Medical Joanna H. Fanos Sibling Loss

ISBN 13: 9780805817775

Sibling Loss

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9780805817775: Sibling Loss

Despite the rise of clinical interest in posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic stress in children, there has been little attention paid to the impact of sibling death as a traumatic event. Although there is much evidence that children suffer long-lasting consequences of such trauma as divorce or the loss of a parent, the loss of a sibling has not been the topic of substantial clinical or research attention. The sibling relationship has only begun to receive research and theoretical attention. The complexities of the sibling bond as it changes and evolves over the life-span have only begun to be explored.

The death of a child has generally been considered one of the most stressful events encountered by families in our society. The chronicity of illnesses such as cystic fibrosis is in a sense new, an outgrowth of recent advances in medical treatment which have considerably extended the lives of children stricken with leukemia, cystic fibrosis, HIV-infection, diabetes, and others. This book explores the long-term consequences of chronic illness followed by the death of a sibling on adult adjustment. The illness and loss of the child will have a direct impact on the siblings, dependent upon their own capacity to give meaning to its occurrence and to mourn the loss effectively. In addition, the sibling's world will be inexorably shaped by the handling of the illness and loss by the parents.

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This is a superb book. It is based on extensive interviews, careful and complete mastery of existing literature, and the research of others. It is a significant contribution to our understanding of mourning, childhood and adolescent psychology, and of specific diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis.

Review:

...enormously moving book...present a powerful argument for emotional support for the ill child and the family, including siblings with their own special needs. This book makes an important contribution...
British Journal of Psychotherapy

As a pediatric oncologist for the past twenty years, I have realized that when a child has a life-threatening or terminal illness, the family is the treatment unit. What Dr. Fanos has done in this eloquently written work is to highlight in a comprehensive manner the issues facing siblings of children who have died following a chronic illness.
 
By combining the results of her own intensive investigation with the current literature and meaningful vignettes, she has made a compelling case for all professionals involved in the care of chronically ill children with life-threatening diseases, to be aware of the many issues facing siblings, their developmental differences and their reactions, and the need to include these often forgotten partners in the disease processes into our therapeutic milieu.
 
This work represents an important step in advancing the awareness of the effects of death on siblings, and a call to those of us in the health profession to recognize and intervene effectively in order to prevent compounding the loss.

Harvey J. Cohen, MD, PhD
Chief of Staff, Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University

An impressive pioneering study of the far-ranging and long-lasting impact on growing children of the chronic illness and death of a sibling before reaching adulthood. A major contribution to the psychoanalytic literature on the complexly imbricated nature of sibling relationships, far transcending early psychoanalytic formulations focused too narrowly just on sibling rivalry and its consequences. A 'must read' for everyone concerned with trauma, loss, coping, and development in both their clinical ramifications and in their implications for our expanded psychoanalytic theoretical understandings of the life course and its vicissitudes.
Robert S. Wallerstein, MD
Past-President, American Psychoanalytic Association and International Psychoanal

A child's illness and death is a family tragedy, terrifying and ultimately devastating for every member of the family. Too often we give little attention to the child's siblings. Fanos brings home to us with insight and compassion the siblings' reactions: their resentments, their guilts, their fears, and their deep and persisting sense of loss. This book should be consulted regularly by all parents of seriously ill children, and it should be on the desk of all professionals who would provide parents of seriously ill children with support and counsel or provide siblings of seriously ill children with understanding.
Robert S. Weiss
University of Massachusetts, Boston

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Joanna H. Fanos
Published by Psychology Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0805817778 ISBN 13: 9780805817775
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