With this book, John H. Harvey—widely acknowledged as a key founder of the field of loss and trauma—introduces this broad, interdisciplinary field to undergraduate and beginning graduate students. While many texts cover individual areas such as death and dying or stress and coping, none cover the diversity of loss events that Harvey does in this single volume. Perspectives on Loss and Trauma is the first undergraduate text to present major loss as an encompassing category that includes trauma, death and dying, and stress and coping. It reviews theory and research on the most challenging types of human loss and trauma:

death and dying; disease and injuries; war and violence; divorce and dissolution; unemployment and homelessness; the holocaust and genocide

Written in consideration of cross-cultural, international perspectives on loss, Perspectives on Loss and Trauma discusses relevant therapy approaches and emphasizes a story-telling approach to coping with major loss. It concludes with chapters on therapy and personal adjustment to loss, providing immediate applicability to counselors, therapists, social workers, and other human service professionals.

Losing Loved Ones to Death

Losing loved ones to death

They say when you bury your parents, you bury your past. And when you bury your spouse, you bury your present. But when you bury your child, you bury your future.


Life is short but love is long.

—Epitaph for 11-year-old boy, Mells Churchyard, Somerset, England (1960)

At the same time that I was writing a draft of this chapter I was also preparing to give a talk at Indiana University regarding the abduction and possible murder of a female student at that university in the summer of 2000. This talk was difficult because of the open-ended nature of the loss of this person and the fact that her parents would be present at my talk. In such situations, ...

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