Overcome Grief & Loss
Grieving after the loss of a loved one is always painful. Some people get ‘stuck’ in the process and need help to reinvest in life again. Losing something (i.e. our health, marriage, career, home,) or someone (i.e. death of a parent, partner or child) challenges our values and the meaning which we attach to life, to people, objects and ideas. The fact is that a loss is really only seen as a loss because it is not chosen, is significant. When we choose to do something or be with someone, we have a certain control over the situation. When this is absent we feel threatened and the meaning we give to life is questioned. A loss also demands of us some kind of response in the form of physical and emotional adjustment. Individuals may experience shock, denial, anger and depression whilst attempting to adjust to traumatic circumstances. So often ‘anger’ is seen as a failure to adjust. However, anxiety, fear, anger, and crucially, depression are all strong emotions which put people into a trance, or in other words an internal state of locked attention in which no other view is possible. These strong emotions prevent the individual from thinking issues through in a way that will enable them to make sensible decisions.
Effective therapy focuses on calming the client down so they can access their ‘observing self’ which breaks the trance state. The observing self is that part of us which is always outside the content of our experiences, able to observe and analyse from different viewpoints. Standing back from our concerns also enables us to separate our concerns from our core identity. Realising that we are not our cancer, our kidney failure, our mental illness – is critical for people who are identified or labelled as their impairment. Learning how to engage the observing-self enables individuals to generate or listen to a wider range of options. Other effective interventions include ‘The Rewind Technique’, a painless method of helping individuals overcome severe trauma or the breaking of bad news, and visualisation techniques to rehearse the success of any strategy the client desires to put in place.