Understanding prolonged grief from an existential counseling perspective

Nathaniel N. Ivers, David A. Johnson, D. Robert Casares, Marlise R. Lonn, Thelma Duffey, Shane Haberstroh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we examine prolonged grief through an existential theoretical lens. In particular, we critically compare criteria for prolonged grief disorder with existential theoretical principles, including existential phenomenology, existential relatedness, and existential givens of human existence: death anxiety, existential freedom, existential isolation, and existential meaning/meaninglessness. We explore how existential perspectives and principles provide a clinically useful explanation for the presence and etiology of many of the symptoms of prolonged grief. We also describe counseling implications for treating prolonged grief phenomenologically, relationally, and through the lens of the four existential givens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Counseling and Development
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • existential counseling
  • mindfulness
  • prolonged grief

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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