Complicated Grief Research Project

Exploring Complicated Grief in Canada

Complicated Grief in Canada: Exploring the Client and Professional Landscape

Authors: Marney Thompson, Allyson Whiteman, Karen Louks and Helena Daudt
Funders/Grants: Victoria Hospice
Date Published: June 2017

Although grief is a universal life experience, how it is felt and expressed varies greatly from person to person. The bereavement counsellors at Victoria Hospice were especially concerned about the bereaved people whose grief did not ease, or in fact, worsened over time. They wanted to learn more about Complicated Grief and how grief counsellors in Canada diagnose and respond to it.

According to research, approximately 5-10% of bereaved people will experience Complicated or Prolonged Grief. This form of grief is so profoundly disabling that those who experience it will have extreme difficulty functioning in their lives, for much longer than would normally be expected following a loss. With funding from Victoria Hospice, a small research team was able to interview counsellors from across the country to explore how they are working with Complicated Grief. Our research suggests that misinformation and lack of consensus in the field make diagnosis and response to Complicated Grief a challenge in Canada.

Read more about this study.