Family Therapy

To supporters and professionals

Whether it’s “leaving without goodbye” or “goodbye without leaving”, the family suffers greatly from the ambiguity of the circumstances of loss. Because each family member perceives loss differently, the topic of loss may be avoided within the family, making it difficult for them to support each other.


Although everyone in the family is grieving deeply, one is crying in the bath and the other in their bedrooms, each alone. It is a condition that can cause the family to fall apart. As a result, this decline in family functioning can stall the grieving of each family member. Dr. Boss notes that loneliness and isolation, even within the family, makes recovery from ambiguous loss more difficult.


Dr. Boss provides support of ambiguous loss from a “family therapy” standpoint. For example, how has the family changed as a result of the ambiguous loss, how the family functions today, how has the role of each family member changed as a result of the loss, and how has the family’s daily life and mourning rituals changed? Facilitating the family to talk about these things together helps them live better as a family.


The“family therapy” approach, focusing on the family as a whole rather than on individuals, can be extremely effective when we support those suffering from“ambiguous loss.”