Dr Pauline Boss

Course Contributor

Dr Pauline Boss

Professor Emeritus, Family Psychologist, Family Therapist & Author

Pauline Boss, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota; a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; a former president of the National Council on Family Relations; and a 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, 2000).

For professionals and for treatment, she wrote ‘Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss’ (W. W. Norton, 2006). Dr. Boss’s most recent book, written for families, is ‘Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief’ (Jossey-Bass, 2011).

She is currently writing ‘The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic’, to be published by W. W. Norton in November 2021. For more information about Dr. Boss, her writings, and the ambiguous loss online training program, see