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A therapist's guide to treating grief after the loss of a pet: a three-tier model

By Tamara A. K. Miller, Maurice F. Prout, Mary Rourke, Carin Lefkowitz, Bret Boyer

Category Journal Articles

Grief after the death of a pet has been demonstrated to parallel grief after the death of a person, yet many people report feeling a lack of support from family, friends, and even therapy providers when experiencing pet bereavement (Archer & Winchester, 1994; Chur-Hansen, 2010; Gosse & Barnes, 1994; Sharkin & Knox, 2003; Stewart, 1983; Wrobel & Dye, 2003). This lack of perceived social support is characteristic of "disenfranchised grief," which can result in situations where survivors do not believe they have a right to grieve (Doka, 2002). Furthermore, there is a scarcity of literature offering therapy providers information on how to best work with this subset of grievers. The findings of recent research regarding pet bereavement, grief patterns, and grief therapy were used to design a three-tier pet-bereavement program for therapists to use with individuals after the loss of a pet. The selected intervention offered in Tier Two presents Therapy After the Loss of a Pet (TALP), a six-session intervention which integrates cognitive behavioral therapy with psychoeducation, resilience work, and coping skills in order to support an adaptive grief experience for the specific nature of grief after the loss of a pet.

Date 2014
Publication Title Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 38-58
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Anthropology
  3. Canidae
  4. Canine
  5. Carnivores
  6. Cats
  7. Communication
  8. Death
  9. Dogs
  10. Emotions
  11. Grief
  12. Humans
  13. Injuries
  14. Mammals
  15. Men
  16. Non-communicable diseases and injuries
  17. open access
  18. peer-reviewed
  19. Pet loss
  20. Pets and companion animals
  21. Primates
  22. Psychiatry and psychology
  23. Psychotherapy
  24. Relationships
  25. Social psychology and social anthropology
  26. vertebrates
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed