What is Complicated/Prolonged Grief?
For a small number of people, the reduction in their feeling of grief over time of does not happen. Their grief becomes stuck and they experience disabling and persistent symptoms that don’t improve. Strong feelings of yearning and distress continue to be experienced, often coupled with feelings of anger, guilt, bitterness, and an inability to reengage with their life. This phenomenon is called Complicated/Prolonged Grief.
Complicated/Prolonged Grief is now recognised as a diagnosable disorder, with up to 10% of bereaved people at risk. It can be diagnosed following a thorough clinical assessment as early as six months post-bereavement.
Complicated/Prolonged Grief Programme
In January 2014, the Irish Hospice Foundation officially launched the Complicated/Prolonged Grief Programme with Dr. Kathy Shear as Patron and Dr. Susan Delaney as Director. The programme includes a small clinical practice for the treatment of complicated/prolonged grief (with a sliding fee scale). An evidence-based treatment called Complicated/Prolonged Grief Therapy is utilised. This was developed by Dr. Kathy Shear of Columbia University and has been shown to be more effective than traditional “talk” therapy in treating Complicated/Prolonged Grief.
Finding a Trained Complicated/Prolonged Grief Therapist
Please click here to find a trained therapist in your area
Training for Professionals
We also offer training, support, consultation, and supervision in complicated/prolonged grief treatment for clinicians and therapists. If you are interested in training in this area, or if you are concerned about someone who may have complicated/prolonged grief, contact Dr. Susan Delaney.
Centre for Complicated/Prolonged Grief Columbia University
Click here for more information on the Complicated/Prolonged Grief programme at Columbia University
Complicated/Prolonged Grief Q&A with Dr. M. Katherine Shear, Columbia University