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Category:  Articles » Self Improvement » Grief-Loss

 

Grief Counseling and Recovery

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2009-06-03 08:45:09     
Article by Maurice Turmel PhD

When I was in private practice I saw a lot of individuals who were grieving the loss of a loved one, whether that was a child, a spouse, a parent or a close friend. On a few occasions I saw couples where one of them had been diagnosed with a terminal condition and had less than 6 months to live. These situations were particularly traumatic for the persons involved, especially for the spouse who was not ill.

With these latter couples, we would discuss what was happening and how each of them was dealing with their feelings. The diagnosed partner seemed to have the easier time, having accepted their illness and the eventual fatal consequences. I saw this type of reaction in my own family with a terminally ill brother-in-law and my sister. It was always the surviving partner who had the most difficulty with the situation because they would have to go on alone.

With counselling of any sort, the goal is to LISTEN! Not just the hear the words an individual was speaking, but to identify the Feelings behind them. When I would reflect back to the individual I always began with sounds like youre feeling " sad, angry, scared, anxious, depressed " whatever it was they were conveying. I would then ask them to check in to see if what I said was accurate. It usually was.

Then I would instruct them to pay attention to that particular feeling and tell me more about it. They would then describe their feelings in detail along with whatever physical reactions might be attached to it. Tears would begin to flow as they related the physical and emotional reactions they were experiencing. This was the essence of my counselling approach for persons in grief, no matter what the precipitating circumstances.

Sometimes grieving individuals would want to know about Stages and other matters they had heard about in relation to grief, and I would just steer them back to their feelings. Once they realized that this was more important, it became easier for them to go there themselves and accept that sharing, feeling and crying were in their best interest. After a few sessions of working with their feelings the process became more acceptable. Many of these individuals would later report that keeping in touch with their feelings had many advantages and helped them with other aspects of their life.

Externals, such as stages, theories, charts and graphs can help illustrate important points about a particular experience or grief event. These make for good news reporting and the plethora of self-help books available today. Grief recovery resources and counseling focus on Internals such as emotions, feelings and associated physical reactions. They focus on our Heart and Feeling center because that is where we experience the quality of our life and the pain of a major loss. Once an individual becomes engaged in the process of "looking in" they have a new tool with which to manage their life. Journaling, writing letters to the deceased, listening to soothing music and reading grief related poetry will put you in touch with Your Heart, and that's where healing takes place.

A well crafted grief recovery resource is second only to a good therapist as a guide to our grief recovery. For intense reactions you may need to start with a therapist. That aside, your grief recovery resource can provide all the guidance you need to navigate this experience. When we lose a loved one we experience powerful emotions and feelings that we are usually unaccustomed to. A good grief resource capitalizes on this and takes you further into the experience of loss. Yes it hurts, just like squeezing the poison out of an infected wound. But who would argue the end result. With permission to feel and the guidance of a good grief resource we can make our way through this experience. Our heart and feeling center know what to do once we engage this process.

Trying to apply externals to an internal problem is futile. It only serves to distract us from the real issue which our feelings will gladly tell us about. Thankfully, counselling and a well crafted book resource will re-acquaint you with your feeling state and guide you through the process of grief recovery, just as any good grief counsellor would.

Grief recovery counseling is fairly straightforward once you understand the process. Applying externals to an internal problem is futile. Talking about your pain is not the same as experiencing it which is what a good counselor and grief recovery resource would have you do. You now know that feelings are the key to your recovery. Feeling your bereavement and grief may be painful at times but that difficulty will be short-lived. Applying tools that focus on feelings and help release them will move your healing along. What you will be left with is the love you have for that deceased loved one, and that's forever.

Specialized in: Grief Counseling - Counseling For Grief - Grief And Loss Counseling - Grief Recovery Counseling - Counseling Grief - Grief Loss Counseling
URL: http://www.howtocopewithgriefandloss.com/Grief-Counseling.html
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