EPISODE 40: How to Cope with Ambiguous Loss with Dr. Pauline Boss

**TRIGGER WARNING** This episode covers sensitive subject matter and is not suitable for all listeners. If this topic could be a trigger for you, listen to this episode with a friend, a sibling, a loved one or a parent so you can talk about any emotions that come up for you. The contents of this episode are not intended to replace therapy and should not be taken as such. If you need immediate help, please call the crisis hotline listed below in our resources.

Have you heard of the term ‘Ambiguous Loss’?

Dr. Pauline Boss coined this term in the 1970s. Today, the term is used in professional discourse as well as in the general public and arts communities.

In her new book, she asks, “How do we begin to cope with loss that cannot be resolved?” Which is what we’re speaking about in this conversation.

Pauline Boss, PhD, is emeritus professor at University of Minnesota. She is known worldwide for developing the theory of ambiguous loss and as a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of family stress management. Dr. Boss is the author of Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss in addition to The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change. 

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:00] The definition of Ambiguous Loss
  • [7:15] How to live with deep trauma and ambiguous loss
  • [12:15] How to hold space for people who have experienced ambiguous loss
  • [16:00] The difference between sadness and depression
  • [34:50] Tips to manage the stress after loss
  • [41:40] An excerpt from Dr. Boss’ book
  • [43:30] How to become more present with our loved ones

Grief Hotline

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Dr. Boss here:

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