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In a boundary-crossing and globalizing world, the personal and social positions in self and identity become increasingly dense, heterogeneous and even conflicting. In this handbook scholars of different disciplines, nations and cultures (East and West) bring together their views and applications of dialogical self theory in such a way that deeper commonalities are brought to the surface. As a 'bridging theory', dialogical self theory reveals unexpected links between a broad variety of phenomena, such as self and identity problems in education and psychotherapy, multicultural identities, child-rearing practices, adult development, consumer behaviour, the use of the internet and the value of silence. Researchers and practitioners present different methods of investigation, both qualitative and quantitative, and also highlight applications of dialogical self theory.
This chapter draws on three strands of inspiration, concerned with meaning making, narrative and the dialogical self, braiding these together into a flexible and durable strand of coherence that runs through the author's therapy, and supports a great variety of novel interventions. It briefly sketches the landscape of loss as viewed through the contemporary scientific literature, in order to frame the field to which a dialogical, meaning-oriented model makes a distinctive contribution. From a constructivist standpoint, grieving for the death of a loved one entails reaffirming or reconstructing a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss. The chapter introduces the idea to Daniel of considering his life as a book, and asked if he would be willing to spend some time between sessions writing the table of contents of that life to capture its plot developments, including the accident and his subsequent adaptation.