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Welch, M. (1976). PINCUS, LILY Death and the family: the importance of mourning. Pantheon Books, New York. 1974. Pp. 278. PARKES, COLIN MURRAY Bereavement: studies of grief in adult life. Penguin Books, London, 1975. Pp. 267. 80p.. J. Anal. Psychol., 21(2):231-232.

(1976). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 21(2):231-232

PINCUS, LILY Death and the family: the importance of mourning. Pantheon Books, New York. 1974. Pp. 278. PARKES, COLIN MURRAY Bereavement: studies of grief in adult life. Penguin Books, London, 1975. Pp. 267. 80p.

Review by:
Mary Welch

‘In grief we do as we must.’ And both these books reflect not only the complexities and varieties of mourning, but also the personal sensitivities of each author. Dr Parkes' book (Tavistock Publications, 1972) is now a Pelican and puts within everyone's reach his careful and compassionate study of grief. Mrs Pincus (hers is a new book, published in USA, due for publication in London shortly) writes out of her own experience of mourning, and selects for her study marriages within which bereavement has brought a major shock, not only to the surviving partner, but to others within the interactive area of the family.

In one sense the books are sharply differentiated, since the immediacy of Mrs Pincus's style with its self-confessed anecdotal resource puts it rather far from Dr Parkes' researches, now widely known in Harvard and London. Yet Mrs Pincus is continually alert to those minutiae of personal interviews that, collected together, are the raw material of the researcher, while Dr Parkes's sensitivity in handling those interviews that were part of his research—over and over again the reader will be aware of compassion given priority over curiosity—gives his study humanity and warmth.

Mrs Pincus is one of the founding members of the Institute of Marital Studies and, as a caseworker, has with her colleagues, analysts, social workers and psychologists focused over the years on the variety of interactive processes which distinguish different patterns of marriage; she sees difficulties encountered in marriages based on projection as differing quite sharply from those based on identification, and quotes from extensive experience of working with both.

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