Cognitive behavioural therapy could be used to help reduce self blame among relatives bereaved by suicide, nurse researchers have found.
The Dutch study involved 122 relatives and spouses of 70 people who committed suicide. About 40 families received four two-hour sessions with a trained psychiatric nurse counsellor three to six months after the suicide, while 31 families received usual care.
The authors said the counselling programme aimed to offer relatives a reference for their grief. Issues were discussed and participants also used a manual with information on suicide and bereavement, and sources for additional help.
While counselling was found to have no effect on complicated grief, maladaptive grief reactions were less common in the intervention group and they were also less likely to self-blame.
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