A common belief among those who work with the bereaved is that coping with the loneliness of the loss of a loved one is the single most challenging factor of grief. The thought is that if a grieving person can be quickly reconnected to family and friends the loss will be much easier to overcome, and life can resume a sense of normalcy.
Yet coping with grief is much more than the loss of another person. In many ways, it is the loss of a sense of self. We know ourselves through our relationships, and develop a sense of self based upon how we fit amongst our circle of family and friends. This includes the roles we take on, the responsibilities we feel, and the value we derive from functioning as part of a system that is much larger than us.
However, when this system is disrupted, we often feel disrupted. The loss of a loved one can throw off the very homeostasis that helped us determine our sense of self. Often, we struggle to know ourselves without the reference of our closest relationships.
Filling the hole that loss leaves with other relationships may help us feel less alone, but there is much more to grief than that. We have to re-learn who we are. We have to redefine ourselves. In many ways, we have to find ourselves again.
Re-connecting with a stable sense of self lies at the core of grieving because loss interrupts much more than our relationships. It interrupts who we are. In many ways, we don’t only have to grieve the loss of another person, we also have to grieve a loss of self.
But how do we grieve a loss of self? How do we regain a stable sense of self? What steps do we take, and how do we make sure that we aren’t simply trying to fill a void in our lives and, in the process, overlooking the very work that will truly help us relieve our pain?
Professional Development Resources‘ continuing education course, The Grieving Self answers all of these questions and many more. Helping therapists identify common reactions experienced by those who lose a loved one, differentiate between the characteristics of grief’s first and second stages, help clients understand the grieving process and develop strategies to cope better and avoid chronic grief, the course moves beyond simply over-viewing the stages of grief to provide a solid set of skills therapists can use to help clients reclaim an operational self after the loss of a loved one. Click here to learn more.
Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).
Target Audience: Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapist (MFTs), Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), School Psychologists, and Teachers