Bereavement groups: Techniques and themes

I. D. Yalom, S. Vinogradov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Clinical and research evidence indicates that the recently bereaved represent a large at-risk population. Bereavement groups constitute a particularly efficient preventive intervention for this high-risk population and thus represent excellent preventive mental health practice. In this paper, we report specifically on the technical and thematic considerations of four bereavement groups that met weekly for eight weeks. Group members were recruited from a consecutive series of individuals who had lost a spouse to cancer and who were undergoing normal grief and mourning. We found that we were able to be most technically helpful to the groups by being aware of the issues and themes that preoccupy bereaved spouses and by facilitating the emergence and discussion of these themes in the group setting. Many members, for example, struggled with complex questions of growth, identity, and responsibility for the future, questions that have not often been identified in discussions on bereavement groups as being of particular therapeutic import.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-446
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


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