Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
April 09, 2001
'Living with unresolved grief' topic of workshop at U of G
The University of Guelph’s Couple and Family Therapy Centre is co-sponsoring a workshop Friday, April 20, on strategies for living with unresolved grief.
The workshop will feature Pauline Boss, a University of Minnesota family science professor who is an expert on family relations and family therapy. She will talk about “Ambiguous Loss” and the effects on families, couples and individuals.
Boss, a researcher, author, therapist, and past president of the National Council on Family Relations, coined the term “ambiguous loss.” It refers to two types of situations: when a loved one is physically missing but psychologically present, such as a child kidnapping, an adoption or a missing person; or when a family member is psychologically missing but physically present. “This would refer to situations such as when a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or has had a stroke; they are physically there, but psychologically, they are not the person they were before,” says Jean Turner, co-director of the Couple and Family Therapy Centre and a professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition. “It becomes difficult for people to acknowledge the part of the loved one that is gone while they are still here. These are painful but all too common occurrences.”
The workshop will focus on how ambiguous loss differs from ordinary loss, coping strategies for people who have experienced such losses, guidelines for intervention, and implications for professionals involved in this type of work. The session is aimed at social workers, therapists, counsellors, clergy, doctors, nurses, long-term caregivers and mental health professionals, although the general public may also attend. It runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University’s Arboretum. Cost is $95 for professionals and $65 for students. The workshop is also sponsored by the Cambridge Interfaith Counselling Centre and the Kitchener Interfaith Counselling Centre.
In addition to co-sponsoring the workshop, the Couple and Family Therapy Centre also provides services that help people deal with ambiguous loss, Turner said. The Centre has a dual mission of providing therapy to families, couples and individuals and training graduate students. Faculty members supervise sessions that are conducted by graduate interns. They specialize in counselling for life transitions such as death and separation or divorce, parenting challenges, intimacy problems, stress and anxiety. Cost of therapy services is negotiable and may be provided on an affordable fee schedule.
For more information on the workshop or the Couple and Family Therapy Centre, contact Rosemary Sartori, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 6426.
For media questions, contact: Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 3338.