If you're here, reading about grief, it's probably because you're feeling some kinda way about some kinda thing, and chances are, that way isn't a very happy set of feelings. For some, even seeing the words "grief" and "recovery" in a sentence together seems a radical proposition. So let's start with the basics, and define what it is we're talking about, and why.
What is Grief?
“Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of, or change in, a familiar pattern of behavior.” – The Grief Recovery Institute®
Conflicting emotions are your normal, natural response to loss. Yet, the conflicting feelings of grief are overwhelmingly intellectualized within an inch of their half life, while the skills most of us have to recover equilibrium are usually useless platitudes and ideas that encourage us to contain and stifle what is meant to move through us.
How exactly are we supposed to move beyond loss, heal from our emotional traumas, rise triumphantly from the ashes, or even just meet the slippery demands of a fast-shifting world, when the conventional ideas about grieving look like:
- Grief is reserved only for "big" things like death and the end of romantic relationships.
- People who struggle with navigating loss struggle because they are weak and stupid.
- Significant losses will always hurt forever and ever but it gets a little better at some point though.
- There is an acceptable timeframe for legit mourning, and after that there must be something wrong with you.
- There are tidy, linear “stages” of grief.
- Time heals.
- Replace the loss.
- Grieve alone.
- Be strong.
- Don’t feel bad.
- Keep busy.
You’ve probably heard and experienced these notions for most of your life. For example: “Don’t feel bad” often takes the form of statements like “It could have been so much worse”, "At least you had a long time together", "You're better off without them/it", “Onward and upward”, “Don’t cry”, “She wouldn’t want you to be sad”, “She’s at peace with God now”, and “Look on the bright side”.
Another example: “Time Heals”. It’s one of the most common of the major myths about grief, and potentially the most devastating of them as well, because it paralyzes us into non-action when, frankly, waiting for time to heal your emotional wounds is like waiting for time to fill a flat fuckin' tire.
Recovery from Grief is Possible
I wanna go out on a limb here and suggest that your difficulty in bouncing back, getting over it, or adjusting to new circumstances is not your fault or because of something wrong with you.
Most of us in what is known as the Western world have been exposed to a suffocating avalanche of pressure to acquire stuff, work, relationships, things, even people. Yet our social paradigm presents us with virtually no relevant, useful guidance in regards to how to handle the inevitable loss of virtually anything, while conditioning us to stigmatize ourselves and each other for what we don’t already know. Our unavoidable, universal experience of loss is so often painted, erroneously, as individual personal failure in a vacuum of our own inferiority.
However, embodying the myths of grief and grieving is what most of us have been taught, so that is what we do, because we only have immediate access to what we have already learned.
About the Program
The Grief Recovery Method® is comprised of proven session programs that have helped thousands of people let go of the pain, the confusion, and the suffering surrounding the loss they have experienced in their lives.
In a program of 8 sessions, that are ~90 minutes each, we will:
- Further define grief and loss in a tangible, straightforward way.
- Continue to dismantle the myths and misconceptions regarding grief and grieving.
- Learn to view repeating patterns and compounding losses in a constructive, accurate way.
- Address what about your most impactful loss is left incomplete, and complete it.
- Fortify ourselves against the common 'insult to injury' ways those around us handle our grief.
- Gain the skills required to respectfully enroll others in our grieving process.
- Empower ourselves to better support loved ones through loss.
- Leave with a repeatable structure from which to efficiently approach future (and past) grief experiences.
Grief Recovery Method programs are not support groups, ongoing therapy, or drop-in classes. The Grief Recovery Method is a program of action that will help you change; a method of completing grief through simple and small actions taught step by step, in 8 sessions, as a one on one setting or in a small group.
The program is non-secular, and will work for anyone, regardless of faith, spiritual belief system, or other forms of orientation. Please note that close friends and family members should not work in the same group, and any GRM program is an upfront investment, which is non-refundable.
Materials and Time Commitment
- All Grief Recovery programs I offer include a session packet and your own copy of The Grief Recovery HandBook
- Programs are offered either weekly for 8 weeks, or twice-weekly for 4 weeks.
- Group sessions are up to two hours, one-on-one sessions are usually an hour to 90 minutes.
- Expect to do 2-4 hours of homework between coaching sessions.
- One-on-One Grief Recovery Method® programs are $1200
- Group programs are $360 per participant and offered once per quarter
- In service to our shared commitment to your recovery, all programs require your up-front monetary investment and are non-refundable.
Next Group: Q1 2019, Sundays, 6-8pm, January 13 to March 3, Artful Touch Tacoma WA
- The 2019 Q1 group meets from 6pm to approximately 8pm on Sundays, beginning Jan 13 and ending March 3.
- The cost is $360 per participant and includes your book and weekly handouts.
- Expect to do 2-4 hours of homework between sessions.
- Recovery program tuition is due in full no later than the first group meeting, and is non-refundable.
- If you’d like to pre-pay online to guarantee your spot, you can do so at my Services and Rates page
If you're anything like me, you're tired of tackling soulless excuses for grief advice with kid gloves, a resigned smile, and manufactured appreciation for the well-meaning motivations behind their ultimately unhelpful delivery.
If you're like I was when I finally discovered grief recovery, you're downright sick of feeling like shit, alone, being strong, staying busy, and mowing through life on a bunch of flat tires; perhaps even despite therapy, mindfulness, self-care bubble baths or even medication.
If the idea of hunkering down, getting to work, and taking your recovery (and your anger!) seriously invigorates you, learning the Grief Recovery Method from me may be an integral step to taking back your emotional life.
Where to go from Here
- If you are interested in being notified of my upcoming grief recovery groups, please join the Artful Touch mailing list.
- If you are ready to get started now, get in touch to talk schedule, and/or check out my Services and Rates page to choose your payment method.
- You can also read more about the program straight from the institute, or contact me directly for a free 15 minute consultation.
Regardless of whether I ever see you in one of my recovery programs, it is my goal to have offered information that can help ease the confusion and isolation of your grief experience; which is both completely unique, and utterly universal, at the same time. Whether you truly believe today that recovery from grief is possible, I hope finding yourself here prompts you to examine, or consider changing even in some small way, how you're approaching the concept of grief.