The Grief Recovery Method®

Research conducted by Kent State University has shown that The Grief Recovery Method® approach to helping grievers deal with the pain of emotional loss in any relationship is “evidence-based” and effective. Learn More.

The Grief Recovery Institute’s free ebook: The Grief Recovery Method Guide for Loss: 61 tips on the experience of Grief and how to help people through it is available immediately and freely to help you better understand grief right now.

To search for a Grief Recovery Specialist in your area, go to The Grief Recovery Method website.

Good grief.. why is it so hard?

Grief is a stigmatized and misunderstood emotional process that few of us have learned effective skills to maneuver. Most of us have become normalized to behaviors and ways of thinking about grief that keep us disconnected from our emotions, and the bodies we process them through.

Grief — a felt sense process — is most often automatically met with intellectualization. This takes us away from what exists to be felt and honored, into our circumstantial stories which attempt to rationalize what can’t be fully experienced in literal terms.

Defining grief

Many people have been mislead by the definition of grief as something like “deep sorrow or distress, especially caused by someone’s death.”

Deep sorrow, though often an element of grief, is not in and of itself grief. Nor is distress. Or denial, or anger. Grief is, well.. kind of everywhere, actually, not to put too fine a point on it.

“Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.” – The Grief Recovery Institute®

Conflicting feelings are the hallmark of a grief experience, and are also your normal, natural response to loss. Sadness, anger, numbness, devastation, fear, relief, hopelessness, rage, gratitude, excitement, loneliness, frustration, conflicted, self-conscious, loving, hateful, uncertain — all emotions one might feel, simultaneously, or in jumbles, while in grief.

Grief is universal, in that it is our normal, natural response to loss, which is an experience no person avoids enduring in their lifetime. There is no roadmap, no three or five or seven “steps” to take, no “stages” to bounce around, no prescription to fill. The emotions that a person feels as they grieve loss are completely their own.

Familiar myths about grief

Similarly to the incomplete working definition of grief to which most of us have been exposed, what we commonly learn about navigating that grief are myths.

At best, the notions encapsulated above offer a temporary, superficial distraction. At worst, these platitudes cause us to want to punch people and die in a hole. These are ideas that encourage us to quietly poison ourselves by holding on to what is meant to move through us. They’re rooted in expressing intellectual truths, rather than addressing the emotional process of grief that’s underway.

I won’t tell you I know how you’re feeling, because I cannot (and neither can anyone else). I will share that for me, the myths about grief are a lot like putting a Hello-Kitty band-aid at the end of the weeping stub where my leg used to be. Moderately distracting, potentially somewhat cute, woefully ineffective, sometimes just flat out annoying, and eventually contributing to a systemic infection.

Yet, embodying the myths of grief and grieving is what most of us have been taught. So that is what we do, because our human mind only has immediate access to what it has already learned.

Waiting for time to heal

You’ve probably heard and experienced these pervasive and insidious myths in action for most of your life. For example: “Don’t feel bad” often takes the form of statements like “She’s at peace with God now,” “Remember the good times you had together,” “At least it wasn’t worse,” “Don’t cry,” “He’s out of pain now,” “She wouldn’t want you to be sad,” and “Look on the bright side”.

Another example: “Time heals”. It’s one of the most common of the six major myths about grief presented in the Grief Recovery Handbook, and potentially the most devastating of them as well, because it paralyzes us into non-action.

Waiting for time to heal your emotional wounds is like waiting for time to fill a flat tire.

Try looking at it this way: Whether the wound be present in the physical tissues of your body (which respond automatically with inflammation, fluids, and fibroblasts to begin the repair process) or in the emotions of your perceptive being, correct and appropriate actions are what heal, not time.

So imagine then for a moment “being strong,” and “staying busy,” potentially attempting to “replace your loss,” while “grieving alone,” and trying “not to feel bad”, all while plowing down the road of your life on a flat fucking tire, trying to set your broken steering arm by… thinking a bunch about how you broke it.

If you’re still reading this, I’m willing to bet it didn’t take much to be able to relate to that image.

Learn a new way in eight weeks

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The Grief Recovery Method® is comprised of proven session programs that have helped thousands of people let go of the pain, confusion, and suffering surrounding the loss they have experienced in their lives.

The program is secular, and will work for anyone regardless of their faith, spiritual belief system, or other forms of orientation.

The Grief Recovery Method® is not a support group, counseling, or extended open-term therapy. It is a method of completing grief through simple and small actions taught step by step over eight weekly sessions, in either a one-on-one setting or in a small group.

In those eight weeks, we start by examining and dismantling the unhelpful coping strategies that were passed down to us — we’ve started with the myths already (Yeah! Fuck you, “Time heals”!), and there’s a lot more where that came from. I then guide you through experiential learning of a better way, that actually works, of completing your emotional losses, by working one of yours with you.

You can learn more about the program I facilitate and the institute which certified me on the Grief Recovery Method website as well.

Next GRM® Group: Sundays 3:00 – 5:00pm, Jan 5 – Feb 23, 2020

Would a different time on this day work better for you? Please fill out a request form and let me know.

Grief Recovery Method® Groups are offered quarterly at Artful Touch, and currently cost $380 for all eight sessions. Tuition includes a copy of The Grief Recovery Handbook and your course materials.

We have room in each group for up to four participants. While sometimes things do happen, please sign up to attend only if you can reasonably commit to being at all eight sessions. Your participation is integral to both your own recovery and to the stability of the group.

Cancellations and Refunds

Your recovery from grief is important to me, and I want to see you succeed in this program. Sadly, my years of experience show that when offering payment plans or free programs, participants simply drop out once the work gets hard.

In the interest of supporting your commitment to completing the loss in your life, I do not offer refunds or per-session payments on grief recovery programs.

Make-up’s and rescheduling are absolutely possible, however no refunds are offered for grief recovery sessions or missed sessions that are not rescheduled, and flexibility can often be limited when your grief recovery participation is in a group.