Separation, Loss, and Grief in Adults: An Attachment Perspective

  • Judith Kay Nelson
Part of the Essential Clinical Social Work Series book series (ECSWS)


Grief and loss are at the core of attachment theory and at the core of clinical social work practice. When teaching Loss, Bowlby’s (1980) third volume, I ask students to inventory their clients, past and present, looking for issues of separation, loss, and grief. As they think through the question, their list quickly grows to include not only losses by death but also divorce, relocation, immigration, empty nest, retirement, infertility, and job loss, to name a few. It quickly becomes clear that loss and grief are central to the presenting problems or underlying issues of essentially every client. The following chapter explores how an attachment perspective informs clinical understandings of grief and the kinds of interventions that grow out of that understanding.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Attachment Style Attachment Figure Attachment Behavior Attachment System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Sanville Institute for Clinical Social Work and PsychotherapyBerkeleyUSA

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