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Behavioral Activation for Pathological Grief

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The death of a significant other often entails far-reaching changes in individuals' life that can contribute to pathological grief responses. This article reviews 3 prominent theories of grief resolution, highlights common factors proposed to be associated with pathological grief responses, and suggests that behavioral activation (Martell, Addis, & Jacobson, 2001) may address the factors contributing to pathological grieving. Behavioral activation applied to pathological grief may address loss related disruption by engaging bereaved individuals in their social environment and increasing contact with positive reinforcers that maintain sense of self. Two case studies are provided to demonstrate how behavioral activation can be adapted to remediate environmental disengagement, avoidance, and rumination typical of pathological grief responses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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