DISENFRANCHISED GRIEF: STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING SAME-SEX GRIEF ISSUES Presenters: Mary E. Garrison, LCSW, ACSW Associate Professor of Social Work - Millikin University NASW Illinois Board Member – East Central District Chair Nancy J. Curtin, Ph.D Associate Professor of Communication - Millikin University Department of Communication Chair Tweet us at #NASWIL Session Preview: • • • • Historical Perspective Case Study Concepts & Case Connections Strategies & Techniques Historical Perspective: • Focus on Gays • Emerging Focus on Lesbians • Our Focus Today: Gays and Lesbians Case Presentation: Nancy & Jill Disenfranchised Grief (DG): • Conceptualization of Definition • Examples • Impact of DG on Same-Sex Couples “Case Connections” Same-Sex Grieving Partners: Unique Factors • Attitudes about Same-Sex Couples Discrimination Heteronormativity • Role of Person & Relationship Disclosure Internal Definition of relationship External Degree of “Outness” Same-Sex Grieving Partners: Unique Factors • Cause/Reason for Death • Stigma • Resource Availability • Lack of effective/appropriate resources • Support groups • Counseling • Professional Services • Result = Disenfranchised Grief Cultural Competence: • Social work perspective Assumptions Use of language Labeling/defining relationship Reference to deceased Centrality of relationship Cultural Competence: • Communication Perspective Defining/Labeling the Relationship Disclosing the Relationship (degree of “outness”) Identifying the Context of the Disclosure Managing the Disclosure Intervention Strategies: Same-sex grieving partners Language Use Mirror client’s language with the relational label & feelings. Acknowledgement/Communication of DG Provide context for client Validate Intervention Strategies: Same-sex grieving partners Validation of Loss Avoid minimization of relationship and feelings Recognition and Identification of Communication Consider internal messages Question external messages References: • Broderick, D. J., Birbilis, J. M. & Steger, M. F. (2008). Lesbians grieving the death of a partner: Recommendations for practice. Journal of Lesbian Studies (12), 2-3, 225-235. • Doka, K. J. (1989). Disenfranchised grief. In K. J. Doka (Ed.), Disenfranchised Grief: Recognizing the Hidden Sorrow (pp. 3-11). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. • Hunter, S. (2011). Lesbian and Gay Couples: Lives, Issues, and Practice. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc. • McNutt, B. & Yahushko, O. (2013). Disenfranchised grief among lesbian and gay bereaved individuals. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 7(1), 87-116. DOI: 10.1080/15538605.2013.758345. • National Association of Social Work Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice. (2001). NASW Press. References: • Petronio, S. & Durham, W. T. (2008). Communication privacy management theory: Significance for interpersonal communication. In L. A. Baxter & D. O. Braithwaite (Eds.), Engaging theories in interpersonal communication: Multiple perspectives (pp. 309-322). CA: Sage. • Rack, J., Burleson, B., Graham, B., Holmstrom, A. (2007). Bereaved adults’ evaluations of grief management messages: Effects of message person centeredness, recipient individual differences, and contextual factors. Conference paper-International Communication Association Annual Meeting, 1-41. • VanDenBergh, N. & Crisp, C. (2004). Defining culturally competent practice with sexual minorities: Implications for social work education and practice. Journal of Social Work Education, 40(2), 221-238. References: • Walker, J.A. & Prince, T. (2010). Training considerations and suggested counseling interventions for LGBT individuals. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 4:2-17. DOI: 10.1080/155538600903552756 • Whipple, V. (2006). Lesbian Widows: Invisible Grief. New York: Harrington Park Press. • Wood, J. T. (2009). Gendered Lives. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage.