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Does apologizing help? The role of self-blame and making amends in recovery from bereavement

, : Does apologizing help? The role of self-blame and making amends in recovery from bereavement. Health & Social Work 20(4): 294-299

This article presents the results of an investigation into the relationship between attributions of self-blame for the death of a loved one and subsequent psychological recovery from this loss. Two hundred and forty-four people who had suffered the death of a loved one identified the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses they used at the time of their loss. Data indicated that use of self-blame was associated with poorer long-term adjustment. However, it was also found that self-blame often led people to make amends or reparations. Significantly, when self-blame was linked to making amends, it became correlated with favorable adjustment outcomes. The potential therapeutic value of reviewing the moral and spiritual beliefs of self-blaming clients and determining how, within their belief system, they might make amends is considered.


PMID: 8722212

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