The workplace is not immune to the problems, pressures, and challenges presented by experiences of loss and trauma and the grief reactions they produce. This clearly written, well-crafted book offers important insights and understanding to help us appreciate the difficulties involved and prepare ourselves for dealing with such demanding situations when they arise. People's experiences of loss and trauma are, of course, not left at the factory gate or the office door. Nor are loss and traumatic events absent from the workplace itself. Loss, grief, and trauma are very much a part of life—and that includes working life. Executives, managers, human resource professionals, and employee assistance staff need to have at least a basic understanding of how loss, grief, and trauma affect people in the workplace. This book provides that foundation of understanding and offers guidance on how to find out more about these vitally important workplace issues.
The text provides a valuable blend of theory and practice that will be of interest to those involved in management, human resources, and organizational studies as well as those interested in the social scientific study of loss, grief, and trauma—and, of course, to those involved in the helping professions. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with making the workplace a more humane and effective environment, or anyone wishing to develop an understanding of the complexities of loss, grief, and trauma in our lives.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students and professionals in management; organizational studies; human resources; employee assistance programs; the social scientific study of loss, grief, and trauma; and the helping professions: social work, counseling and psychotherapy, health care, ministry, chaplaincy, and pastoral studies.
"In this volume, Neil Thompson provides a solid, practical, theoretical analysis of loss, grief, and trauma in the workplace, and offers pathways to understanding, improving, and learning from painful life experiences. While recognizing that not all workplace environments, and not all losses and traumas, are the same, he provides a pathway to manage workplace loss and trauma that I have not found in any other book. I recommend this volume for professionals in the bereavement field, for teachers, for corporate executives, and for parents, students, families, and workers, past and present. This small volume will change the field and will allow many of us to better manage loss, grief, and trauma in the workplace. I thank Neil for writing such an excellent book."
—Gerry R. Cox, Ph.D. , Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse Director, Center for Death Education and Bioethics
"Violence is everywhere, and all too often it spills into the workplace. Unexpected death. Domestic violence. Violence by disgruntled employees. Severe emotional problems (even in workplaces with an Employee Assistance Program) and dangerous or toxic levels of stress are often overlooked until it is too late, since many managers are either untrained or unwilling to touch these issues. There are human as well as economic consequence, all deserving swift and sensitive action for the sake of people and the workplace. Dr. Thompson has an enormous commitment to the workplace and workplace health. He speaks from the firsthand experiences of so many victims. This book is essential, in fact mandatory, reading for workplaces and caregivers if we are to stem current dangerous trends in the workplaces of the U.S. and the U.K."
—Richard B. Gilbert, Ph.D., CT, The World Pastoral Care Center/Bridgebuilders
"Neil Thompson's timely, highly readable, and much-needed book, Loss, Grief, and Trauma in the Workplace, could (and should) be used by a wide readership, ranging from human resources directors, corporate executives, and boards of directors to business college/school course instructors.
—Howard F. Stein, Ph.D., Professor and Special Assistant to the Chair, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
"Neil Thompson has placed loss, grief, and trauma in the wider context of people's lives, their well-being, the organizational policies and practices of workplaces, and the complex interweaving of working and personal lives. Current theory and practice are skilfully combined. A highly informative and readable text."
—Louise Rowling, Ph.D. ,Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney
"Thompson details the many ways in which a person can experience loss (other than through death, such as loss of employment, end of a relationship, or loss of health), and the different ways in which people grieve. While the book contains a great deal of researched information, the author also provides Practical Focusses that show how workplace support (or lack of it) can help or hinder a person during a time of crisis and healing. One chapter is devoted to outlining the policies that must be in place to ensure that this type of support is available and effective.
One of the greatest merits of this book is that it explores the topics of grief, loss and trauma in terms of the human stories behind them.
The book is very through in scope, and includes an extensive further reading list in the final chapter. The book will be of great benefit to anyone who wishes to be able to support employees, co-workers or friends during a time of loss, grief or trauma."
—John Adamsons, Creative Ministries Network, South Yarra, Victoria, Grief Matters, Summer 2009
"Thompson's approach is comprehensive and systematic. He begins by explaining what loss, grief and trauma are and what they mean in the workplace context. Thompson's book takes us a significant step forward in our understanding of grief and loss in the workplace and how best to respond.
It is written in a thoughtful and informed way that is solidly grounded in current grief theory. It will appeal both to workplace managers, team leaders and human resource personnel, and to grief specialists interested in learning more about bereavement in the work context. It does what it sets out to do, and is ideal for anyone looking for a comprehensive yet practical reference book on this subject."
—Ray Snape, Bereavement Care, Winter, 2010
About the Author:
Neil Thompson, Ph.D., is Professor of Social Work and Well-being at Liverpool Hope University and Director of Avenue Consulting Ltd (www.avenueconsulting.co.uk ) in the United Kingdom. He has thirty years' experience in the helping professions and has published thirty books. He is a sought-after conference speaker, workshop facilitator, and consultant.