Bereavement & Chronic Grief

To grieve is a normal experience. With the death of a loved one, an individual can experience a full range of emotions that can last from days to years. Bereavement that needs some form of intervention such as hypnotherapy may be characterized as complicated bereavement or chronic grief. If the duration of the grief extends beyond what most would consider as normal, then outside help may be necessary. If the intensity of the grief interferes with life and wellbeing, help may be necessary. Additionally, if bereavement manifests itself in identifiable emotional, psychological, and physical ways that do not promote well-being, help may be necessary.

Often, these serious forms of grief are connected to the nature of the death. Loss of life that was traumatic, totally unexpected, and/or sudden can trigger issues of chronic grief. Children of a parent who has died often experience lifetime emotional problems if the complicated bereavement is not addressed. The cause of these long-term, or chronic, problems is that the severe emotions are occurring in the individual’s mind which is trying to interpret all the factual circumstances related to the death. All these thoughts and emotions overwhelm the conscious mind, and it is in the Middle Mind, or the subconscious, where these jumbled thoughts and emotions wrap together and solidify. Occasionally, the Middle Mind is not able to sort out all this information and intensity, and the resulting mental residue is undesired behaviors and emotional and physical responses. Hypnotherapy provides the key to getting at this distorted mental programming and reorganizing it in a more functional pattern.

People suffering from complicated bereavement or chronic grief take on a very pessimistic outlook on life. They may give up on goals and effort, become very negative about life events, or interpret all their day-to-day activities through a negative prism of grief. They may develop a great lack of trust in others. Some may become frantically active in meaningless activities, while others may be frozen and numb to life. Children and adults may experience sleep problems, such as nightmares, or simply lose the ability to rest. Physical problems may begin to manifest themselves as chronic depression deepens. Such physical problems may become more serious health issues that doctors deem psychosomatic since they have ruled out any physical diagnosis of the causes. For instance, someone suffering this level of grief might develop fibromyalgia. In some cases, doctors may formally diagnose a sufferer with depression or anxiety disorder. It would not be unusual to see some addictive behavior developer or worsen as the grief continues.

Since these emotions and behaviors are uncontrolled, we know they originate in the Middle Mind. As a result, hypnotherapy provides the most beneficial response to the needs of the person grieving. The first step in therapy is to access the mis-programmed Middle Mind. Hypnosis is the key to opening the door to the subconscious. It is a safe and effective means of therapy with no side effects in which the grieving client is fully aware and in ultimate control of the process. In fact, it will be the client’s Middle Mind which ultimately produces the desired results. Depending upon all the circumstances of the individual cases, the hypnotherapist might take several therapeutic routes. Typically, therapy includes some form of closure or dealing with unfinished business. One of the primary benefits with hypnosis is that it allows a client to deal with all the facts of the death again, but this time in a safe, organized, and objective fashion. With the swirl of emotions eliminated from the process, the client can look again at the event and all of its surrounding circumstances. This objective view allows the Middle Mind to reorganize all of these thoughts and to move them off center stage, so to speak. The grieving client can put the life of the lost one, with all the attendant history and relationship, back in order and within in a proper perspective. The client, now perhaps for the first time, can relax, return to an optimistic outlook, and rejoice in the memory of the one lost loved one.

Death is a reality with which we all must deal, but sometimes reality can hit a person in such a way as to throw life a bit out of whack. Many people over time can naturally return to a state of normalcy, but for others, the sadness and grief become so debilitating and confused that a little assistance is needed. Living in such a dark place with chronic grief and bereavement does not have to imprison anyone now that we understand better how and why it occurs.  Hypnotherapy provides the means to setting the mind in order and providing peace.