Disenfranchised grief

Ivy Margulies, PsyD Clinical Psychologist, discusses the concept of disenfranchised grief and explains how it can be an especially difficult type of grief to cope with
Disenfranchised Grief - Coping With Grief
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Disenfranchised grief

There is a term called disenfranchised grief and these are losses in our life that are often not recognized by society or there is a lot of shame and embarassment attached to that loss, such as an abortion. You don´t go to a dinner party and typically talk about an abortion or a miscarriage or the stillbirth of your baby. You also don´t tend to talk about the death of your husband often. But disenfranchised grief is a term really about no place to take your grief. You are alone. It´s very lonely. You grieve alone because society is not accepting of your loss. Often times if it is a stillbirth, you never had a relationship with that baby, so why are you grieving? It´s a very interesting term to really describe something that is everywhere.

Ivy Margulies, PsyD Clinical Psychologist, discusses the concept of disenfranchised grief and explains how it can be an especially difficult type of grief to cope with


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Ivy Margulies, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Ivy Margulies is a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles specializing in maternal mental health, including postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, reproductive challenges, miscarriage, and newborn loss and grief. Ivy’s expertise also includes child and adolescent development and attachment parenting. Dr. Margulies enjoys working with parents on their parenting skills, knowledge, and improving the parent-child attachment relationship. Ivy’s clinical approach is to integrate psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness and bring awareness to the mind-body-spirit connection through meditation, visualization and breath work. 

In addition to Dr. Margulies’ clinical practice, she is a death midwife. What does this mean? Death midwifery is an ancient practice yet the term “death midwife” is relatively new.  Just as a birth midwife assists the family in the transition of bringing a new life into the world a death midwife assists and helps educate the family on processes associated with the transition of life into death, at any age. The work Ivy does is designed to create a sacred space for parents who have lost their newborn for reasons that are unknown and make no sense. Ivy comes to the hospital to help if needed and can help create a home funeral/memorial if desired. When there is a stillbirth or an infant dies in the hospital, often parents are not aware that they can take their baby home for three days and have a home memorial - they can take their time to say a final loving goodbye. The current culture in America is death phobic. We are typically scared to see, hold, and touch death. This is not natural. ‘We’ have lost all connectivity to the rituals around death and dying. Ivy is dedicated to improving the care and information families need in the hospital. You can see more information on her Angels Born Still page at www.drivymargulies.com.

Dr. Margulies is a member of the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force working to reduce the stigma and shame around maternal mental health issues while raising awareness of the #1 complication of pregnancy and childbirth. 

Dr. Margulies is featured on the website, www.KidsInTheHouse.com, and recognized as a specialist in grief and postpartum. Ivy is also featured as an on-line psychology expert for www.ModernMom.com. Dr. Margulies offers her opinions and advice on myriad topics ranging from bullying, obesity, bed wetting, breast feeding, sleeping issues, sibling fighting, parenting challenges, etc. 

Her keynote speaking engagements have included the Los Angeles County Psychological Association Annual Conference, St. John’s Hospital Think Pink Event, The Annual Childhood Grief and Traumatic Loss Conference, The Pump Station, and many others.

Ivy has 20+ years experience working with families and children and has been associated with UCLA’s Child Study Center, UCLA’s Office for Students with Disabilities, St. John’s Hospital Child Study Center, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Oncology. In addition, she has facilitated young widow groups for Our House bereavement center and has been the staff psychologist for the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine in Santa Monica. While at Akasha she created and facilitated groups focusing on pregnancy and motherhood, postpartum support, and an infant loss support group. She has also created and facilitated Mommy and Me groups at The Pump Station in Santa Monica.

She can be contacted at ivy@drivymargulies.com.

More Parenting Videos from Ivy Margulies, PsyD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter