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Ambiguous Loss Theory: Challenges for Scholars and Practitioners

Ambiguous Loss Theory: Challenges for Scholars and Practitioners Introduction On the occasion of my retirement from the University of Minnesota, a symposium was held to encourage the continuation of research about ambiguous loss and boundary ambiguity. This special issue continues that goal. The papers herein illustrate how a new generation of scientists and practitioners applies ambiguous loss theory to understand previously unstudied situations and populations. Their work generates new questions and hypotheses and, hopefully, stimulates others to join the ongoing process of research, practice, and theorizing. Why do we need theorizing? In these times of crises and terror, we need new theories to guide our work in safeguarding the natural resiliency of families. To assess both diversities and commonalities in how families stay strong, we need more inclusive theory to analyze data and guide interventions for easing the family stress and trauma. I began with a universal family experience—loss—and studied it in the context of an additional stressor—ambiguity. Indeed, as Dilworth‐Anderson (2005) writes, intuition begins this process. Observing family therapy in the early 1970s, I noticed physically present fathers were often psychologically absent ( Boss, 1972 ). Soon, I realized that psychological absence was not only just about fathers but also about any loved one in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Family Relations Wiley

Ambiguous Loss Theory: Challenges for Scholars and Practitioners

Family Relations , Volume 56 (2) – Apr 1, 2007

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References (15)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0197-6664
eISSN
1741-3729
DOI
10.1111/j.1741-3729.2007.00444.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Introduction On the occasion of my retirement from the University of Minnesota, a symposium was held to encourage the continuation of research about ambiguous loss and boundary ambiguity. This special issue continues that goal. The papers herein illustrate how a new generation of scientists and practitioners applies ambiguous loss theory to understand previously unstudied situations and populations. Their work generates new questions and hypotheses and, hopefully, stimulates others to join the ongoing process of research, practice, and theorizing. Why do we need theorizing? In these times of crises and terror, we need new theories to guide our work in safeguarding the natural resiliency of families. To assess both diversities and commonalities in how families stay strong, we need more inclusive theory to analyze data and guide interventions for easing the family stress and trauma. I began with a universal family experience—loss—and studied it in the context of an additional stressor—ambiguity. Indeed, as Dilworth‐Anderson (2005) writes, intuition begins this process. Observing family therapy in the early 1970s, I noticed physically present fathers were often psychologically absent ( Boss, 1972 ). Soon, I realized that psychological absence was not only just about fathers but also about any loved one in

Journal

Family RelationsWiley

Published: Apr 1, 2007

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