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From Freud Forward: Mourning Theory
From Freud Forward is an introduction to mourning theory from Freud through Bowlby/Ainsworth and beyond.
Although academic, this paper is very accessible for every reader. It gives a reader the full perspective on grief, mourning theory and the importance of working through loss.
The paper opens with Freud's famous paper "Mourning and Melancholia" and discusses how researchers and practitioners built on this work and changed it and applied it. The paper discusses the groundbreaking work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth which includes "attachment theory" and how we become close to our loved ones and why it is so difficult to let go. The paper also includes discussion of seminal work of Eric Lindemann, Colin Murray Parkes, Beverley Raphael and Therese Rando.
The paper discusses mourning from a death perspective, but the process is the same whether a person has died or has been lost due to a breakup, a falling-out, or to mental illness or dementia. The paper explains all of the emotions inherent in the grief process which is applicable to any loss.
The paper also discusses pining, yearning and searching phenomena that is inherent in grief. For those going through a breakup, this manifests itself as a desire to contact the lost person or to "break NC" (in GPYB) terms. Understanding that pining and searching is part of the grief process and that no contact should be maintained, can be helpful.
Much of the research discussed here is fascinating, but it gives the reader true insight into the process of mourning and the importance of working through grief. This academic treatise is a great read for all who want to understand the grief process and the importance of working through it.
The paper is an 8 page single-spaced treatise but represents over two years of academic research and is unique in that it showcases the progression of mourning theory and the importance of resolving grief and the repercussions if it is not resolved.
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