Psychology of Death – Bereavement

Bereavement: The Spectrum of of Emotional Reactions to Death
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Presenter: Salman Akhtar, MD

West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home 
225 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004


This presentation will begin by describing the emotional phenomena associated with normal grief. While acknowledging the ubiquitous occurrence of denial, pain, idealization, anger, sadness, and acceptance, the presentation will question their linear arrival on the psychic horizon. Grief would be seen as coming in waves and with various layers of it occurring in an overlapping fashion. More importantly, the idea that a lost object is replaced at the culmination of mourning would be challenged and it would be suggested that the fate of the object is not ‘replacement’ but ‘re-placement’. Factors complicating the outcome of grief (e.g. sudden loss, violence associated with loss, major reality change as a result of loss) will then be outlined. Moving on to pathological grief, the symptoms of persistent denial, fixity of certain types of dreams, and the development of ‘linking objects’ will be highlighted. Attention will also be paid to therapeutic strategies that help ‘thaw’ such frozen grief and permit the patient to move towards a more realistic adaptation to life. All the issues listed above will be illustrated with the help of examples from literature and clinical work.


2 CE/CME credits available

No charge for admission (no CE/CMEs available)
No charge for PCOP members
$50 for non-PCOP members seeking CE/CMEs


Program Flyer