This review will be conducted within the framework of the Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) (Nash, 2004), wherein it is a narrative that is honest, self-disclosing and scholarly, all at the same time. As Nash says,
I contend that what you have lived, loved, loathed and learned in a lifetime of extraordinary (or ordinary) challenges and satisfactions can be of enormous benefit to others (p. 24).
Therefore this review will include personal insight and experience where such disclosure feels warranted and useful.
I’m noticing more and more that the grief literature focused on bereavement loss can be equally applied to the (small) grief literature on separation and divorce.
Take, for example, this passage from grief and loss luminary Worden (2009):
The loss of a significant other causes a broad range of grief reactions, which we have seen are normal after such an experience. Most people are able to cope with these reactions and address the four tasks of mourning on their own, thereby making some kind of an adaptation to the loss. However, some people experience high levels of distress that bring them to counseling. Since an initial high level of distress is one of the best predictors of later distress, it can indicate that the person is at risk for a poor bereavement outcome. In such cases, counseling can often help bring about a more effective adaptation to the loss. (p. 83).
My point is that this could equally be written about grieving for the separated and divorced. Couldn’t it?
Worden, J. W. (2009). Grief counselling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner (Fourth ed.). New York: Springer.
This week’s Lifelong Human Development lecture generated a strong reaction in me, particularly around Attachment Theory.
One of the points in the ‘adult’ box to the right points to my personal distress over the end of my marriage, but my marriage breakup isn’t the first time that I’ve been distraught over a relationship ending. There have been two other relationships in my life that have seen me distraught, unable to function, when they ended.
I wonder if there is literature extant that helps to ‘correct’ the imbalance that ambivalent attachment can bring.