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Narrative Therapy: Managing Grief of Losing a Partner

Katherine is a thirty-year-old licensed nurse from New York who has been a passionate and altruistic woman driven by the constant desire to help others and make the world a better place to live. Her decision to choose a medical occupation at the age of sixteen was motivated by her father, Dr. Anderson, a professional and well-respected surgeon. Since childhood, Katherine knew her father was a hero saving humans’ lives. Therefore, Katherine was determined to pave her path in the medical field and help thousands of people to survive as her father did.

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Unfortunately, she faced the devastating loss of her husband Jack; he had a brain tumor and was fighting for his life for the past two years. Katherine had ever since felt grief and intense pain for not being able to save her partner’s life. Jack was a successful intellectual property lawyer and a good caring husband. Katherine feels devastated and is unable to return back to work as she has developed a fear of losing each of her patients; they remind her of Jack. It is a profound, traumatic, and life-changing experience for Kate as she watched her husband leaving her. The woman shares her experience of deep confusion, sadness, and a strong will for transformation.

Narrative therapy is a crucial asset to help patients cope with the excruciating grief of loss and desolation. Such empowering therapy allows the client to distance from pain in a healthy manner without completely avoiding the situation (Peri, Hasson-Ohayon, Garber, Tuval-Mashiach, and Boelen, 2016). Deconstructive listening and questioning are essential to successful therapy outcomes. The main steps of narrative therapy would include externalization of the problem, re-authoring conversations with the patient, and defining conversations that empower the client to renew her life and find meaning in her story. A therapist needs to listen to the language Katherine will use to describe her problem, objectify the issue, and ask questions with polite entries. I would create space for the open discussion and try to understand her focus in life now. I would ask Kate what she has always valued in life since she was a child to help her get reconnected to these values and intentions for life. Such questions will help Kate reconnect to her knowingness of the problem and revive the inner power to address the grief correctly, without self-destruction.

Reference

Peri, T., Hasson-Ohayon, I., Garber, S., Tuval-Mashiach, R., & Boelen, P. A. (2016). Narrative reconstruction therapy for prolonged grief disorder—rationale and case study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7(1), 30687. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Narrative Therapy: Managing Grief of Losing a Partner." August 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/narrative-therapy-managing-grief-of-losing-a-partner/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Narrative Therapy: Managing Grief of Losing a Partner." August 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/narrative-therapy-managing-grief-of-losing-a-partner/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Narrative Therapy: Managing Grief of Losing a Partner'. 20 August.

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