Holistic wellness centre Namaste has just launched the island’s first grief recovery programme
Time Out Bahrain staff
Holistic wellness centre Namaste has just launched the island’s first grief recovery programme. It sounds a bit new-age so we took the chance for a chat with Isobel McArthur, who’s the centre’s certified grief recovery specialist and a wellbeing consultant, to find out more.
What is grief recovery? It’s a method and action plan that allows you to truly move beyond your pain in a safe, nurturing environment facilitated by an experienced certified grief recovery specialist. You may choose to experience the Grief Recovery Method personally, via one-to-one personal sessions, or attend an outreach programme with others in a group. Either way you will be gently guided through the method each step of the way.
Probably the best description is that it is an education. You will be taught, in a very specific way in a series of sessions, to recognise the misinformation and myths you may have learned. You will also discover what your short-term coping behaviours are and have been and be given the opportunity to take the actions necessary to move out of pain and into recovery.
It’s not a therapy - although going through the process is therapeutic, it is not a therapy. There is no need to analyse the information of your losses in any way. You are led directly to the actions that lead you to feeling better.
It’s not bereavement counselling - the Grief Recovery Method specialises in recovery, and to take all the actions and steps necessary to complete anything left unresolved following a loss. It is not a counselling relationship.
It’s not a “treatment” or cure - because you have grief or pain in your life does not mean you are sick or ill. You do not need to be cured, you do need a way to feel better. We can’t promise that you will stop feeling sad, however by taking all the actions and steps within the method the pain is far less intense and for many the grief has ended completely.
It sounds new, how long has this type of treatment been available? The Grief Recovery Method was developed by John W James and Russell Friedman who are the founders of the Grief Recovery Institute in the USA. Together they have assisted in the recovery of tens of thousands of people over the past 30 years. It’s a way for grievers to take the small steps and actions that lead to completion of any unresolved issues relating to loss.
While grievers may find much information about grief itself, there is very little information about recovery. The emotional state linked to grief does not mean that there is something wrong in your intellect. Grief is defined as the “conflicting emotions that follow the ending or change in familiar patterns of behaviour”. This complex emotional state has nothing to do with your intellect. It is the heart that is broken, not the mind. You would go straight to the emergency department to get help if you broke your arm; maybe it is time now to receive help for your broken heart. The Grief Recovery Method is a way for you to do this.
You are a certified specialist, what does this entail? Only those that have received specialised training with an approved trainer from the Grief Recovery Institute are authorised to run this programme. I am also a wellbeing consultant with more than 17 years’ experience in many different modalities such as NLP, hypnotherapy, stress management, kinesiology and reflexology. I have experienced personally this excellent method after the loss of both parents and it was due to my own success with the Grief Recovery Method that I decided to enter this field.
Who can benefit, is it just for those who are bereaved? Everyone can benefit from this programme. Loss does not have to be limited to death. At some time in our lives, there will always be loss in one form or another. It is our ability or inability to handle the loss that affects our lives. There are more than 40 different types of losses associated with grief including divorce, health, trust, pet, moving house or country, growing up in a dysfunctional family or with an alcoholic parent and many others.
How many sessions are needed and what does it entail? It is our mission to help as many grievers as possible in the shortest possible time. There are many options available from one-to-one to outreach and special children’s programmes.
You may have found that time does not heal (contrary to what people tell you). There are people who are in as much pain even 10, 20, 30 or more years after their loss. The feelings and emotions you have are a normal response to the loss you have experienced. It is a sad fact that although we will all go through grief and pain at some point in our lives, there is no-one to teach and prepare us for this. Unfortunately, although grief is our natural human response to loss, the way society deals with it is intellectual and does not work.
There is nothing wrong with your mind it is your heart that is in pain. You cannot fix a dripping tap with a paintbrush. The correct tools and information are vital for recovery. With the Grief Recovery Method the griever is able to heal from the head and the heart.
With one-to-one sessions, you will spend time over seven weekly sessions with your certified grief recovery specialist. During these sessions you will learn how to use specific tools to help move you beyond the pain of grief and into recovery. Throughout the sessions you will be encouraged to review all the losses you have gone through in your life. You will also have the opportunity to review beliefs and behaviours. Tools will be demonstrated and given to you that allow you to complete the pain associated with the losses you have experienced and to release your loss in a safe, supportive way.
The group workshop or outreach programme is an opportunity for you to attend a group with other people who will also be dealing with their own grief and working on their own recovery process. This programme takes place in a safe environment that allows you to be honest and open about your feelings without judgement. You will be led by your specialist, taking small steps towards moving beyond the pain. The sessions take place over 12 weeks. It is important to say that it is not a support group, counselling or therapy. During the programme you will be given assignments to complete weekly.
Is it easy to identify grief? Every person who is grieving will do so in their own individual way. However there are common signs that a person is feeling the loss and pain of grief which are: • Isolating themselves • Grieving alone • Feeling numb and unable to cope with daily life • Lack of enthusiasm for those things that used to interest them • Crying at unexpected moments • Sleeping and eating habits may have changed
Are there any tips to give to someone who is grieving? I would say the first thing is to know that what is being felt emotionally is a normal and natural reaction to any form of loss.
A person who is experiencing grief and pain needs to know that they are not alone and that through the Grief Recovery Method they can feel better and move beyond the pain. When they attend an outreach programme they have the opportunity to work through their grief with other people who are also working on their own personal losses.
The biggest tip would be to contact a grief recovery specialist. Call Namaste (17 591 565).