  Mental Illness —  Brain injury —  Chronic Illness —  Autism —  Depression —  Addiction —  Workaholism
    • Ambiguous Loss sufferers are… —  denied rituals & acknowledgement of closure & stigmatized —  denied emotional & social support by society —  expected to carry on as normal amid uncertainty —  struggling with dark emotions: grief, doubt, guilt, anger, fear, anxiety, depression, help/hopelessness, isolation, exhaustion, ambivalence, denial & PTSD (without the post) —  faced with determining how their loved one fits in the family & tempted with withdrawal —  struggling with responsibility boundaries —  often immobilized owing to ambiguity of situation
    • Coping Options —  Developing resilience & comfort with ambiguity —  Self-care: rest, recreation, accepting help; humor —  Taking refuge in community —  Acceptance & letting go; “ease w/ imperfection” —  Dialectic & narrative therapy: mindfulness & storytelling —  Validation of loss —  Mastery of the controllable —  Meaning making; celebrating what is
    • Meaning Making Factors 1.  Family of origin & early social experiences 2.  Spiritual world view: things happen for reason 3.  Habits of thinking: optimism v. pessimism 4.  View of cause/effect: neat equation v. random
    • Resilience Guidelines —  Finding Meaning —  Tempering mastery with acceptance —  Reconstructing identity (Psychological Family) —  Normalizing Ambivalence (Turning Point) —  Revising Attachment —  Discovering Hope: “AL doesn’t have to be devastating”
    • Ambiguous Loss Coping Actions can include: —  Labeling the loss —  Getting educated —  Identifying the loss —  Identifying remaining consistencies —  Encouraging acceptance/empathy for different views —  Facilitating problem solving in a safe holding space —  Sharing care
    • Good Coping Examples —  Sewell Family: mother with dementia and sons: able to enjoy the new, shifting view, continuing joyous parts of life —  Native American Women: mother with dementia: “not failure but circle of life” —  Betty & Kenny Klein: lost boys: “holding 2 opposing ideas”
    • Loving the Questions —  “be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue... And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some day into the answer." —  Rainer Maria Rilke
    • Other Resources —  My Diigo bookmark list of Ambiguous Loss resources which supported my research can be found here: https://www.diigo.com/user/cadelarge/ ambiguous_loss —  I can also be reached at craig@wiseworking.com