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Research Article

Effects of Support, Counselling and Therapy Before and After the Loss: Can we Really Help Bereaved People?

Authors:

Henk Schut ,

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, NL
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Margaret Stroebe

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, NL
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Abstract

Can other persons, personally or professionally, help bereaved individuals deal with the loss of a loved one? An increasing number of empirical studies, as well as qualitative and quantitative reviews, have addressed this question. Here, the main findings are summarised and implications for researchers and practitioners considered. First, provision of help from the informal social network and volunteers/professionals in the post-loss period is examined. Second, and uniquely in this research area, examination is extended to the efficacy of intervention for family members prior to their bereavement (i.e., in the context of palliative/end-of-life care). To what extent do the pre-loss patterns mirror those for post-bereavement intervention efficacy? A main conclusion is that intervention is not effective for bereaved persons in general, either when this is provided before or after the actual loss. It is important to identify and target high-risk persons. Further scientific and clinical implications of the patterns of results are discussed.
How to Cite: Schut, H. & Stroebe, M., (2010). Effects of Support, Counselling and Therapy Before and After the Loss: Can we Really Help Bereaved People?. Psychologica Belgica. 50(1-2), pp.89–102. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-50-1-2-89
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Published on 01 Sep 2010.
Peer Reviewed

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