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Death Of A Partner Essay

1396 words - 6 pages

Running head: LOSING A PARNTER AND applicable TREATMENTS

Abstract
The article looks at to two circumstances of loss: losing a partner from a prolonged illness or the sudden and unforeseen loss resulting from an accident or similar situation. Several relevant principles taken from the Family Systems Theory are the sources of treatment recommended by the author for these types of grief cases. She uses two specific examples of each to demonstrate this to the reader. The author also discusses the similarities and differences in each case type and how they influence diagnosis and treatment possibilities for a particular patient. My own experience of losing a spouse influenced the ...view middle of the document...

She gives brief and insightful explanations of each principle, but more time should have been spent discussing the complete theory (p. 227). A paragraph describing it would have been helpful without detracting from the article’s main idea or themes.
The principles from the Family System Theories when working with a patient who has lost a partner are: (1) emotional support of the immediate and/or extended family, (2) maintaining a familiar, healthy balanced lifestyle, (3) appreciating empathy and shared grief among family members, (4) reminiscing about and among family members, (5) being patient as adjustments and changes to previous roles of family members will likely occur, and finally, (6) accepting that grief is a process that will envelop a range of emotions and individual judgments, but understanding that, in the end, a person is responsible for his or her own behaviors (p. 227). After reading and considering these principles and weighing them against my previous experiences, I agree that these are important factors for providing and receiving support after such a tragedy. However, they are not to be considered procedures to follow for all people. These principles may have varying relevance, the author explains, depending on whether the spouse is in the process dying or has already passed away (p. 228).
The idea of trauma-organized systems was interesting to me as well. This looks at the way a family reorganizes and restructures itself to best deal with a crisis. Essentially, major and minor duties are assigned as family members rally to manage the details that must be attended to, allowing the surviving partner time to process the loss. This may look slightly different in cases in which the loss had not yet transpired. In these cases crisis procedures would more likely develop gradually rather than quickly. Crisis management also can be affected by how much and what kind of support is available. For example, an elderly couple may not have any surviving family members to call on for help (p. 228).
The first scenario the article deals with is loss resulting from a long-term illness. The author lists a range of issues that may affect people during these often drawn out tragedies. Influences such as type of illness, ages of the persons implicated, or socioeconomic status are just a few of them. One of the most significant actions that the article stresses is honest, comprehensive communication between those closely involved. This is especially important with older couples who have lost some of their own individual identity because of an adopted “couple’s identity.” Communication must occur before an illness advances to a state where the ailing partner can no longer articulate his or her own thoughts (p. 229).
The author helps validate this ideology by referencing a patient of hers, “Mrs. Z.” Mrs. Z experienced anxiety and stress as her husband’s health declined. She was unaccustomed to being the one in charge of...

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