Grief Counseling

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Moving Beyond Emotional Challenges & Loss To A Richer Quality Of Life.


Grief – The Definition

Simply defined, grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional challenges of any kind. While we never compare events, any list would include death and divorce as obvious painful challenges. Our list also includes: health issues, retirement, moving, pet loss, financial, and many others.

The range of emotions associated with grief are as varied as there are people and personalities. There is no list of feelings that would adequately describe one person’s emotions, much less an entire society.

Grief is individual and unique. As every relationship is unique, so are the feelings and thoughts each person will have about the relationship that has been altered by death, divorce, or for other reasons.

 The Problem

While grief is normal and natural, most of the information passed on within our society about dealing with grief is not normal, natural, or helpful. Grief is the emotional response to loss of any kind. However, most of the information we have learned about dealing with loss is intellectual.

The majority of incorrect ideas about dealing with loss can be summed up in six myths which are so common that nearly everyone recognizes them. Most people have never questioned whether or not they are valid. The misinformation is best described in the following:

Six Myths

  • Time Heals All Wounds
  • Don’t Feel Bad
  • Grieve Alone
  •  Replace The Loss
  • Be Strong
  • Keep Busy

Just looking at the myth that “time heals” creates the idea that the person just has to wait and they will feel better. We have known people who had waited 10, 20, 30, and 40 years and still didn’t feel better.

The Solution

Recovery from loss is accomplished by discovering and completing all of the undelivered communications that accrue in relationships. We are all advised to “Let Go” and “Move On” after losses of all kinds. Most of us would do that if we knew how. Completion of pain caused by loss is what allows us to “Let Go” and “Move On”. It is almost impossible to “Move On” without first taking a series of actions that lead to completion.

Before taking the actions to complete the grief recovery process, it is important to look at and often dismiss some of the ideas or myths that we have tried to use with loss, but are not working.

The Grief Recovery® Program teaches correct action choices that help people “move beyond” the pain caused by loss. It is an eight week program that creates a safe environment in which to look at old beliefs about dealing with loss; to look at what other losses have affected your life; and to take new actions that lead to the completion of the pain attached to a recent loss, or one that occurred long ago.

The Grief Recovery® Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses, (released by Harper Collins in1998), and an accompanying format written by the Grief Recovery Institute founders, John W. James and Russell Friedman is used as the text for the program.

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