Bernard Moss, Neil Thompson

Responding to Loss

Spiral Bound

Learning from Practice Series

A learning and development manual (2nd edition)



Responding to loss can often present major difficulties, not only for the people directly affected, but also for care professionals across wide spectrum of settings. Despite the significance of these issues, the subject matter is often neglected. This manual helps to put that right by offering trainers and tutors a basis of understanding loss and grief and how best to respond. Topics include the dual process model, the idea of stages, tasks of grief, the role of culture, ritual, religion and spirituality, loss and the workplace, difficult and complicated grieving and finding new meanings.

Responding to Loss is part of the Learning from Practice Series. Find out more about the range here.


ISBN: 9781912755448

Publication Date: June 2019

Contents includes:

About this manual

Part One: Setting the context
What is loss?
Setting the context
What is grief?
Approach 1: The Dual Process model
Approach 2: The idea of stages
Approach 3: The tasks of grief
Approach 4: Finding new meanings
What is mourning?
How do people deal with grief and loss?
Religion and spirituality
Exploring different cultures
Grief: How can things go wrong? Difficult and complicated grieving
What can we do to help?
You and your workplace

Part Two: Training and development
Exercises overview
A note on timing
Exercise 1: Welcome
Exercise 2: Ground rules
Exercise 3: Great expectations
Exercise 4: Listing the losses
Worksheet 1: Listing the losses
Exercise 5: Wishful thinking!
Worksheet 2: Codes of practice
Exercise 6: Creating a poster
Exercise 7: Trying to make sense of it all
Worksheet 3: Trying to make sense of it all
Exercise 8: Out of the ordinary!
Worksheet 4: Out of the ordinary (1)
Worksheet 5: Out of the ordinary (2)
Exercise 9: Where do i feature in all this?
Worksheet 6: Where do i feature in all this?
Exercise 10: The DOs and DON’Ts of helping
Worksheet 7: Responding to loss
Exercise 11: Celebrating diversity
Exercise 12: My boss really cares
Exercise 13: It’s got nothing to do with us
Worksheet 8: It’s got nothing to do with us
Exercise 14: The conspiracy of silence
Worksheet 9: The conspiracy of silence
Worksheet 10: The conspiracy of silence
Exercise 15: Men are from Mars…
Worksheet 11: Men are from Mars…
Exercise 16: Leaving was hard… but coming back was even worse
Worksheet 12: Leaving was hard… but coming back was even worse
Case study: Leaving was hard… but coming back was even worse
Exercise 17: Oh my god!

Part Three: Conclusion

Guide to further learning

List of resources


Bernard Moss is Professor Emeritus of Social Work Education and Spirituality at Staffordshire University, where he began working with social work students in 1993. His particular teaching interests have focused on communications skills, studies in death, dying and bereavement, and mediation studies. He was formerly Director of the Centre for Spirituality and Health at Staffordshire University, and made significant contributions to debates on this important theme.

Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser whose work is rooted in existentialist philosophy. It is this intellectual background, combined with his decades of experience in social work, that has given him not only an interest in spirituality, meaning and values, but also a commitment to promoting best practice in relation to such matters.


Find out more about Responding to Loss in this video interview with series editor, Dr Neil Thompson.

Learning from Practice series

This exciting new series of learning and development manuals brings together a team of highly experienced writers, practitioners and learning facilitators with series editor Neil Thompson, a well-respected author and educator. Together, they ensure that these manuals offer an effective way of bridging academic content with the challenging world of practice. As such, they will be invaluable for training presenters and tutors wanting to host events addressing the important range of issues covered by each manual.

Each one provides all the resources you need to provide a high quality learning experience, including helpful background material to set the scene, a range of exercises and worksheets to encourage participant involvement and associated PowerPoint slides to aid the clear and effective presentation of key elements of knowledge and practice. These expertly written resources will provide a foundation of understanding and confidence that will enable even the most inexperienced of trainers to provide high-quality training.

Find out more about the other titles in the Learning from Practice range here.


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