It’s been a while since I’ve posted! This is partly because I am developing a second specialty, which is the field of grief and loss. As as therapist I feel as though I have some competence in treating these issues, but my goal is to be more than competent. I want to be better at it. As I study and learn more and more about this deep and broad topic I want to share those things I am getting trained in with you. I will share some myths I have learned about, some of which you may already be familiar with:
1. Time heals all wounds.
Let’s be honest: it doesn’t. Time alone doesn’t heal, it’s what people do over that time that matters. To help healing one needs to be able to acknowledge their loss, express their feelings, and feel a sense of connection with those who care.
2. People find it too painful to talk about their loss
Also not particularly true. Many folks coping with grief have expressed that even though it can be painful, it is also comforting and healing to be able to express and share feelings in a safe environment. This connection actually provides comfort and strength, creating a foundation for healing to begin.
3. Crying means someone is not coping well
I hope we’ve gotten past this phase as a society. Tears are not a sign of weakness, nor does it mean someone isn’t handling things well. In fact these expressions are a normal and healthy response to loss. Others can help by just being a supportive listener and encouraging survivors when they feel ready to share their emotions.
4. The grieving process should last about a year
There is absolutely no timeline for how long the grieving process should last! There are no ‘shoulds’ with grief. It’s important people process and work through their grief in a way that feels comfortable to them.
5. Quickly putting grieving behind speeds the process of healing
Everyone grieves in their own unique way. For some, blocking or repressing feelings serves as a barrier to healing and for others dwelling in grief may not help either. We can help by supporting others through actively listening and supporting their need to experience the pain of loss and encouraging to have healthy activities engaging with life.
Expect some more article on related to death grief and loss in the future. If there are any requests please feel free to email me.