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DISENFRANCHISED GRIEF: STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING SAME-SEX GRIEF ISSUES Presenters: Mary E. Garrison, LCSW, ACSW Associate Professor of Social Work - Millikin.

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Presentation on theme: "DISENFRANCHISED GRIEF: STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING SAME-SEX GRIEF ISSUES Presenters: Mary E. Garrison, LCSW, ACSW Associate Professor of Social Work - Millikin."— Presentation transcript:

1 DISENFRANCHISED GRIEF: STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING SAME-SEX GRIEF ISSUES Presenters: Mary E. Garrison, LCSW, ACSW Associate Professor of Social Work - Millikin University NASW Illinois Board Member – East Central District Chair Nancy J. Curtin, Ph.D Associate Professor of Communication - Millikin University Department of Communication Chair Tweet us at #NASWIL

2 Session Preview: Historical Perspective Case Study Concepts & Case Connections Strategies & Techniques

3 Historical Perspective: Focus on Gays Emerging Focus on Lesbians Our Focus Today: Gays and Lesbians

4 Case Presentation: Nancy & Jill

5 Disenfranchised Grief (DG): Conceptualization of Definition Examples Impact of DG on Same-Sex Couples

6 “Case Connections”

7 Same-Sex Grieving Partners: Unique Factors Attitudes about Same-Sex Couples  Discrimination  Heteronormativity Role of Person & Relationship Disclosure  Internal  Definition of relationship  External  Degree of “Outness”

8 Same-Sex Grieving Partners: Unique Factors Cause/Reason for Death Stigma Resource Availability Lack of effective/appropriate resources Support groups Counseling Professional Services Result = Disenfranchised Grief

9 Cultural Competence: Social work perspective  Assumptions  Use of language  Labeling/defining relationship  Reference to deceased  Centrality of relationship

10 Cultural Competence: Communication Perspective  Defining/Labeling the Relationship  Disclosing the Relationship (degree of “outness”)  Identifying the Context of the Disclosure  Managing the Disclosure

11 Intervention Strategies: Same-sex grieving partners  Language Use  Mirror client’s language with the relational label & feelings.  Acknowledgement/Communication of DG  Provide context for client  Validate

12  Validation of Loss  Avoid minimization of relationship and feelings  Recognition and Identification of Communication  Consider internal messages  Question external messages Intervention Strategies: Same-sex grieving partners

13 References: Broderick, D. J., Birbilis, J. M. & Steger, M. F. (2008). Lesbians grieving the death of a partner: Recommendations for practice. Journal of Lesbian Studies (12), 2-3, Doka, K. J. (1989). Disenfranchised grief. In K. J. Doka (Ed.), Disenfranchised Grief: Recognizing the Hidden Sorrow (pp. 3-11). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Hunter, S. (2011). Lesbian and Gay Couples: Lives, Issues, and Practice. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc. McNutt, B. & Yahushko, O. (2013). Disenfranchised grief among lesbian and gay bereaved individuals. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 7(1), DOI: / National Association of Social Work Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice. (2001). NASW Press.

14 References: Petronio, S. & Durham, W. T. (2008). Communication privacy management theory: Significance for interpersonal communication. In L. A. Baxter & D. O. Braithwaite (Eds.), Engaging theories in interpersonal communication: Multiple perspectives (pp ). CA: Sage. Rack, J., Burleson, B., Graham, B., Holmstrom, A. (2007). Bereaved adults’ evaluations of grief management messages: Effects of message person centeredness, recipient individual differences, and contextual factors. Conference paper-- International Communication Association Annual Meeting, VanDenBergh, N. & Crisp, C. (2004). Defining culturally competent practice with sexual minorities: Implications for social work education and practice. Journal of Social Work Education, 40(2),

15 References: Walker, J.A. & Prince, T. (2010). Training considerations and suggested counseling interventions for LGBT individuals. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 4:2-17. DOI: / Whipple, V. (2006). Lesbian Widows: Invisible Grief. New York: Harrington Park Press. Wood, J. T. (2009). Gendered Lives. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage.


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