The article discusses the actual studies concerning the psychological support at complicated grief. The author notes that practitioners and researchers continues debate about the definition, diagnostic criteria and best treatment of the pathopsychological phenomenon that follow the loss of a loved one and usually named as complicated grief. At the present, complicated grief is viewed as a clinical state of a persistent feeling of mourning during, at least, six months with increasing psychosocial disability. Due to many evidences of distinct clinical features for this phenomenon, it was included into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders as a persistent complex bereavement disorder (the condition for further study), and as a new diagnostic category – Prolonged Grief Disorder - is to be added to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
The article describes the cognitive model of psychological-emotional changes characteristic for people suffering from complicated grief. The cognitive-behavioral model of complicated grief proposes that a traumatic experience of a loss and negative cognition (negative beliefs about Self, life, and the future and threatening interpretations of grief reactions) plays a core role in the development and persistence of emotional problems, so mourners start to avoid social support.
The emphasis in the performed analysis is laid on the psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions based on the cognitive-behavioral theory; there are evidences of their effectiveness in dealing with people mourning for deceased. The author summarizes that psychotherapeutic interventions based on the cognitive-behavioral therapy are evidence-based, comprehensive, and methodologically substantiated; they are focused on achieving psychological-emotional stability and returning to normal life. The performed approbation of these methods of intervention have shown lowered intensity of bereavement-related depression, anxiety, traumatic pain and the integration of the traumatic memory of death into a grieving person’s life experience.
The cognitive-behavioural model of complicated grief can have wide clinical and psychological practical use, and cognitive-behavioral therapy manuals for dealing with complicated grief (or recommendations based on them) can be proposed as measures of psychotherapeutic and psychosocial support in Ukraine.
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