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Meaning reconstruction in bereavement: Development of a research program

Journal title
Death studies
Publication year
Neimeyer, R. A.

The death of a significant person, especially when it comes tragically or prematurely, can shake the foundations of our assumptive and relational world and lead to anguished attempts to find meaning in the loss and in our lives in its aftermath. In this article, I review one program of research focused on this attempt at meaning reconstruction, describe recently developed measures of meaning in mourning, and discuss several therapeutic techniques for helping clients make sense of the death and rework their attachment relationship to the deceased. I conclude by illustrating some of this work in my therapy with a couple grieving the loss of not one but two children to tragic accidents, as they try to adapt to a compound traumatic bereavement.

Research abstracts