Experiencing Grief

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In an increasingly globalised world, it is important that social workers are aware of the multitude of loss that immigrants experience and how this impacts on their life and the lives of others. Grief is a complex emotional response that arises from experiences of loss (Kanel 2003). Loss can be multidimensional and 'accompanies most big changes in our lives' (Goldsworthy 2005, p. 176). Moving to another country involves multiple diverse changes, in which people experience a variety of loss (Lee 2010). This essay will demonstrate how critical and ecological perspectives would inform my practice, as a counsellor, when working with people who are experiencing grief associated with immigration. Immigrating is not a single event; rather it is a collection of many diverse life changes (Lee 2010). As such, immigrants may experience various forms of loss. When working with people, it is important to recognise that grief is a response to a range of loss, not just loss resulting from death (Walsh-Burke 2006). The transition from one country to another involves a change in ones identity (Lee 2010). In addition to losing ties with family and friends, immigrants can experience a loss of status, self-worth, employment, environment, language, culture, dreams, and ideals (Lee 2010). This loss can lead to feelings of grief, which can have profound and enduring effects on people's lives, complicating their situation (Allan 2003). Critical theory is a progressive approach to practice that incorporates a variety of different theoretical perspectives. This approach highlights the importance of dialogical relationships and is committed to standing and working alongside service users (Healy 2000). Concerned with social change, this theory challenge... ... middle of paper ... ...s', Pastoral Psychology, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 159-169, doi: 10.1007/s11089-009-0261-3 Pardeck, T 1996, Social work practice: an ecological approach, eBook collection (EBSCOhost), viewed 23 March 2014, EBSCO Publishing, . Moreau, M 1979, 'A structural approach to social work practice', Canadian Journal of Social Work Education, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 78-94. Payne, M 2005, 'From radical to critical perspective', in Modern social work theory, 3rd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, pp. 227-250. Teater, B 2010, An introduction to applying social work theories and methods, eBook collection (EBSCOhost), viewed 22 March 2014, EBSCO Publishing, . Walsh-Burke, K 2006, 'Self-preparation and training for professionals encountering loss and grief', in Grief and loss: theories and skills for helping professions, Pearson, Boston.

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