Thursday, February 26, 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, noon Central, 1 pm EST
Transforming Grief in Career and Caregiving
Grief is a fact of life, a part of the human condition. This applies and supports anyone who is dealing with personal and professional loss. Grief is cumulative and is provoked by loss of any kind, include losing a job, losing a loved one, your pet, anything that we are attached to or have invested energy into. The intensity and degrees of grief experience vary according to nature of the relationship. Fresh grief re-stimulates unresolved grief due to prior losses. We can be available to others in their grief according to how well we know our own.
Have a pencil and paper ready during the tele-interview. Think about a loss you have had. Write down the first word that comes to mind. In the same format you would make a shopping list, write the words as they come to you without filtering, breathing through your nose as you write the words. Notice what your mind has brought forth. Lyn will teach you skillful questions that you can ask yourself, or if you work with clients, that you can ask them to help them recognize how to best use this information so that they can engage in the transformation of their grief.
Grief is the most available untapped emotional resource for personal transformation. For example, if you have not dealt with your grief; i.e., if your mother died, the initial reaction is to draw away when you hear of another person's mother dying. If you were down-sized from your work, your initial reaction may be to draw away when you hear your client's story about being laid off. Lyn teaches people to learn how to make peace with grief. In this hour tele-interview, you will gain knowlege and awareness regarding the nature of grief, your relationship to it, how to work with and transform your grief so you can be available to others who are dealing with their grief in career and caregiving issues.
- You coined the word Degriefing (R). You say your Degriefing thrives in skillful questioning. What do you mean by that? (word exercise)
- What kind of questions do you ask people when they first come to you in the intake interview?
- What do mean by "working with your grief?"
- You have said that fresh grief re-stimulates unresolved grief due to prior losses and that we can be available to others in their grief according to how well we know our own. Could you explain that?
- What does losing a parent or a child have to do with losing a job or a pet?
- What can those who experience loss deeply do to manage/transform their grief? (timeline)
- Why do some people experience loss more deeply than others?
- Your approach to working with grief is multisensory. How do you recognize what integrative therapies work for an individual?
- In working with clients (as a counselor, coach, or health care provider), how do you deal with the grief that you encounter when you are dealing with their grief?
Learn more about Lyn's training programs....
What Is Degriefing?®
Degriefing® is a body/mind process based in the premise that “grief is the most available, untapped emotional resource for personal transformation. It integrates the use of both traditional and integrative therapeutic modalities.
Grief is the body’s response to loss; any loss. Fresh grief can stimulate the feelings of previous unresolved grief. Loss is a common experience that every person encounters during his or her lifetime. A grieving person can undergo both significant and subtle changes impacting their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states. It is necessary to understand the effect that grief has on existing conditions.
Symptoms of distress can be part of simple or complex, fresh or unresolved grief. A variety of somatic complaints can be experienced: fatigue, insomnia, pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, chest pressure, palpitations, stomach pains, headaches, backaches, panic attacks, increased anxiety or depression amongst others. If medicine is to treat the root causes rather than mask the symptoms of these potentially serious medical complaints; thorough evaluation is required to identify and differentiate the roots from the manifestations of actual illness.
Grief related problems are often unrecognized and remain unaddressed by today’s quick-fix health care system. The well trained counselor can provide: supportive verbal communication techniques, nurturing emotional attention, make recommendations and provide referrals for the appropriate integrative therapies (supporting the implementation of important somatic treatments), and embody the personal presence needed to assist clients in coping with grief in a healthy self-supporting way.
Types of Losses (at bottom of frame)
Exercise: The Degriefing® Timeline
The Degriefing Timeline is a tool that can be effectively and efficiently used to identify and acknowledge the grief that each individual carries. By creating a timeline one can view the legacy of their losses more objectively. The information regarding loss in one’s life can be graphically viewed outside the body, while the somatic reaction that is felt is happening inside the body.
Losses have mental, emotional, physical, physiological and psychological components that are in fact unique to each particular incident. Since grief is the body/mind’s reaction to loss, any loss, the timeline is a proficient way to experience the impact of each loss on one’s life story.
Important information is needed to begin the transformation process of using grief as fuel for personal healing. The body holds onto somatic information that the mind has long since chosen to forget.
Measuring the degrees of grief, is a very skillful way to ascertain which loss to explore first when approaching the subject of of an individual’s grief. Present loss is combined with and exacerbated by past losses. Fresh grief restimulates unresolved issues and feelings of grief from the past. When griefs combine they do not add up linearly, the result is an exponential effect. Working with the timeline can reveal what is still living residually in the body.
Stephen and Ondrea Levine clearly advise that when one has not gone to the gym to work out for a while, to pick up the 3 pound rather than the 300 pound weight is both a skillful and compassionate approach. It is not mandatory to tackle the most painful and difficult loss first. Encouraging an person to ask “Where do I want to start to unravel my legacy of loss?” is a skillful way to begin.
No loss that can be remembered is too small to log. Our minds often suggest that life’s little losses are not a big deal. Yet when viewing the chronology of our losses our feeling state in the present regarding losses in the past, can bring awareness of the specific and cumulative effect of the events of loss in our life.
The intention of this exercise is to use this Degriefing tool to guide an individual to a more comprehensive awareness of their physically held pain and emotions. Observing the thoughts, feelings and memory upsurges that occur while recording particular losses on the timeline, encourages a grieving person to take a compassionate look at what they have experienced and what they are still being affected by.
The process of viewing the “Many Faces and Places of Grief”, demonstrates that our losses impact our lives to various degrees throughout our lifetime, and that we can be empowered to transform the pain of loss into self-caring awareness and intentional healing.
Draw a horizontal line, and divide it into five year increments from the date of your birth to your present age. Ask what losses I had between 15-20, or 30-35, 45-50 etc. Observation is the key. Pay attention to where in the body corresponding feelings occur, and what the mind comments while recording the loss. Feel the emotional impact.
Start anywhere to log the losses, with the names, incidents, dates, present feelings and memories. You may use different colors to express impact. Add pictures, phrases and key words, noting thoughts, bodily feelings and memories that correlate. Perhaps you will recognize the primary losses that caused the secondary ones. Notice patterns of loss and groupings. Design this graph as intricately as you choose.
Loss and grief are inherent to the human condition. Recognize that this timeline is an ongoing work in progress. Stay present and observe the surprises that may occur. This is an exploration of the story of the losses in your life and how they have and continue to affect you. “Grief is the most available untapped emotional resource for personal transformation.”
TYPES OF L0SSES
Loss of fertility
Loss of mobility
Loss of skin tone
Loss of vision
Loss of face
Loss of hearing
Loss of hair
Loss of natural hair color
Loss of control of body temperature
LOSS OF SELF
Through physical illness
Through spouses death
Through job loss
Through substance abuse
Through mental illness
Through physical/emotional/sexual abuse
Loss of dreams
Loss of faith/trust/hope
Loss of childhood/innocence
Loss of sexual energy
Loss of humor
Loss of personality
Loss of familiarity
Loss of independence
Loss of femininity/virility
Loss of civil liberties/freedom
Loss of quality of life
Loss of ability to face things
LOSS of OTHERS
Death of spouse/partner
Death of parents/friends
Death of child/grandchild
Death of siblings/relatives
Through geographic move
Through job loss
Through drug use
Through loss of friendship
Degriefing© Lyn Prashant, 415.457.2272
Welcome Lyn and welcome listeners all over the world. This is Dr. Sally Gelardin with the Careerwell Tele-Interviews. Lyn Prashant, our guest today, is a certified grief counselor with over 23 years experience in the field. She is also a certified yoga instructor, massage therapist and physical education teacher. This combination of skills and experience has led her to develop a unique somatic approach to grief counseling called "degriefing." I asked Lyn to talk with us today about grief because it's February and many people have lost their jobs. Before we begin, I'd like to remind you to press 5* on your phone if you have a question. Also have a paper and pencil nearby because Lyn is going to guide us through an exercise on transforming grief in career and caregiving that is posted on careerwell.org. Lastly, please fill out the evaluation form that is linked to your call-in email information.
Here's a preview of March and April:
- 3/12//09 Susan Whitcomb 12 Tips for Job Search in a Tight Economy
- 3/26/09 Edward Colozzi Creating Careers with Confidence
- 4/9/09 Richard Leider Discovering What Matters To Individuals 45 Years+
- 4/16/09 Susan Zglicznski California is the only state that does NOT license professional counselors. Find Out What You Can Do To Change This Picture
- 4/30/09 Rich Feller Developing Knowledge Nomads