As an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist® many people have asked me what the difference is between The Grief Recovery Method® educational program and bereavement groups. Since I have participated in both, I wanted to share my perspective.
After the suicides of two friends, no one seemed to want to talk to me about what happened. Because I REALLY needed to talk about these suicides in order to try and make sense of it all, I finally joined a suicide bereavement group. This group was sponsored by a local Mental Health clinic and facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker. It was a safe place for me to talk to other individuals who had also been through the suicide of someone close to them. I was able to share and express the feelings that I had bottled up inside of me. It was probably the best thing I could have done at the time. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders after every meeting finished. Little by little I started to feel better.
Bereavement groups are also offered by churches or synagogues, as well as by funeral homes, hospitals or hospices. They are mostly focused on death, rather than divorce or other losses. They are open to anyone and are sometimes offered on a “drop-in” basis – individuals are welcome to come and go as needed. These groups help individuals to feel less isolated from society while they are grieving. They provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere where grievers can talk to each other about what they’re experiencing. After all, one of the most important aspects for a griever is the need to be heard and not feel alone. Bereavement groups do just that.
THE GRIEF RECOVERY METHOD® EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM:
There are other groups that offer a different approach – a structured program aimed at recovery. One of those is The Grief Recovery Method® educational program which uses a long-established format based on the principles and actions of The Grief Recovery Handbook. Their format offers a structured action plan to help grieving people discover and complete what was left emotionally unfinished as a result of any loss – not just the death of a loved one. It differs from traditional bereavement support groups in several ways. One difference is it is focused exclusively on recovery from grief, rather than primarily being a place for sharing feelings. Another is that the program is presented over a period of weeks and is facilitated by Certified Grief Recovery Specialists®. As part of my grief journey, I found the outreach program to help me recover from the unresolved grief that came as a result of my friends’ suicides, as well as the other loss events in my life – like divorce, moving, miscarriage, etc. It became an opportunity for me to complete these unresolved feelings so that could move on in my life.
Bottom line is that a bereavement group had wonderful value for me. It helped me as a griever feel less isolated and have a safe place to express my grief. The Grief Recovery Method® educational program helped me move from my grief to recovery. I found both to be valuable as I moved through my own personal grief journey.
Below is a short video describing The Grief Recovery Method® educational program in more detail.
Sending you love, comfort and peace!