The grieving process after child loss from the perspective of the continuing bonds theory: a systematic case study
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Zakład Terapii Rodzin i Psychosomatyki, Katedra Psychiatrii Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum
Młodzieżowa Poradnia Profilaktyki i Terapii „Poza Iluzją”, Warszawa
Joanna Jurek   

Collegium Medicum UJ, ul. Chrzanowskiego 4 m.23, 04-381 Warszawa, Polska
Submission date: 2018-10-23
Final revision date: 2018-11-11
Acceptance date: 2018-11-14
Publication date: 2018-12-29
Psychoter 2018;187(4):31–42
The authors present the grief of a mother after the loss of her child. This case study is an illustration of the research problem of the mourning process from the perspective of the continuing bonds theory and the ability to mentalize. According to the theory, the bond with the deceased is initially manifested by a strong need for physical closeness, stress associated with separation and a psychological protest that evolves over time into despair. In the situation of a proper mourning process, the people who experience the loss move on to the reorganization phase, consisting in the establishment of a psychological bond. Therefore, the aim of the research analysis was to determine which topics related to the description of death and experiencing grief refer to physical, specific ways of coping (characteristic of the first stages of mourning), and which refer to mental states indicating the reorganization of the experience of loss. This case study is part of a larger project investigating parents after their child's death.