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How people cope with Grief and Loss

             How a practitioner relates to and supports a person seeking counseling is dependent to a large degree on their world-view and theoretical orientation. The practitioner holds a position of considerable power and influence and has a responsibility for the direction and the method of this influence. (Ivey et al.,1987). An important aspect of that responsibility is a self-awareness of professional and personal limits. Worden (1991) sees a lack of self-awareness as an impediment to meaningful and helpful interventions. Conforming to one particular theoretical orientation may not benefit the client and may hinder or alienate the practitioner from being able to work collaboratively with other professionals in the best interests of the client.
             The task then is to have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of different theoretical positions and be flexible in the use of these skills and knowledge.
             New theoretical perspectives and models along with knowledge from scientific studies have evolved and developed from the traditional major psychological models of mourning. As a result the practitioner's ability to working with and support clients experiencing situations of loss is enhanced. .
             Although ultimately major loss may result in personal growth that is positive loss can also result in long-term emotional distress. (Harvey & Weber, 1998) Should a persons experience of loss include "problem grieving "the practitioner must ensure continued care and support that is appropriate for that person. This may involve liaison and/or referral to another discipline or professional. .
             By outlining the major different theoretical orientations and noting the similarities and contrasts it is apparent that no one theoretical orientation should be rigidly adhered to. Rather the incorporation of multiple models or a combination of models ensure that the client is supported in the most effective and appropriate manner.

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