In this introductory chapter my task is to set the scene for the book as a whole. I begin by discussing the significance of loss for the human services before providing an overview of theories of loss, drawing comparisons between traditional and contemporary perspectives. This overview paves the way for an account of a model of loss and grief which is proposed as a basis for developing an understanding of the complex interplay of factors that contribute to experiences of grieving and mourning. This model is not presented as ‘the answer’, in any definitive sense, but rather as a framework for drawing together some of the strands of recent developments in loss theory and beginning to develop a more sophisticated understanding than traditional theoretical perspectives allow.
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