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The Colors of Grief: Understanding a Child's Journey through Loss from Birth to Adulthood [Paperback]

PhD Janis A. Di Ciacco
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 15, 2008 1843108860 978-1843108863 1
Following a life shattering experience, a child enters upon a confusing emotional journey that can be likened to a prism of many colors of dark feelings like sadness and fear, but also warm feelings of love and courage. The way they deal with these feelings has a lasting impact on their life as they grow. The Colors of Grief explores strategies for supporting a grieving child to ensure a healthy growth into adulthood. Drawing on the latest research in neurology and psychology, Janis Di Ciacco illustrates the childa??s grieving process using a model of development that employs a??key stagesa??. These range from preverbal infancy (0a??2 years) through to early adulthood (about 25 years). She shows how a childa??s progress through these stages can be impaired by an early encounter with loss, which can contribute to cognitive, emotional and social difficulties. Drawing connections between bereavement, attachment issues and social dysfunction, the author suggests easy-to-use activities for intervention at each key stage, including infant massage, aromatherapy and storytelling. This is a revealing and accessible book for both parents and professionals working with, or caring for, bereaved infants, children or young adults.

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The Colors of Grief: Understanding a Child's Journey through Loss from Birth to Adulthood + Why Did You Die?: Activities to Help Children Cope with Grief and Loss
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Following a life shattering experience, a child enters upon a confusing emotional journey that can be likened to a prism of many colors of dark feelings like sadness and fear, but also warm feelings of love and courage. The way they deal with these feelings has a lasting impact on their life as they grow.The Colors of Grief explores strategies for supporting a grieving child to ensure a healthy growth into adulthood. Drawing on the latest research in neurology and psychology, Janis Di Ciacco illustrates the child's grieving process using a model of development that employs 'key stages'. These range from preverbal infancy (0-2 years) through to early adulthood (about 25 years). She shows how a child's progress through these stages can be impaired by an early encounter with loss, which can contribute to cognitive, emotional and social difficulties. Drawing connections between bereavement, attachment issues and social dysfunction, the author suggests easy-to-use activities for intervention at each key stage, including infant massage, aromatherapy and storytelling.This is a revealing and accessible book for both parents and professionals working with, or caring for, bereaved infants, children or young adults.

'The Colors of Grief: Understanding a Child's Journey through Loss from Birth to Adulthood by Janis A Di Ciacco is an intersting book that discusses ways to aid children in their journey through grief. While it is less academic, it is very much an excellent description of the concepts of grief as applies to various age groups of young grievers. Many practical suggestions are offered in the apprendices including therapeutic activities such as massage, puzzles, rock, aromatherapy, stress balls and story telling; transitional tools such as window cards and pain comforters; and lastly, "Mary Poppins' Milk Recipe". It is a very strucured book For those who like lists and orderly presentations, it is an excellent book. While most of the information is not new, it is presented in a fashion that makes it easy for the reader to understand what is being presented. It would be considered to be a very good "self-help" book for parents and others who work with children. Counsellors might find it useful It is well organized and quite readable. It is a good book that deserves to be read. I recommend it.'- Illness, Crisis & Loss'I believe this book has the potential to profoundly change how our culture perceives and experiences grief. I believe this book is an impressive contribution to understanding the loss experience. It introduces with great depth a variety of therapeutic strategies, techniques, and practices that may be of great interest for parents, caregivers, teachers, counselors, psychologists, therapists, clinicians, mentors, social workers, and other professionals who have to deal with knowledge and understanding of not only our attachments and relationships as children but how we feel, think, and act as adults. This book should also be considered as an excellent scientific and practical resource for researchers and practitioners in this area or related specializations. The book introduces a great intellectual challenge. It raises new questions in relation to our practices concerning the issue of loss in our educational and social organizations.'- PsyCritiques'This is a revealing and accessible book for both parents and professionals working with, or caring for, bereaved infants, children or young adults.'- Bristol Bereavement Forum'This book explores strategies for supporting a grieving child to ensure a healthy passage into adulthood. The confusing emotions experienced by a grieving child are likened to a prism of many colours, hence the title...The author's experience shines through and I think this book would be useful to both health care professionals and parents who are involved with a grieving child.' - Palliative Care Australia

About the Author

Janis Di Ciacco, PhD has a Masterâ s Degree in Special Education, a Diplôme Linguistique from the Université de Besançon and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified school psychologist. For the past 30 years, Dr. Di Ciacco has worked with children and their families around issues of attachment and loss, death and dying, foster placement and adoption, post-traumatic stress disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, autism / Aspergerâ s, and pediatric brain injury. She is also founder of Mindful Moods, LLC, dedicated to the creation of preverbal emotional tools for children and adults and is the creator of the Mood Patch. Dr. Di Ciacco regularly gives seminars and presentations for parents and professionals throughout the US.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley; 1 edition (June 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843108860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843108863
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, practical, parent-friendly December 12, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In The Colors of Grief, Janis A. Di Ciacco describes for parents and practitioners the process and expressions of children's grief at various developmental stages. She combines psychological insights, such as the stages of grief or cognitive development theory, with practical implications for parents who are trying to understand and aid their grieving children. While some of the author's spiritual assumptions are questionable, the tight focus of this book on children makes it a valuable resource for me as future children's pastor.

Content Synopsis

Part 1 of Di Ciacco's book is about the general concepts of grief and loss as they affect children. All infants bond with the first person that they are physically close to, generally the mother. The infant attaches emotionally and psychologically to the primary caregiver, so if she dies or is killed, the infant is significantly traumatized. The security and familiarity of routines, physical contact, and hidden regulators are lost, causing fear and anxiety. Di Ciacco then walks the parent through normal emotions during grief, including fear, anger, shame, guilt, depression, and withdrawal. These are all normal responses to the vulnerability and abandonment a child feels after a loss. Many emotions actually serve as defensive mechanisms to postpone the grieving process until a child's brain has matured to deal with the abstract reality of death. Next, Di Ciacco describes the stages of grief, giving common false beliefs by children of different ages as they deny what happened or reflect a misunderstanding of the totality of death. One significant observation here is that due to the lack of development, many children cannot use words to describe their emotions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book August 16, 2008
Format:Paperback
This book is an absolute must for caregivers and professionals working with children. It is a compassionate, thorough, developmental look at loss through the eyes of a child. This book has been invaluable for me working with familites of loss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Up to date and excellent reading April 21, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very well written and easy to read book that is based on up to date academic literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource! October 29, 2008
Format:Paperback
Excellent resource for anyone wanting to better understand the feelings and behaviors of children who have experienced early losses, and how their experiences of loss effect relationships as an adult. This is a must read for therapists who deal with children. Sandra S. Thomas, Ph.D.
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