Magical Thinking in Severe Grief Reactions

Theoretical Foundations and New Insights from a Grounded Theory Expert Study

  • Christian Lönneker

Part of the BestMasters book series (BEST)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XX
  2. Christian Lönneker
    Pages 1-9
  3. Christian Lönneker
    Pages 11-48
  4. Christian Lönneker
    Pages 49-66
  5. Christian Lönneker
    Pages 67-104
  6. Christian Lönneker
    Pages 105-118
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 119-182

About this book


Christian Lönneker systematically explores the phenomenon of magical thinking in the context of severe grief reactions focusing on intrusive forms reported by bereaved individuals seeking professional support. The author succeeds in proposing a comprehensive definition of magical thinking and a rationale for its association with grief based on various disciplines, such as psychology, anthropology, and the cognitive science of religion. Within the scope of a grounded theory study, case reports comprise themes like bringing the deceased back to life, the magical efficacy of religious rituals, and attempts to ward off harmful influences of the dead.

  • Reactions to Bereavement
  • Bereavement and Psychopathology
  • Perspectives on Magical Thinking 
  • Magical Thinking at the Origins of Human Burial
  • Qualitative Methodology in Bereavement Research 
  • Themes of Bereavement-Related Magical Thinking
Target Groups
  • Lecturers and students of psychology and anthropology 
  • Practitioners and researchers in the fields of psychotherapy, grief counseling, palliative and end of life care, funeral directors
The Author
Christian Lönneker holds a Master of Science in Psychology. Currently, he is preparing for a doctoral program at the Chair of Psychopathology and Clinical Intervention at the Department of Psychology of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in which he will further investigate magical thinking in severe grief reactions.


Prolonged Grief Disorder Magical Thinking in Severe Grief Reactions Complicated Grief Bereavement and Loss Continuing Bonds After Death Communication Cognitive Science of Religion Thanatology Rites of Passage Funeral

Authors and affiliations

  • Christian Lönneker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology , Psychopathology and Clinical InterventionUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Wiesbaden
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science and Psychology
  • Print ISBN 978-3-658-25001-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-658-25002-7
  • Series Print ISSN 2625-3577
  • Series Online ISSN 2625-3615
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals