Good article about facing our fears of death but also asks if we do face them, will we still fear death ultimately? Death will always incur doubt and fear, but facing it, helps us understand it more and help us understand what our loved ones who one day will die feel about it. These are things to discuss
Grief Counseling Education Program: Grief is Loss of Something
Grief and the process that accompanies it is a reaction to loss. It is a natural reaction to something that was once valued but is no longer within one’s touch. We usually think of death, but this can be applied to loss love, loss finance and anything we value. While the grief correlates with the subjective value of the object lost, it still nonetheless is a real experience for the grieving agent or person. Grief counselors must remember this.
With this in mind, we need to only recall a few weeks ago the tragic loss at the Boston Marathon, where bystanders and athletes alike loss limbs. This type of loss is especially traumatic and life altering. It brings about a loss of continuity of the person’s self image. This destruction of self image is a huge loss for anyone. With the loss of self image comes all the new hurdles and struggles that constantly remind one of the previous life.
Like any loss, the stages and oscilliations of grief will be intense. The injured victims at the Boston Marathon will need to learn to adapt, cope and learn new skills but this is far harder than simply words. For some it may take time, but for others it may never occur. The adaption and accomodation to the new situation may be too traumatic. Traumatic grief and PTSD may haunt them for their entire life. This psychological scarring is by far a cruel cross to carry, but with counseling, some may be able to find new meaning.
New meaning and creating new life narratives are key to grief recovery. It involves not forgetting the past but accepting it and incorporating it into one’s new life story. It never forgets the past chapters of the book, but understands the present as it is and looks forward to a new future. Again, easier said than done, but this is the theory behind it and what grief counselorswill be hoping to accomplish with these victims.
In the end, think about the trauma and loss you would feel if such a horrible and heinous event occurred to you? Would you be able to eventually adapt and re-create your new life narrative?
For now, let us pray for these victims that they may find the courage to eventually overcome the trauma. Patience, hope and charity are the keys to helping these victims find new meaning–they cannot do it alone but need a sojourner to show them the way.
Grief Counseling Education Program: Attachment Bonds and Grief Reactions
As social creatures, humans must interact in society. At every level there exists various relationships from the micro level of the family to the macro level of a nation. In each relationship various bonds form between people and the health and intensity of each bond reflects the grief reaction. The work of John Bowlby best expresses this when he conducted his research regarding mother/child bonding.
The first and most sacred bond is the bond between child and parent. This caregiving bond establishes not only immediate care and love but also lays the foundation for future bonding with other relationships. These early bonds when secure produce healthy adults who form new bonds with other people. A secure attachment that encompasses a loving parental/child bond ensures within the child’s mind that care and protection is provided and not neglected. These same ideals transfer to relationships later in life and help people grieve in a healthy fashion.
An unhealthy attachment bond is an anxious one where the child’s needs are left or neglected. This creates an anxiety within the child that those who bond with it will not always be there to help, protect and satisfy one’s needs. In adult life, the person feels an anxiety that a partner cannot fulfill their needs and will eventually leave them when in distress. This is only more complicated when a breakup or a death occurs. Usually complicatedgrief reactions occur within the person. The person struggles to alter the inner representation of the lost attachment figure and also have a great difficulty in letting go. Also within their grief, they may resent their lack of attention by others for their grieving needs.
The third and final type of bonding is an avoidant attachment bond where the child makes no attempt to secure the parent’s attention due to multiple pass failures. The result is an internal methodology of coping with stress instead of seeking external help. Someone who is dismissive-avoidant will flee outside help, one who is fearful-avoidant will try to protect oneself from pain and rejection in one’s solitude.
In conclusion, child bonding is critical in forming healthy adult bonds that affect the ability of the person to grieve in a healthy fashion.
If you are interested in Grief Counseling Education Program, please review the program.
(Information for this article came from “Helping Grieving People-When Tears Are Not Enough” by J. Shep Jeffreys)
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C