What is “Complicated Grief”

“When dealing with death caused by a traumatic event, it is important to recognize that the trauma must be processed before grieving can take place.” (Rando, 1993)

Typically experts talk about Complicated Grief

  • when the survivor is < 30 years old or > 65 years
  • when young children are living at home
  • the circumstances of death are one of the following : – Long illness (over 18 months), sudden death, violent death, the idea that death could have been prevented.
  • when the client experiences the lack of family, friends… and there is (the feeling of) lack of support
  • when concurrent losses have happened within the past year : the death of another close person, a divorce, a job loss, a retirement, children leaving home, a major surgery or illness.
  • when the quality of relationships is conflicted, ambivalent or highly dependent.
  • when there is a history of health problems.
  • when there is a history of poor coping skills in past crises.
  • when you Lost a child : any age (includes reproductive loss, still death, adult children)

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