Ambiguous Loss: A Critical Review of Current Research
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SubjectLoss (Psychology) -- Research; Deprivation (Psychology) -- Research.; Emotions and cognition -- Research; Grief -- Research
This paper reviews past and current literature pertaining to Ambiguous Loss (AL), provides critique of current research, outlines possible directions for future research, and evaluates the most effective practices for treating AL. Two specific types of AL will be addressed: Physical and Emotional/Cognitive. In Physical AL the loved one is physically absent with no remains or opportunity for closure. Emotional/Cognitive AL occurs when the loved one is physically present but emotionally/cognitively absent. Lack of breadth and depth of research on this topic, especially as related to effective therapeutic approaches, indicates many possible avenues for further research. Quantitative data on best practices is nonexistent.
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