When faced with a physical injury, we usually rush to find immediate treatment. Whether it’s a bandage on a cut, a cast on a broken bone or an ice pack on a bump, we know better than to allow a physical wound to be left untreated. The truth is that our emotional wounds deserve the same sense of urgency and willingness to act swiftly. In order to begin healing, we must seek the help and attention that our pain requires.
Some may choose to try to tackle grief alone. However, joining a group program offers many benefits. Participating in an “Action Program,” rather than a traditional support group, paves a clearer path for moving forward to a specific destination. Instead of solely encouraging grievers to talk about their pain, Action Programs enable us to be proactive in our treatment. Ultimately, the goal of an Action Program is to reach a special state that we call Grief Recovery – a process where unresolved feelings can be reconciled, and a true sense of inner peace can be renewed.
Joining a Grief Recovery Group Program provides several benefits in helping us navigate through a difficult time.
It’s an unfortunate truth that grief is poorly understood by most people, and it can be very disheartening to hear the comments we receive from others in response to our grief. Sometimes it may feel like we don’t fit in with the world around us, because even our closest friends and family members cannot relate, or respond well, to our grief. The sad reality is that the majority of us don’t usually have the right tools or training to know how to fully be present and supportive while we (and others) are grieving.
You’re not alone.
Although every griever has a unique and individual story, joining a Grief Recovery Group Program presents the opportunity to be surrounded with others who can relate to where you are now or where you are coming from. Hearing from another person who is grappling with similar feelings of uncertainty, frustration or emptiness can help us realize that we aren’t alone. Even though we are not necessarily well-equipped to deal with grief based on what we’ve been taught, loss is something that everyone encounters at different points in life. Loss is a common issue without a strong collective awareness for how to respond to or deal with it. A Grief Recovery Group Program puts you in a room with other grievers who are traveling a similar path. Embarking on this venture together builds a bond among members of the group.
In addition to the opportunity to make valuable connections, a Grief Recovery Group Program brings structure and accountability to the journey. It outlines a tangible plan that brings hope for renewal and recovery, and a sense of peace and contentment in life after loss. Following a step-by-step program, led by an experienced and compassionate professional, sets the stage for healing. With the guidance of a gradually progressive curriculum and time for reflection, we are led towards recovery.
In the past, we discussed The Six Myths About Grief That Keeps Us Stuck. Oftentimes, these myths are the root of hurtful comments offered to us by relatives or coworkers in an ill-fated attempt to comfort us during grief. These comments include phrases like: “Be happy your loved one isn’t in pain anymore” or “Just keep busy and stay positive.” Despite their good intent, these words leave us feeling even more alone by invalidating and diminishing our natural, visceral responses to grief.
Most of us have been taught since childhood to mask all forms of grief, acting like everything is fine. Whether someone has just lost their job, gone through a divorce or lost a loved one, the message is too often “move on and act happy”. When someone asks, “How are you?” the expectation is to say you are doing “Well”. Any other responses (no matter how honest) feel unwelcome. We are pressured to pretend that we are fine when we are hurting just to avoid making others uncomfortable. Obviously, this presents a major barrier when it comes time to confront our grief.
It is completely normal and natural to experience grief after a loss or losses. This is an expected occurrence, despite our own (and society’s) reluctance to accept or acknowledge these feelings. When participating in a Grief Recovery Group Program we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we are not alone and others are also in need of help to deal with the pain of their grief. We are given permission to let our guard down and open ourselves up to the vulnerability required to allow for true emotional healing.
Those who join a Grief Recovery Group Program usually connect on a deeper level among the group than with outsiders who may not be able to relate to the emotional pain they are experiencing. The sense of feeling CONNECTED brings about a level of healing in itself. We all have an inherent drive to be heard and understood on a basic level. Connection shared among grievers can serve as a lifeboat from loneliness. This is particularly noteworthy as a means to combat feelings of isolation, which are all too commonly experienced when we are grieving.
Following a profound loss, it can be tough to maintain the structured routines we might have been accustomed to in the past. It’s not uncommon to become forgetful or disorganized. Our usual day-to-day routines can go by the wayside as grief preoccupies our minds and our hearts. We may not even be fully aware of the enormous amount of mental and emotional energy being drained by unresolved grief. Summoning enough discipline and clarity to do the work required for Grief Recovery can seem like an insurmountable task, especially when trying to go about it alone. By scheduling a set time to address grief, we bring structure to an often ambiguous and overwhelming endeavor.
In addition to the structured time you spend in a Grief Recovery Group Program, you also gain the benefit of having a structured, proven process that works. A Certified Grief Recovery Specialist will guide you every step of the way through effective exercises to promote deeper recovery. Following a proven, evidenced-based Grief Recovery Group Program certainly beats trying to discover our own way in the dark. Each session builds on recovery and advances us towards the next set of challenges. The structure of a Grief Recovery Group Program lays out specific guidelines and commitments, and it helps you set reasonable expectations to allow for a safe and successful recovery process.
“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” – Harvey MacKay
Another major benefit of joining a Grief Recovery Group Program is the accountability we receive by being engaged with other grievers. Having accountability to ourselves and others is a vital component of any self-improvement or healing process. Accountability pushes us to reach new milestones. Without accountability, we have no system in place to measure or build on our progress. It’s easy to get stuck in limbo or find ourselves moving backwards when we lack accountability measures.
Grief Recovery is a journey, and it’s not always an easy one. Despite the numerous benefits to be gained by the journey, in the moment it can feel easier to persist in an unrecovered state. As previously mentioned, unresolved grief steals tremendous amounts of energy from us. This sometimes compounds the inclination to avoid addressing grief and postpone the work necessary for healing.
Joining a Grief Recovery Group Program is a proactive way to overcome the hardship of going through the process alone and without direction. With a structured program we get accountability to ourselves, our program leader and the other grievers who are participating. We are accountable to the curriculum and activities asked of us. We have clear tasks laid out at a set meeting time and place where we are expected to be present and engaged.
If you are suffering from a broken heart, take action towards recovery by committing to a Grief Recovery Group Program. Just as you would address a physical injury right away, emotional injuries need immediate attention, too. It can be easy to feel lost trying to tackle grief alone, but a Grief Recovery Group Program provides a clear roadmap with the proper support and accountability to encourage and inspire us to stick with it. With structure and accountability, we can stop spinning our wheels and constructively move forward towards recovery.
We look forward to connecting with you and supporting your personal healing journey!