Utilizing Individual Psychology to Understand Attachment and Pet Loss

A large number of households in the United States have pets and consider their pets part of the family.  Pets are a source of unconditional love, affection, and support.  Many people are very attached to their pets, and when their pet dies, they experience intense grief.  While grief over the loss of a pet is common, this grief often goes unrecognized, which can cause feelings of shame and anger and result in unresolved grief.  Mental health professionals can help people cope with grief associated with pet loss by normalizing the grief, recognizing the important role pets hold within families, teaching coping skills, and utilizing Adlerian concepts such as social interest, encouragement, and the crucial Cs.

            Keywords: Pet loss, grief and loss, pet attachment, pets, disenfranchised grief, Individual Psychology, Adlerian

Jenelle L. Pangborn
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PDF icon Pangborn, Jenelle - Final MP.pdf629.67 KB