Emotional Response to the Loss Interview The goal of this assignment is two-fold:
To have you experience what it is like to explore what is often a taboo topic with an individual and to learn more experientially about a particular form of loss.
In many ways, you must approach this assignment like a true practitioner/researcher. Your practice skills will be useful to maintain rapport. Use open-ended questions to explore and help contain the emotional expression if necessary. Your goal is NOT to practice by doing therapeutic work, however. Your goal is to explore the experience with your interviewee until you believe you have fully understood the various aspects of their loss.
The following interview guide provides possible questions- it is NOT to be used as a survey (ie DO NOT just read the questions to the interviewee), but only to guide ideas about how to explore the topic with your interviewee.
What loss experience are you ready to discuss with me today?
What was the precise loss?
When did it occur?
How old were you at the time?
Who else did the loss effect?
What was the most difficult part of the loss for you?
What part-losses/ sub-losses did you realize you had experienced?
What surprised you in terms of the loss itself?
III. What was your emotional response to the loss?
How did you express your emotion?
How did it unfold over time?
At what point did you consider your loss “resolved” or “worked through”?- How did you know?
How did others respond to the loss?
How did their response affect your response?
What was hardest to keep doing after the loss?
Were there any “silver linings” to the loss?
Is there any way that who/ what you lost remains part of your life today?
How has it been for you to participate in this interview?
Remember to have the person sign the form on the next page allowing either audio or videotaping of the interview.
Authorization/ Permission for Taping of Interview
I ___________________ give permission for ____________________
to audiotape/videotape an interview in which I talk with her/him about a loss I experienced. I understand that I may request that we end the interview at any time. I also understand that I may request that the taping cease and it will be turned off immediately.
Most importantly, I understand that this interview is being done for educational purposes and is not intended to be therapeutic, nor will it be available to anyone other than the person who is interviewing me and the instructor. The tape will be destroyed after the assignment is completed. Confidentiality will be strictly observed.
I am aware of the above, have had the opportunity to ask questions, and consent to the interview and taping of the interview.
Outline for Final Loss across the Lifespan Paper
The purpose of this paper is to integrate the theory and practice principles we have learned and to apply them to a living person’s experience of loss. The outline below is provided as a guide, not a rigid format. Each subsection should be labeled, but not all questions are appropriate to your respondent’s loss. The order is not prescribed- the flow of the paper’s narrative is more important than answering questions in order. Although this is a formal paper and proper grammar, syntax, spelling, and citation are expected, you may use “I” judiciously (especially in the summary).
The Respondent: Describe the person’s demographics, their developmental age and functioning, and your relationship to the respondent. What intersectional identities impact their loss or their mourning of it?
The Loss: Describe the person’s loss, both referring to the words they used (in the transcript, but also your classification of the loss (ie a disenfranchised loss of a loved pet during the adolescent years).
Application of Grief Theory: Think about the information you elicited about how the person experienced their loss and particularly how they believed their grief process evolved. Try to use several sections of the transcript to show the evolution of the grief process over time while possibly applying the questions below to a section or two (remember, each question is not appropriate for all losses).
Does the person’s trajectory of grief fit better within classical grief theories, or task or process-oriented models of grief- classical, or newer post-modern models (Disenfranchised grief; Continuing Bonds; Meaning- making)? (Use appropriate professional literature)
How do spirituality/ culture or other aspects play a role in the person’s grief process and/ or meaning-making?
What area/s did the personal struggle with as their grief evolved and what factors do you assess as critical to why they had more difficulty in those areas?
Application of Practice:
If you were providing grief work services to this person, what models/ theories would inform your assessment and treatment plan? What professional literature supports this view?
What do you believe the person’s needs continue to be as they regard this loss and what would you recommend professionally to help?
Emotional Response to the Loss Interview Summary
How do you perceive this person’s loss overall?
What did you learn from this experience interviewing them?
Attach the transcript at the end.
McCoyd, J.L.M. & Walter, C. A. (2016). Grief and loss across the lifespan: A biopsychosocial perspective (2nd ed). New York: Springer Publishing. (ISBN 978-0-8261-2028-1- paperback)
Neimeyer, R.A., Harris, D. L. , Winokuer, H. R., Thornton, G. F. (2011). Grief and bereavement in contemporary society: Bridging research and practice. New York: Routledge. (ISBN 978-0-415-88481- paperback)
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