Date of Award
Anticipatory grief is characterized as grief that an individual experiences prior to an expected loss of a terminally ill loved one. Anticipatory grief can occur in advance of losses other than death, and is considered a normal grief reaction. Anticipatory grief follows a distinct pattern, though no two individuals process grief the same way. The beneficial effects of anticipatory mourning have prompted caregivers to help individuals and families cope with future losses so that when such losses occur they will be more prepared for them. Professionals who serve as caregivers to those who will experience grief and loss have the potential to be affected in similar ways, experiencing many of the symptoms as those they serve, which are compounded over time. This phenomenon is called compassion fatigue. This paper provides definitions of anticipatory grief and its dimensions, contrasting that process to compassion fatigue which affects those who assist individuals who are coping with loss. Conclusions will be offered as to whether the self-care strategies offered to those experiencing anticipatory grief can be used for those experiencing compassion relief.
Haupt, Mary Kay, "Anticipatory Grief and Compassion Fatigue: Definitions and Guidelines for Caregivers" (2014). Counselor Education Capstones. 3.
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