||Guidebook on Helping Persons with Mental Retardation Mourn
Death, Value and Meaning Series, John D. Morgan, Series Editor
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Preface for free right now, just click here.
Selected for inclusion in the 2006 edition of Doody's Core Titles in Health Sciences and is a highly recommended addition to libraries serving health sciences specialists.
IN PRAISE OF
"Jeffrey Kauffman's book raises the bar for any future work on how to support people with an intellectual disability who experience loss, grief, and mourning. What distinguishes Kauffman's contribution is not so much his rigorous theoretical framework for understanding grief and mourning as a process necessary for healing, but rather his elucidation of the distinctive psychosocial effects of loss and the behavioral language of grief characteristic of persons with intellectual disabilities. Having established these precepts, he systematically illustrates them with practice applications of both theory and process. The book is comprehensive in addressing the significance and role of families, staff, professionals, agencies, and the community, all of whom are essential for responsive support. He expands our understanding of the mourning process and provides methods and examples of how to respond more effectively and compassionately. It is a short book, compressed, very readable, and the very best to date on this important issue."
—Anne L. Botsford, PhD, LMSW, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York
"Jeffrey Kauffman's insights and clinical skills have had a profound effect on our agency's approach to supporting the persons we serve. He has helped us recognize the power and influence of grief and loss in the lives of people with developmental disabilities, which in turn has improved our ability to be sensitive to how grief manifests in behavior, emotional expression, and interpersonal relationships."
—John Nicely, MSW, Director, Residential Service Systems, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
"Jeffrey Kauffman is to be commended for meeting the needs of an underserved and disenfranchised population of grieving persons. The Guidebook is both theoretically sound and eminently practical, and is a real gift to the fields of developmental disabilities and thanatology."
—Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, Professor, The College of New Rochelle, Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation of America
"Intelligent, informed, and compassionate, this book makes a distinctive contribution to families, friends, and counselors who realize that people with intellectual disabilities are not spared the pain and stress of grief."
—Robert Kastenbaum, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Hugh Downs School of Human Communications, Arizona State University
"This welcome addition to the field of mental health provides the reader with specialized information on counseling and support for persons with an intellectual disability. The author has brought forth a heartfelt book that captures the reader's attention and awareness. I am extremely impressed by this book and the author's willingness to share so much invaluable information with the reader. This is a subject that has been overlooked for an underserved and sometimes forgotten population. Kudos to Jeffrey Kauffman."
—Nicholas Greco IV, MS, College of Lake County, © Doody's Review Service ™
"This book should be in every service provider's library. It will teach caregivers at all levels of responsibility concrete approaches to a sadly neglected, yet absolutely crucial aspect of the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. It really is a beautiful piece of work. What a contribution!"
—James W. Conroy, PhD, CEO, Center for Outcome Analysis, Havertown, Pennsylvania
"The Guidebook on Helping Persons with MentalRetardation Mourn is meant for all who might come into contact with this designated population. That means that orderlies, aides, and others with no or limited experience with the bereavement process may read it. Buy the book for your professional library; it's a good resource."
—Roberta Temes, PsycCRITIQUES April 12, 2006 Vol. 51 (15)
"Kauffman presents a valuable and compassionate guide to understanding individuals with mental retardation as they experience death and grief. This small text is a gift to those who care about someone with mental retardation and are concerned about how to ease their current or future grief. Although primarily geared toward counselors and service providers, family members, teachers, and university faculty preparing students to work with individuals with mental retardation may also find this text valuable."
—Teresa Taber-Doughty, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Special Education, Department of Educational Studies, Purdue University, Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying, Volume 52(3)
"Through individual case accounts and clearly described assessment and planning guidelines, this book offers concrete help to clinicians, counselors, caregivers, and families of the mentally retarded. This book is also a vital educational resource for social workers, residential management staff, and students. The author's empathy and therapeutic expertise come across clearly as he describes the special people who have been his teachers."
—Kay Talbot, Ph.D., C.T., Author of What Forever Means After The Death of A Child, 2002, Brunner-Routledge
ABOUT THE BOOK
The grief language of persons with mental retardation discloses intellectual capacities
that are no less powerful, complex, subtle, disturbing, deep, and spiritual than those
revealed in the more discursive and dialectical grief language of persons without
mental retardation. This book will assist readers in recognizing and understanding the
behavioral language of grief among persons with mental retardation and in developing
intervention plans to support them through their grief, in both the short and long
The book contributes to an awareness of the significance of loss in the life experience
of persons with mental retardation. Experiencing loss may be a very powerful
vulnerability in their mental or psychological life, and dealing with this loss is a
basic element in psychological health. There has been an enormous hole in the death
and dying literature and in the mental retardation literature on the mourning behavior
and needs of persons with mental retardation. This book fills that hole, and lays a
foundation for grief support services, establishes standards of practice and care,
and is an educational primer about the loss and mourning needs of persons with mental
The book is directed to grief counselors and therapists, other mental health workers
who work with persons with mental retardation, agencies that support persons with
mental retardation, and advocates and family of persons with mental retardation.
It includes carefully detailed guidelines for support, therapeutic intervention,
family issues regarding a dying caregiver, and agency interventions and program
Grief counselors and therapists; professionals, families, and advocates in the field
of mental retardation; among professionals: mental retardation service provider
agencies and staff, mental health professional who provide services to persons
with mental retardation, grief counselors and therapists, and academics interested
in the mourning issues of persons with mental retardation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffrey Kauffman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania;
Certified Addictions Specialist in drug, alcohol, and sexual addiction (by the
American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders); Certified
Grief Therapist (by the National Certification Review Board of the Association for
Death Education and Counseling); Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work
(by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work); and Board Certified
Expert in Traumatic Stress, Diplomate (by the American Academy of Experts in
Traumatic Stress). He has taught at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work
and Social Research and at the Center for Social Work Education of Widener
University. He is the author of more than 25 articles on death and dying and is
editor of Awareness of Mortality, also published by Baywood (1995). He has
presented his work at more than 200 workshops and seminars. Kauffman maintains an
active private psychotherapy practice in suburban Philadelphia, with a
specialization in grief and trauma, including treatment of persons with mental
retardation. He has consulted with more than 20 mental retardation agencies on
direct grief support services for staff and clients, training, and program
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