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AbstractThis document is an invite to join me on a journey that follows the path of bereaved children, adolescents and their families who attended seven bereavement groups within a mental health setting. This thesis sets out to illustrate how families hold and maintain grief within the family system and how effective a bereavement group is as a form of therapeutic intervention. The bereavement group is a platform where families bring their private stories into a public domain and talk about the concerns that they have seen in their families since the bereavement. As an insider/outsider researcher I am of the opinion that by talking, listening and sharing their stories with other families with similar experiences within the groups, families can begin to think about what could be done differently if they want something to change within their family system. By sharing, families learn how to go with their grief without their loved ones and begin to create new narratives about the next part of their journey. The group can provide an opportunity for families to hear the ‘Untold’ stories and begin to create new narratives within their family system. The bereavement group also acts as a lens that allows me to look into my practice as a family therapist within a social constructionist framework and make new meaning of the stories that families bring within the bereavement groups. A tapestry is created from the complex diverse stories of grief that are interwoven with each family that attends the bereavement group. Each family brings their own pattern of bereavement and creates new patterns as their experience is shared with other families. Data is taken from the conversations at the assessment, treatment and follow up stages to highlight what difficulties the families have when there is bereavement. This is to ascertain what factors may be contributing to holding and maintaining the grief in the family and whether a bereavement group is effective in bringing the issues out for all family members to discuss. Different methods are used to deconstruct the different themes and unpick the ‘Told’ stories. At the end of this journey my hope is that there is more awareness about the effect of bereavement and how it shows itself in children’s mental health and how the family system can be affected.
CitationWilson, A. (2012) 'Taking the private into the public'. Professional Doctorate thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice
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