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Not Allowed to Grieve

The following case synopsis is an example of unresolved grief expressing in a pathological manner.


A woman in her mid sixties caught her husband in their attic wearing women's formal attire. He confessed that he had been in the grip of this compulsion for many years.


His wife told him he had to get help or she would leave him.


Over the course of his therapy, he recalled a time when he and his little sister would play dress up. She would wear a formal gown, he would wear a suit and tie.


One day they tired of their play and decided to go gather some walnuts from the orchard across the street. He picked the nuts and she held up the lap of her gown to hold them.


While they were crossing the street to return home she was struck and killed by an automobile.


The parents responded by leaving the boy home from the funeral and removing everything that reminded them of their daughter from the home. They never spoke of her again.


It was during therapy that the man realized his compulsion to wear women's clothing was the result of the ungrieved death of his much loved little sister.


As he brought his pain to consciousness and resolved it, the compulsion, having served it's purpose, gradually diminished.


Untitled Document

Grief Menu


Important facts about grief.


Grief Symptoms

How to tell if you or someone you know is grieving.


Complicated Grief

Sometimes if the natural grieving process is inhibited, grief can take unhealthy forms.


Treating Complicated Grief

How we help with complicated grief.


Grief Self-Help

Research shows there are a number of things grieving people can do to help themselves.


Grief in Children and Teens

Facing pain in children is difficult for adults. Consequently, children are sometimes not given the help they need to process their grief.


Grief Resources in Albuquerque

Where to find help in Albuquerque.


Not Allowed to Grieve

An example of unresolved grief.


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