- Paperback: 422 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (April 28, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415877016
- ISBN-13: 978-0415877015
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Helping Grieving People - When Tears Are Not Enough: A Handbook for Care Providers, 2nd Edition (Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement) 2nd Edition
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"Helping Grieving People: When Tears Are Not Enough is appropriate for anyone seeking specific and practical directions on change, loss, and grieving. Jeffery’s writing style and the book's organization facilitate intellectual, emotional, and experimental understanding of grief responses for all readers. It is an excellent choice for a textbook in gerontology and end-of-life courses. It is a must-have book for libraries." -Cheryl Osborne, California State University Sacramento
"I found this book very positive, helpful and detailed. Information is subdivided into easy chunks with clear headings. There are helpful questions to ask oneself or others." –The Transactional Analyst
"Making an excellent book even better, Jeffreys’ updated edition richly integrates professional and personal information to provide caregivers with the tools to best enable coping in the dying and bereaved. A superb resource!" - Therese A. Rando, PhD, BCETS, BCBT, The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Loss, Rhode Island, USA
"Shep Jeffreys provides a great tool for clinicians and a gift for individuals struggling with loss. This book offers compassionate observations … as well as an integration of the most contemporary theories and research." - Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, Professor, The Graduate School, The College of New Rochelle, New York, USA; Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation of America
"What makes this book unique is how Dr. Jeffreys blends his own experiences with the loss of his son into the fabric of what is a most useful book. I highly recommend it." -William Worden, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, California, USA
"Shep Jeffreys models admirably his own ideal as an ‘exquisite witness care provider’ for grieving people, drawing upon lessons learned from his own loss experiences and experiences of grieving people in diverse life circumstances." - Thomas Attig, PhD, Past President, Association for Death Education and Counseling
"The additional research adds greater breadth and depth to an array of outstanding clinical and pastoral resources. [This is] a valuable clinical and pastoral reference." - Rev. C. Kevin Gillespie, SJ, PhD, Associate Professor, Loyola University of Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, USA
"In Helping Grieving People, Jeffreys artfully combines theory and research with clinical and personal experience. The book captures the complexity of the grief process and offers useful and practical guidelines for anyone supporting the bereaved." - Carol Wogrin, PsyD, RN, Director, National Center for Death Education, Mount Ida College, Massachusetts, USA
"Some books hook a reader early. This one hooked me with a story―of a boy named Steven who died too young and a family who chose to embrace grief. Only a professional who has experienced grief so ‘close up,’ and who has spent his career caring for grievers, can write so powerfully and so authentically." - Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT, Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, USA
"Shep Jeffreys has presented a clear and unmistakably informative resource for any caring adult working with the grieving population. His work personifies an experienced professional from the heart quality of this book, to self awareness exercise, grieving principles, and useful interventions and resources." - Linda Goldman, MS, LCPC, FT, private practice, Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA
"This is a wise, helpful, accessible book with excellent grounding in the literature and the author's practice and personal experience. It is an invaluable foundation for beginners at helping the bereaved, and there are also many riches for experienced helpers." - Paul C. Rosenblatt, PhD, Professor of Family Social Science, the University of Minnesota, USA
"This edition is even better and more complete than the original. It is a must-must have, must-read for caregivers. It overflows with good advice and good sense, clearly the work of someone who has known both ends of the healing process, as a healer and as one who needed healing and found it." - Rabbi Harold Kushner, Author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
"Dr. Jeffreys presents a clear understanding of the nature of grief based on empirically supported models and time-tested theories. This book is an invaluable resource and deserves a place in the core curriculum of any helping professional who wishes to be of service to people who are grieving." - Ira Byock, MD, Director, Palliative Care Service, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, New Hampshire
About the Author
J. Shep Jeffreys, Ed.D., F.T., is a licensed psychologist specializing in grief, loss, and end-of-life concerns and is a Fellow in Thanatology (Association for Death Education and Counseling). In addition to maintaining a private practice, Jeffreys is assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and affiliate assistant professor of pastoral counseling, Loyola University Maryland. He is a consultant to hospices, hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutions, and corporations. He has served as trainer and workshop leader with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the United States, Canada, and overseas, and as consulting psychologist for the Johns Hopkins AIDS Service. His column, "Grief Psychologist’s Corner" is a regular feature in Living with Loss Magazine. The author can be found on the web at www.GriefCareProvider.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Then I recently read the second edition of J. Shep Jeffreys' book HELPING GRIEVING PEOPLE - WHEN TEARS ARE NOT ENOUGH: A HANDBOOK FOR CARE PROVIDERS (2011). In my case I am not trying to be a care provider for anybody else but myself.
Jeffreys ably covers certain works in the professional literature that I had read as well as other works that I had not read. In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, he surveys the professional literature and summarizes what each author says - without trying to adjudicate competing claims made by different authors. But his own contribution is in the overall editorial apparatus that he uses in organizing the book and in the direct editorializing that he occasionally provides as he proceeds, most notably on pages 46-49.
As Jeffreys explains, attachment theory as advanced by John Bowlby and others dominates the professional literature about loss and mourning. Briefly stated, we form attachments, which are also referred to as attachment bonding and attachment bonds. We feel a sense of loss in our lives when we experience the loss of an attachment bond with someone or something (including the loss of our dreams in which we had invested ourselves).
In other words, no attachment bond = no experience of loss = no experience of mourning a loss.
As Jeffreys indicates, there are two broad categories of loss:
(1) loss due to the death of someone significant in our lives, which is also known as bereavement, and
(2) nondeath losses.
As Jeffreys discusses nondeath losses, it turns out that nondeath losses can include a wide range of losses, because we can and usually do form a wide range of attachments in our lives.
So loss = loss of attachment bond.
Whenever we experience loss (i.e., the loss of an attachment bond), we need to mourn our loss. At first blush, this sounds straightforward. But there is a serious complication. Depending on our earliest attachment bonding, we may or may not be able to mourn in a healthy way. Jeffreys refers to our earliest attachment bonding in terms of secure attachment bonding and nonsecure attachment bonding.
As a result, we need to speak of (A) a healthy way of mourning, which is connected with secure attachment bonding in our earliest experiences in life, and (B) an unhealthy way of mourning, which is connected with nonsecure attachment bonding in our earliest experiences in life.
Jeffreys identifies three patterns of nonsecure attachment bonding (pages 52-57 and 307):
(1) anxious-ambivalent nonsecure attachment bonding;
(2) dismissive-avoidant nonsecure attachment bonding; and
(3) fearful-avoidant nonsecure attachment bonding.
Jeffreys' account of the three nonsecure forms of attachment bonding helped me understand the import and implication of what my mother told me years before she died - that I had been a colicky baby. To this day, medical doctors do not understand why some babies are colicky. However, it seems unlikely that as a colicky baby I formed a secure attachment bond with my mother. It seems far more likely that I formed a nonsecure attachment bond with her as a result of being a colicky baby, not as a result of any deficiency on her part.
People who experienced nonsecure attachment bonding in their early lives will not be able to mourn losses in their lives in a healthy way, unless and until they somehow experience a new kind of containment experience that they had not experienced early in life. Containment experience is the opposite of abandonment experience, and vice versa.
In the professional literature about loss and mourning, the terms "resolved" and "unresolved" are used. When the healthy mourning process has run its course and been completed, the mourning process is described as having been resolved.
However, people who are not able to mourn in a healthy way do not experience the resolution of their mourning process. As a result, their uncompleted mourning process is described as unresolved. Unresolved mourning remains in their lives - perhaps to be resolved at a later time, if and when they later learn how to experience a new pattern of containment experience to replace their old pattern of abandonment experience.
The mourning process is work, the work of mourning. The mantra to feel the feelings applies to the mourning process. In addition to feeling the feelings of mourning, one needs to express one's feelings somehow, sharing them with others who are able themselves to serve as Exquisite Witnesses (or care providers), as Jeffreys describes me. The Exquisite Witnesses serve the purpose of containment. The emerging process of containment facilitated with the help of the Exquisite Witnesses enables the mourner to learn a new pattern, the pattern of containment, to replace the old dysfunctional pattern of abandonment. However, as Jeffreys emphasizes, there is no one right way to mourn.
Jeffreys forewarns would-be Exquisite Witnesses to be alert to experiencing what he vividly terms Cowbells. He tells a personal story to explain his use of this term (page 5). The basic point is that the Exquisite Witness needs to be alert to how she or he is responding to the mourner. In other words, the mourner is expressing her or his feelings. As the Exquisite Witness listens attentively and empathetically, the Exquisite Witness may experience feelings in herself or himself that signal some unfinished business (i.e., unresolved mourning) from the past.
Now, regarding the work of mourning nondeath losses, I would suggest that Susan Anderson's book THE JOURNEY FROM ABANDONMENT TO HEALING (2000) is basically about mourning nondeath losses. Even though she focuses on the experience of being abandoned by one's marital partner, or by one's lover, she is basically discussing abandonment feelings. In nondeath losses, we experience abandonment feelings. For this reason, her book can be read by anyone experiencing abandonment feelings connected with nondeath losses.
At her website, Susan Anderson, C.S.W., makes her essay "Suffering the Death of a Loved One" (2006) available. The URL for her website is [...] In this essay, she emphasizes that mourning losses due to death is not the same as mourning nondeath losses, even though both kinds of losses involve attachment bonds.
Anderson's claim that mourning the death of a loved one (bereavement) is not the same as mourning nondeath losses strikes me as an important claim. Her efforts to explain as explicitly as she could how the two mourning processes are different helped me sort out my own experiences into the two broad categories discussed by Jeffreys, mentioned above: (1) mourning the loss due to death and (2) mourning nondeath losses.
However, Anderson herself does not explicitly discuss how mourning the death of a loved one (also known as bereavement) might be accompanied by mourning a backlog, as it were, of unresolved mourning of nondeath loss or losses. Jeffreys also does not explicitly discuss this kind of situation, even though he does indeed discuss more global terms such as complicated grief, chronic grief, and prolonged grief (pages 306-311) and even comorbidity (page 311).