Guest speaker Pauline Boss, PHD will present “Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in the Time of Pandemic”.
Dr. Boss, who coined the term ambiguous loss in the 1970s, describes it as a loss that remains unclear and unverified, and thus, without resolution. During the pandemic, losses have skyrocketed so this is now a time of massive unresolved grief. How do we assess this situation? It requires both/and thinking, plus clinical strategies to help people cope with the ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding their losses. Dr. Boss describes individual and family symptoms, plus six non-recursive guidelines for treatment and intervention that have been applied and tested across cultures. Taking into account cultural differences, these guidelines for coping with ambiguous loss are based on meaning, mastery, identity, ambivalence, attachment, and new hope. She also describes how we, as professionals, can increase our own tolerance for ambiguity.