WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF BEREAVEMENT COUNSELLING?

SENIOR ACCREDITED PSYCHOTHERAPIST-Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

When extended families,religious rituals,and ethnic traditions were   the norm, mourners received ample support from their culture. As assimilation and alienation pervaded American society, people became removed from necessary support systems, from a caring community.  With no secular mourning  rituals to serve as guides through grief, and  no known formalized way to complete the emotional relationship with  the deceased, mental healthprofessionals saw symptoms of   depression in the bereaved  population.

Various services for the bereaved were initiated in the mid-sixties. Telephone “hot lines”  were  established by hospitals and community   agencies. Phyllis Silverman, at Harvard Medical Laboratories,  established a Widowedto-Widowed program,where a professionally  trained widow reaches out to a newly widowed member of  her community on a one-to-one basis.  In the early seventies, groups of  parents  who lost children to leukemia formed a national support network, as did parents whose babies succumbed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. By the midseventies most major…

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