THE GRIEF RECOVERY METHOD
What is grief?
"Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind."
"Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior."
Both of the above quotes come from the "Grief Recovery Handbook" (James and Friedman, 1998, 2009), a powerfully healing approach to the process of grieving loss.
I first became acquainted with the method in the spring of 2016 when I was looking for a book to read on my bookshelf. I was initially drawn to the book because it was short and sounded potentially interesting. Well, as the saying goes, "don't judge a book by it's cover" because despite it's brevity, the words within were very powerful and its effect on me was significant. I was so impressed that within two months I found myself in Phoenix taking a course towards certification in the methodology.
The "method" as outlined by James and Friedman brings together much of what I already believed about loss, grieving and emotions, but presents it in a very clear and concise manner. It provides a new vocabulary and a very accessible approach for individuals who have experienced loss to put their loss in perspective, complete it and transform the loss into a new reality.
Whereas traditional approaches to grieving often use words like moving on, or getting past, the "method" instead focuses on completion and transformation. The "method" presents healthy grieving as a transitional process from the former relationship to the future relationship. Whether one is speaking of death, divorce, job loss or over 40 other identified life events where loss can be experienced, a relationship continues after the grieving is complete even with a deceased loved one or with someone who is estranged. The intention behind the method is that it will be a healthier, transformed relationship.
One of the other strengths that I find in the Grief Recovery Method is that grief is neither stigmatized nor pathologized. Grief, as with emotions, are just a normal part of life, that when embraced openly, will bring us to a place of peace and completion. As the authors state repeatedly through out the book, "Grieving people don't need to be fixed, they just need to be heard."
One of the benefits that I recognized in the program, from the perspective of an identity coach, is that unresolved loss is often a stumbling block to growing into one's complete self. In addition many of us try to avoid or bury the past, instead of using the past as a building block to the future life and self that we dream of creating. Grief Recovery focuses on completion and transformation which paves the way for a new or renewed sense of self.
How does it work?
The Grief Recovery Method is offered in both group and individual coaching settings. The program runs for eight sessions and includes a review of one's losses throughout all of life, looking for patterns, getting clear about individual losses, one loss at a time and working towards an internal resolution of the loss; completion of the grieving process.
Once the eight week course is complete the client may choose to continue to work through additional losses in a group setting or as individual work with the coach. The client may also decide to transition away from the loss work and move towards identity work; the latter providing the guidance on how to fill the void left by the recently completed loss.
Due to the nature and structure of the Grief Recovery Method, it is only offered in person. As one of the few certified and active practitioners in the state of Utah I offer individual sessions and periodic groups throughout the year. For more information you can contact me directly at: 908-692-4055 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Grief Recovery Method you can visit their website at