Join A Home Within for a virtual webinar on May 23 from 10am – 12pm PT with Mrs. Pauline and Monique Mitchell! This event is free to attend.
Former and current youth in foster care are undoubtedly familiar with experiences of ambiguous loss, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinicians working with youth in foster care need to understand this phenomenon and how to best address ambiguous loss in therapy. In this workshop, Drs. Boss and Mitchell will define ambiguous loss, its potential effects and why it is important for clinicians to understand. Participants will learn how to apply both/and thinking in order to manage the stress associated with ambiguous loss, and will also learn about the six domains of ambiguity that former and current youth in foster care frequently experience. Finally, the speakers will provide examples of therapeutic approaches to address grief and grieving among former and current youth in foster care.
Course Learning Objectives:
- Define ambiguous loss, why it matters, and its effects;
- List six domains of ambiguous loss that former and current youth in foster care commonly experience;
- Describe resilience, its cautions, and therapeutic approaches to address grief among former and current youth in foster care who are experiencing ambiguous loss.
About the Speakers:
Pauline Boss, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, family therapist, is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a former president of the National Council on Family Relations. With her groundbreaking work in research and practice, Dr. Boss coined the term ambiguous loss in the 1970s and since then, developed and tested the theory of ambiguous loss, a guide for working with families of the missing, Pauline Boss, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, family therapist, is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a former president of the National Council on Family Relations. With her groundbreaking work in research and practice, Dr. Boss coined the term ambiguous loss in the 1970s and since then, developed and tested the theory of ambiguous loss, a guide for working with families of the missing, physically or psychologically. She summarized this research and clinical work in her widely acclaimed book, Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (Harvard University Press, 2000). In addition to over 100 peer reviewed academic articles and chapters, her other books include Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss (W. W. Norton, 2006) and Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief (Jossey-Bass, 2011). Her most recent book is The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change (W. W. Norton, 2022). Her work is known around the world wherever ambiguous losses occur, and thus her books are now available in 18 different languages.
Photo credit: Stephan Kistler
Monique B. Mitchell, PhD, FT, is the Executive Director of Life Transitions International and the Director of Training and Translational Research at Dougy Center: The National Grief Center for Children & Families. Dr. Mitchell is a nationally recognized authority on children, teens, and young adults who are grieving in foster care, and is the National Director of the L.Y.G.H.T. program. She is the author of The Neglected Transition: Building a Relational Home for Children Entering Foster Care (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Living in an Inspired World: Voices and Visions of Youth in Foster Care (Child Welfare League of America Press, 2017), among other publications. Dr. Mitchell has trained and researched extensively on topics related to the lived experience of children and youth in the foster care system, taught undergraduate and graduate courses on loss and grief, and developed child-centered curricula. She has worked directly with children, youth, and young adults who have been impacted by death and non-death losses in Canada, Honduras, and the United States.