The Legacy of Unresolved Loss: A Family Systems Approach

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Monica McGoldrick has been a pioneering voice in extending the power of family therapy even further, helping us see how one family member’s loss has ramifications for others—through an extended family network, and even across several generations. Family therapy is well known for understanding the symptoms of the identified patient within the context of the larger family system. In this realistic simulation of an 18-week course of therapy with the Rogers family, we see how the presenting problem—teenage daughter Michelle’s rebellious behavior—masks unresolved loss across three generations of family members. Despite the father’s initial resistance to explore the death of the children’s mother, McGoldrick links this loss with the family’s current struggles, and assists them in the delayed grieving. She shows remarkable fluidity and mastery as she changes her stances based on the family’s needs of the given moment, while her commentary provides the viewer with insight about her interventions.

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    By watching this video program, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use genograms to quickly assess patterns of unresolved loss
  • Assign homework that helps families mourn their losses and resolve their grief
  • Evaluate how diverse factors, including ethnic and gender issues, impact family’s ability to cope with loss
  • Achieve therapeutic goals by supplementing regular family sessions with an individual or couple sessions

“Monica McGoldrick has a gift for making the complex look simple. She packs into eight sessions recreated in The Legacy of Family Loss issues of gender, ethnicity, re-marriage, teenage rebellion, step-parenting, and more. She does nothing fancy, nothing tricky, but at the end of this video, you’ve seen a master at work.”
Olga Silverstein, M.S.W. – Emeritus Faculty, The Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy

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