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Self-help books on Bereavement


There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.

Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.

Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.


The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.


Date of information: Sept 2013

Miscarriage: Women Sharing from the Heart
Marie Allen & Shelley Marks, John Wiley & Sons, 1993

This candid and poignant book helps you understand and work through your deepest feelings and concerns and, most importantly, reassures you that you aren't alone. The personal stories of 100 women talking about their miscarriage experiences. Helpful advice for partners, family members, and health care professionals.

When Parents Die
Rebecca Abrams, Routledge, 1999

A book written for young people grieving for a parent. The author was a Cambridge student whose father died when she was 18 and she offers support based on her personal experience and that of other bereaved young people.

Sibling Bereavement - Helping Children Cope with Loss
Ann Farrant, Continuum International Publishing, 1998

Written from personal experience, the book also has case histories and commentaries intended to help parents understand their own and their children's reactions. Potentially also useful for adults still grieving the death of a sibling in childhood.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One
Carla Fine, Main Street Books, 1999

Carla Fine assembles stories of many suicide survivors and relates her own story of losing her husband to suicide. Aims to help the reader to overcome the stigma as well as the trauma of suicide.

On Grief & Grieving
Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth & Kessler, David, Simon & Schuster, 2005

Revisiting of the stages of grief to create an accessible for those left behind. Aim is to help reader to rebalance their lives and find the courage to continue.

A Grief Observed
Lewis, C S, Faber & Faber, 1976

In this classic trial of faith, C. S. Lewis probes the fundamental issues of life and death, and summons those who grieve to honest mourning and hope in the midst of loss.

Overcoming Grief
Sue Morris, Robinson, 2008

A CBT self-help book to help you cope with your grief.

Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One

Ann Smolin, et al., Simon & Schuster, 1993

The author speaks about the variety of emotions that are felt after the suicide of a loved one and how they might be dealt with.

The Courage to Grieve - Creative Living, Recovery & Growth Through Grief
Judy Tatelbaum, Vermillion, 1997

An experienced therapist writes about many aspects of grief, including complex situations such as delayed grieving. There is advice on how to help oneself and others to get through the immediate experience of death and the grief that follows.

Facing Grief - Bereavement and the Young Adult
Susan Wallbank, The Lutterworth Press, 1996

A guide intended for young adults (18-28) which discusses the effects of bereavement and coping with emotions caused by the loss of a loved one. Also offers advice on how to handle practical matters from funeral arrangements to the legal complexities of a will.

A Special Scar - The Experience of People Bereaved by Suicide
Alison Werthheimer, Routledge, 2001

Draws on experiences of a wide range of people and situations.

Something I've Never Felt Before, How Teenagers Cope With Grief
Doris Zagdanski, Michelle Anderson Publishing, 1994

In this book the author speaks with young people between the ages of 12 and 21 about death and grief.