Expert Companionship

Posttraumatic Growth and Expert Companionship in Grief Therapy

January 1, 2022
New Techniques of Grief Therapy (1st Ed.)

This chapter offers suggestions for addressing posttraumatic growth (PTG) in grief therapy. It includes a general overview of PTG as well as description and examples of the PTG-based therapeutic approach called expert companionship.

The term posttraumatic growth was first used in print in the 1990s to describe the experience of positive change resulting from the struggle with a highly stressful or traumatic event. In this chapter, the authors summarize three major elements to help guide clinicians who work with grieving persons: a general description of what posttraumatic growth (PTG) is, a therapeutic stance that the people call expert companionship and some specific suggestions for dealing with PTG in grief therapy.

The essential therapeutic stance in expert companionship is to be a learner and a listener first.

It is very important to keep some things about PTG in mind when working with grieving clients. Although some people do, indeed, report PTG very early after the encounter with loss, this is not the case for most people. Expert companions recognize that PTG sometimes requires months or years of a careful process of learning about dealing with a particular loss.

Read the Chapter “Posttraumatic Growth and Expert Companionship in Grief Therapy”

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