As a certified Grief Recovery Specialist, I combine my education and life experience as a movement instructor, somatic bodyworker and former massage therapist in my approach to teaching The Grief Recovery Method, a proven five-step recovery program for those experiencing the confusion, isolation, and loneliness caused by emotional loss.
My grief recovery programs will help you put your relationship with loss into balanced perspective, enabling you to more easily see and address what about your losses is left incomplete. I will teach you actionable steps to peel away the layers of rationalization and avoidance to get to the heart of the matter while enrolling your bodies inherent wisdom in the process. The Grief Recovery Method is more than a support group, it is a program of action that will help you change.
“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls your life.” — Akshay Dubey
Grief is a stigmatized and misunderstood emotional process that few people of modern society have learned effective skills to maneuver. What we commonly learn about navigating grief are myths that encourage us to quietly poison ourselves by holding on to what is meant to move through us.
We are familiar and normalized to behaviors and ways of thinking that keep us fundamentally disconnected from ourselves to avoid experiencing the pain, but also, the relief that comes after authentically experiencing the impacts of loss. For starters, Grief — a FEELING, that we process with our BODIES is most often automatically met with intellectualization. This takes us away from our emotions, the process that needs to be felt and honored and experienced, and into our circumstantial stories which attempt to rationalize them.
Though we often internalize this phenomenon as being a fault, an inescapable lack within ourselves, our difficulty and confusion in resolving, or often even recognizing, grief, as a cause of our suffering, is not a personal failure or a personality disorder; though unresolved grief is often diagnosed as such.
What is Grief?
“Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.” – The Grief Recovery Institute®
Grief is universal, in that it is our normal, natural reaction to loss, which is an experience no person avoids enduring in their lifetime. However, the emotions that a person feels as they grieve loss are completely their own. There is no roadmap, no 7 “steps” to take, no “stages” to bounce around, no prescription to fill.
Conflicting emotions are also your normal, natural response to loss. Even if you know something is wrong but you can’t figure out how to address it: Consider that there is nothing wrong with you. Because chances are, there isn’t.
Myths about Grief
Though we are taught an avalanche about how to acquire things and stuff and people, most of us have been presented with virtually no relevant, useful guidance in regards to how to handle the inevitable loss of them. Instead, we get stuff like this:
Time heals all wounds
Replace the loss
Don’t feel bad
At worst, these platitudes cause us to want to punch people and die in a hole. At best, the notions encapsulated in these myths we propagate offer a temporary, superficial distraction. Their healing power is, well… mythical. They’re rooted in expressing intellectual truths, rather than addressing the emotional process of grief that’s underway.
“Almost universally, the foundation of our inherent skills in recovering from grief is based on a bunch of poodinky wiggawanga horseshit. Even the most dedicated, courageous, well-meaning person on the face of the planet is only as effective as their toolkit, and their ability/desire to use it. For most of us, our default toolkit for tackling grief looks a lot like some dude trying to paint the walls of a room with a hammer and a roll of fucking dental floss. For most of us, there has been no one else in the room to smirk at us good-naturedly, and show us that there is a better way.” – Courtnee Fallon Rex
The corrosion and damage of our collective ignorance regarding grief in society is often palpable, and the culprit of untold amounts of human suffering. On a cosmic level, many of us deeply understand this, but we have very little understanding of the grief process, what grief really is, and how much farther its tendrils spread into the fabric of our lives beyond the losses that are commonly associated with grief, like death and divorce.
Grievers are not lacking in courage, or even the desire to feel better, nor are their loved ones who wish to help. Yet, embodying the myths of grief and grieving is what most of us have been taught. So that is what we do, because we only have immediate access to what we have already learned.
Beginning to dismantle the misinformation
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, 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”, “grieving alone”, trying “not to feel bad”, all while plowing down the road of your life on a flat fucking tire.
If you’re still reading this, I’m willing to bet it didn’t take much to be able to relate to that image. And many of us relate to this on multiple levels, depending on the level of connection we feel with what’s happening to/in the world, and how we respond to the enormous amount of unnecessary suffering inherent in it.
About the program
The Grief Recovery Method® is comprised of proven session programs that have helped thousands of people let go of the pain, the confusion, and the suffering surrounding the loss they have experienced in their lives.
The program is non-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 in 8 sessions, in either a one on one setting or in a small group.
In those 8 sessions, 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.
Programs are offered either weekly for 8 weeks or twice weekly for 4 weeks. Group sessions are up to two hours, one on one sessions are usually an hour to 90 minutes.
All Grief Recovery programs I offer include your own copy of The Grief Recovery HandBook, and the specified number of Grief recovery Method® sessions presented by me.
You can learn further about The Grief Recovery Method® program I facilitate and the Institute which certified me on the Grief Recovery Method website as well.
The cost of a private one-on-one, 8-week in person course in the Grief Recovery Method is $640.
The cost per participant for a Grief Recovery Method group of 2-6 people is $350. Please note that it is often very difficult for me as an itinerant artist to organize a group, and they generally only happen when a participant enrolls their community in helping create one.