Culture and grief in families

David Kissane, Bridgette Boucher, Francesca Del Gaudio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As we take stock of the varied cultural contributions to the process of mourning, we can appreciate the wisdom of these practices from a sociological viewpoint in guiding what to do and how to mourn. By being curious about cultural norms for each group, clinicians can then invite the family to consider the potential benefit they might gain by following any available rituals. Given that the world has become more secular in its orientation, endorsement of rituals can highlight their potential to help the mourning process. Furthermore, by conveying both interest in and respect for these traditions, the therapist adopts a stance of cultural sensitivity that will strengthen the therapeutic alliance. Culture can be so intimately expressed and lived through the family that it forms a crucial lens through which family grief can be observed. This chapter considers examples from Latino, Asian, African-American, Islamic, Haitian, Hindu and Jewish families.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBereavement Care for Families
EditorsDavid W Kissane, Francine Panes
Place of PublicationUSA
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780203084618
ISBN (Print)9780415637381
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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