First Advisor

Hanoch Livneh

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)






Grief -- Psychological aspects, Loss (Psychology), Adjustment (Psychology)



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iv, 173 p.)


Many theories have been proposed that attempt to explain response and adaptation to loss. However, no one theory has been shown to be universally applicable to all individuals suffering a loss. This paper presents an overview of many of these theories, paying special attention to the relationship between the theories of loss and adaptation to disability. The theories include the psychoanalytic model of loss, stage models of adaptation to loss, the value change theory of acceptance of loss, chronic sorrow, the cognitive adaptation theory, the stress and coping model, developmental theory, and the existential perspective on loss and grief. The possible influence that factors such as age, gender, culture and variables specific to disability may have on loss are also discussed. A new conceptualization of loss is introduced that tries to integrate many of the key ideas of these theories. This integrated approach takes into account the unique situation of each person, emphasizing the interaction between environmental and personal factors in adapting to loss. The model contends that due to the uniqueness of the individual, to the many possible combinations of environmental and psychological factors, and to the nature of the loss itself, any one or combination of loss theories could be in effect for any single loss. The intent of this thesis is to encourage the reader to become familiar with different perspectives on the subject of loss and grief to help select the method that best fits the individual situation of the person seeking counseling.


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