Object Loss, Mourning, and Adjustment to Disability

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Abstract

This article explores the relationship between concepts of object loss and mourning and the loss of a bodily part or psychological or physical function in a rehabilitation context. The psychoanalytic literature on object loss and the mourning process is reviewed and related to existing literature on the adjustment-to-disability process. Similarities and differences between the classical mourning process and the adjustmentto-disability process are discussed, and suggestions are offered for using psychoanalytic strategies to facilitate adjustment to disability.

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