2011 Keynote Speaker Dr. Pauline Boss

Dr. Pauline Boss
University of Minnesota

Author of Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief

Pauline Boss, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota; Fellow in the American Psychological Association, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy; former president, National Council on Family Relations; and family therapist in private practice.

With her groundbreaking work as a scientist-practitioner, Dr. Boss is the principal theorist in the study of ambiguous loss, a term she coined in the 1970s.  Since then, she has researched various types of ambiguous loss, summarizing her work in the widely acclaimed book, Ambiguous Loss:  Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (Harvard University Press, 1999).  Dr. Boss’s most recent book, Loss, Trauma, and Resilience (Norton, 2006), presents six therapeutic guidelines for treatment when loss is complicated by ambiguity. These guidelines are based on her years of work with families of the physically missing during the Vietnam War, after 9/11, and in Kosovo, as well as in clinical work with families with loved ones who are missing psychologically—from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, as well as from traumatic brain injury.  She is currently writing a book for the general public to help them find meaning and hope despite the ambiguous loss of dementia. For more information, see her website: www.ambiguousloss.com.