Aggrieved on
By Donnali Fifield

KotaPress Editor's Note:
Donnali let us publish an essay from her in our December 2001 Loss Journal issue, and I have been impressed ever since. As I work in social services and mental health services each day, I am stunned to come across more and more "academic" therapists who refuse to listen to the experiences of the bereaved and rather carelessly disregard the voices of the bereaved as "lay people" who don't know anything. Donnali's voice is strong and clear, and I know many therapists who need to be reading more works like hers. Hope you will surf over to TimesTwoPublishing and find out more about her work!

A note from Donnali:

The essay, Aggrieved (published in the KotaPress Loss Journal in December 2001), was mainly excerpted and adapted from Chapter 16 of "William & Wendell: A Family Remembered." That chapter deals most specifically with the limitations of grief theory, and the unnecessary pressures it has created for the bereaved.

At the end of the essay is a link to the afterword, "Let the guinea pigs speak: Detaching grief from theory." It addresses the new trends in grief therapy. A number of bereavement experts have started to reverse some of the contentions therapists have long maintained about grief, including the concept of resolution. Although this developing movement among grief professionals shows more consideration for the feelings of the bereaved than traditional grief theory, it still upholds several therapeutic criteria that are prohibitive. The afterword suggests how the bereaved can protect themselves from any psychological theory that diverges from their experience or makes them feel worse.

(Another KotaPress editor's note: Check out her work in full!)

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