Bereavement and Death Construct Development in Integral Theory and Practice
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The United States is a death-denying culture, which manifests even in its educational and training programs for mental and medical health professionals. As a result, the lack of understand- ing of the experience of death, dying, and bereavement processes may negatively impact clinicians’ ability to provide informed treatment for bereaved clients and patients. What is often misunder- stood is that how one constructs their awareness and understanding of death directly aﬀects the experience of the bereavement process. Even in the ﬁeld of thanatology, the comprehensive nature of an individual’s bereavement process is often not researched in an integrative manner, but is reduced to individual components (e.g., attachment styles as related to emotional reactions). Additionally, Integral Theory fails to incorporate death construct development and bereavement responses into its framework despite having the capacity to conceptualize these concepts in an in- tegrated manner. By integrating death construct development and bereavement responses into the AQAL framework, clinicians may be able to conduct a more comprehensive assessment of a client’s experience, thereby improving the corresponding treatment.