I'm a volunteer bereavement counsellor for a UK charity, which led me to The Grief Recovery Method. I became a specialist after exploring many ways of working with people and I’ve found The Grief Recovery Method to be so profoundly impactful. It's a pragmatic and totally compassionate approach; an action based programme that is evidence based. I also love that it’s structured and outcome orientated compared to the open-endedness to therapy.
We are rarely given the tools to handle the losses of life with resilience and to see that it isn't time that heals grief or a broken heart as much as the actions you take in the time that you have. With the right steps it is entirely possible to move from being totally stuck in deep despair and overwhelm to reawakening your love of life and sense of purpose. One of the ways I see my work and my life's purpose is to honour the dead by taking care of the living left behind.
I’m based near Oxford on the edge of the Cotswolds in the UK but offer individual support almost entirely online. The full programme usually takes seven to eight sessions, with between session and optional ongoing support. Whoever you end up working with, having a great relationship and feeling totally safe and at ease with your specialist is one of the key things to look out for. And while I hope that together we create a place where your most painful emotions can finally be seen, heard and understood - possibly for the first time ever - our sessions are just as likely to sometimes be lighthearted and fun too! Unresolved grief is so often the key piece in what's preventing us from fully living and moving forward with our lives. The Grief Recovery Method will also equip you to better navigate any future grief or loss, as well as enhancing your existing relationships.
I have a post Grad in Psychodynamic Studies from The University of Oxford, which focused on unconscious processes such as grief, loss, depression and anxiety. While this is a fantastic grounding, intellectual insight is only part of this work. True healing lies in our hearts, emotions and the therapeutic, 'growth fostering' relationship. I still receive ongoing training and supervision in areas such as helping clients bereaved by suicide. I've worked in education with a strong emphasis on mental health and special needs for over 20 years.
A bit more about my personal experience that might be relevant to grief recovery: while I've had multiple bereavements, it wasn’t until my counselling training that I realised the deep emotional impact other losses have had on my life. Our culture often overlooks these traumas. I grew up in Ethiopia while my father directed the main relief effort during the famine of the mid 1980s, an experience that will always stay with me. I’ve moved countries many times and understand profound homesickness. In 2016 I lost much of my functioning, was in and out of wheelchairs and was given an 'incurable' medical diagnosis for my condition. The most painful part of this was losing the ability to do so many of the simple, everyday things I had taken for granted, including the ability to sing - the thing I most lived for. It’s taken time and a lot of work, but I’ve developed the tools and resilience to build a beautiful, flourishing life around these losses, and even better, have reclaimed my health and independence too. The Grief Recovery Method has become a vital part of that process for me - I really believe as specialists we need to live our own work.
Please get in touch if you'd like a free discovery call to explore if you are a good fit for completing the Grief Recovery Method with my support.
The concepts and written parts of the program, eg, the relationship graph and the idea of completion and speaking the words, are all vitally important elements that make the program highly effective in bringing clarity to a complex and painful past relationship. The single most important part of the program, I would say, is the relationship connection I had with Jess, my facilitator. The dialogue and ability to explore with Jess, a very painful past relationship, allowed me to come to a much greater clarity in the midst of conflicting and mixed emotions. Having that clarity, instead of confusion and anxiety, makes a huge difference. Instead of feeling tormented by my mixed emotions, I am now much clearer and satisfied with my new understanding and acceptance of the past relationship. In short, the stormy emotions and torment have ceased, replaced with clarity and acceptance and more mature, balanced and calm emotions. I am very grateful for the experience with Jess.1-on-1 Online Support08/04/2022