Counting Our Losses
Reflecting on Change, Loss, and Transition in Everyday Life
Edited by Darcy L. Harris
Routledge – 2011 – 291 pages
This text is a valuable resource for clinicians who work with clients dealing with non-death, nonfinite, and ambiguous losses in their lives. It explores adjustment to change, transition, and loss from the perspective of the latest thinking in bereavement theory and research. The specific and unique aspects of different types of loss are discussed, such as infertility, aging, chronic illnesses and degenerative conditions, divorce and separation, immigration, adoption, loss of beliefs, and loss of employment. Harris and the contributing authors consider these from an experiential perspective, rather than a developmental one, in order to focus on the key elements of each loss as it may be experienced at any point in the lifespan. Concepts related to adaptation and coping with loss, such as resilience, hardiness, meaning making and the assumptive world, transcendence, and post traumatic growth are considered as part of the integration of loss into everyday life experience.
"Counting Our Losses attends to the non-death losses that we encounter on a regular basis, although we often fail to appreciate their prevalence and their import. It provides a treasure trove of insights and guidance for counselors who seek to help individuals cope with these daunting challenges." - Charles A. Corr, PhD, Vice-Chair of Suncoast Institute, the research and education affiliate of Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida
"Dr. Harris has, not only through her own contributions in the this volume on loss, but also those of her carefully selected group of leading researchers and clinicians, advanced our understanding of the psychological meaning and implications of loss. This is a highly relevant work for both researchers and clinicians who focus their energies in work with individuals across all aspects of the lifespan." - Alan Leschied, PhD, CPsych, Psychologist and Professor, The University of Western Ontario
"This book is a wonderful gift. It expands our perspective on the significant but too often disenfranchised losses that affect so many. This work will become a classic, broadening our understanding of grief." - Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, Professor of Gerontology, The College of New Rochelle
"The issue of nonfinite loss has been ignored in the literature for a long time. Dr. Harris’ sensitive treatment of this issue will help clinicians understand the wide range of losses that affect all people. It also provides us with a roadmap to help us work more effectively with our client’s in order to help them heal." Howard R. Winokuer, PhD, The Winokuer Center for Counseling and Healing; Past President, Association for Death Education and Counseling
"This beautifully written collection represents a major contribution to the theoretical and clinical literature on grief and loss. It is unique in its attention to the many unacknowledged, hidden, and silent losses that shape the course of human lives. It should be essential reading for all health care and mental health professionals." Judith Daniluk, PhD, Professor of Counselling Psychology, University of British Columbia
"[This] is a volume that is practical in its purpose, sweeping in its scope, and occasionally poetic in its prose. Far from leaving the reader mired in hopelessness in response to life’s ineluctable losses, it offers a compassionate vision within which to engage them, moving from grief to growth, and from reassessment to resilience." From the Foreword by Robert Neimeyer, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Memphis
"Rare is the photographer who can adjust the lens for the widest sweep while giving equal care to the hidden, uncertain, and ignored. With Counting Our Losses, we have the lens work of editor Darcy Harris and 22 contributors, the compilation of both the wide sweep and the focused. It is all here, from the loss of a world view to a lost sense of justice, to diminished self-worth or lost relationships, this book is a summons bearing your name." Richard B. Gilbert, PhD, DMin, CT, author, speaker, resource consultant, professor, Mercy College, New York
Section I: Introduction Harris, Gorman, Grief from a Broader Perspective: Nonfinite Loss, Ambiguous Loss, and Chronic Sorrow. Harris, The Social Context of Loss and Grief. Section II: Loss of View of the World and/or Others Part A: Loss of Safety and Security Abercromby, Are You Safe? Loss Related to Personal Violation. Modesto, Traumatic Events and Mass Disasters in the Public Sphere. Gorman, Vicarious Trauma and Professional Caregiver Stress: Occupational Hazards or Powerful Teachers? Part B: Relational Losses Harris, Navigating Intimate Relationship Loss: When the Relationship Dies, but the Person is Still Living. Schacter, Schacter, Adoption: A Life Begun with Loss. Silverman, Losses for Birthmothers Who Place Children for Adoption. Lewis, Gorman, Loss Related to Developmental Milestones: An Analysis of the Post Parental Transition. Cushing, Change and Transition in Non-Kinship Groups. Section III: Loss of Meaning or of a Sense of Justice in the World Attig, Existential Suffering: Anguish over the Human Condition. Hunter, Relinquishment of Certainty. Harvey, Loss of Religious Community. Section IV: Loss of the View of Self as Worthy or Valuable Part A: Loss of Identity Kauffman, The Trauma of Neglect. Sawicki, We are not like Other People: Identity Loss and Reconstruction Following Migration. Harris, Isenor, Loss of Employment. Harris, Infertility and Reproductive Loss. Scott, Coming Out: Intrapersonal Loss in the Acquisition of a Stigmatized Identity. Part B: Loss of Functionality Gorman, Chronic, Degenerative Conditions and Loss. Kosminsky, Traumatic Brain Injury. Langer, Who did You Used to Be? Loss for Older Adults. Section V: Coping with Losses in Life Gorman, Adaptation, Resilience, and Growth after Loss. Harris, Meaning-Making and the Assumptive World in Non-Death Loss. Harris, Integrating Loss in Everyday Life.