|dc.description.abstract||This study aimed to build an understanding of the internal and external
factors that affect the bereavement process in people with intellectual
disabilities (PWID). This was achieved by drawing on my previously
published works, by analysing the research of others and by applying a
critical clinical reflection to examples from my practice as a
dramatherapist with PWID, through the use of vignettes.
The study is uniquely concerned with what can be learned by exploring
the significance of the attachment relationship, the complexity of
dependency and the effect of living with the primary trauma of disability
on bereavement and grieving.
A comprehensive analysis of the existing research revealed that there is
little understanding of the normal bereavement process in PWID and
that there is a high incidence of complicated grief. The critical reflection
on practice enabled me to enlarge upon the emergent theory of complex
grief and to identify important components.
By applying the lens of attachment theory a greater awareness of how
grief can become complicated has been reached that can inform the
design of more responsive services for PWID.
This study has highlighted that there are both internal and external
reasons which may explain some of the emerging evidence that points
to an abnormally high incidence of complicated grief in PWID (Brickel
and Munir 2008 and Dodd and Guerin 2009),
A new model of psychodynamic disability psychotherapy has emerged
from this study, which proposes to include the supportive network as a
component of the therapeutic treatment for PWID.
The model and findings from this study can be used to inform the
development of appropriate bereavement support for PWID. The findings
can be further used in order to promote more supportive and effective
practice from Health and Social Care Professionals towards families when
a baby with intellectual disabilities is born.||en_US