Ambiguous loss from chronic physical illness: Clinical interventions with individuals, couples, and families

Pauline Boss, Barbara A. Couden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

The theory of ambiguous loss is applied to chronic illness in individuals, couples, and families. Lack of clarity about prognosis, daily physical condition, and fluctuating capabilities create relationship confusion, preoccupation with the illness, or avoidance of the ill individual. Immobilization, depression, and relationship collapse may occur in response to features of chronic illness over which there is no control. A case study illustrates helpful therapeutic interventions for couples and families with chronically ill members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1360
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Volume58
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

Keywords

  • Ambiguous loss
  • Chronic illness
  • Couples therapy

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