Hypnosis for Grief & Loss
Grief and overwhelming sadness is a natural emotion when tragedy or the loss of a loved one from death, divorce, or separation, happens to you. Most of us can relate to a friend losing a sibling, spouse, or parent. However when it happens to us personally, it takes on a different dimension.
Dealing with our feelings and those close to us can be very difficult. The grieving process has to take its course but if those feelings continue to affect our ability to function some help may be needed.
There is a natural emotional response to loss that we call grief, and this is normal and healthy to feel.
This healing process then inspires us to move forward with a deeper appreciation for the rich gift that is life. Healthy grief also bestows on us a tender heart of compassion for all beings, because our loss makes us vividly aware of their (and our own) fragility in all area of our lives.
It is hard to appreciate this painful part of our existence. Some people get caught in an experience of grief that hardens their hearts and makes them bitter. When we experience such “bitter grief” we suffer unnecessarily. We create needless pain for ourselves when we replay the memories of our loss again and again, and continue to review these memories with thoughts of hopelessness and despair. Such unhealthy grief is very much akin to the activity of the subconscious mind when it creates Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The force of habit, of thinking in this destructive way, is often too powerful for your conscious mind to change. However, with the skillful use of hypnotic trance states, we can eliminate this tendency to produce the needless suffering of bitter grief.
For some, grieving is a process which does not improve over time; it may even become worse. If this is the case for you, then you may experience continued feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, anger and blame, frequent intrusive thoughts about the person and a unhealthy preoccupation with your grief, or find that almost everyone and everything is a reminder of your loss. You may be unable to go about your daily routine or function normally. If this is the case, bereavement counseling and hypnosis can help to identify what is causing this “complicated grief” and give you strategies to help overcome it.
Hypnosis is excellent help for bereavement, because the techniques are able to teach you how you can consciously decide to think a certain way about your loss. Your mind is powerful, and changing its thought patterns from grief stricken sadness and anger to love and memories can go a long way toward help with bereavement. Through grief hypnosis, you will still have your memories – but they will be less charged with painful feelings, allowing you to be able to talk openly, should you wish, without the fear of being overcome by gushing emotions.
As a clinical Hypnotist, and a former Hospice Counselor, I am experienced in a number of techniques which provide you with healing and, in certain circumstances, with closure.
Hypnosis can help you to begin to move on, to begin to live your life again and to learn to enjoy yourself once more without feeling guilty. It allows you to find ways to remember the person (pet) that is no longer a part of your life, and move forward with Hope and Faith.
Note, grief and mourning is a process and not a state. So you can move through the process at your own pace.
Note that because the process of grief needs to be gone through, one should allow one's self time to experience the normal feelings associated with loss
Please review normal stages of grief below which are fluid and not set in stone and is a generalization. If you are still struggling after a certain amount of time feel free to call to see if hypnosis might be for you.
Stages of Grief
1. Denial and Isolation
The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a cherished loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.
As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to fade, the painful reality of the death or loss of your loved one surfaces. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected and redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may even be directed at the doctor who diagnosed or is treating the terminal illness. Anger may be directed at our dying or deceased loved one. Rationally, we know the person is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us even more angry.
The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control–
• If only we had sought medical attention sooner…
• If only we got a second opinion from another doctor…
• If only we had tried to be a better person toward them…
Secretly, we may make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.
Depression associated with mourning can be a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. Sadness and regret predominate this type of depression. Perhaps we are worried about finances or we worry that in our grief, we have spent less time with others that depend on us. It can be a feeling of hopelessness and extreme sadness at the thought of not seeing or speaking to the deceased loved one again. During this stage it is important to seek and accept the support you need.
Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. The death or loss of your loved one may be sudden and unexpected which can make it more difficult to accept. This phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness and must be distinguished from depression.
Remember, grieving is a personal process that has no time limit, and no one “right” way to do it. Coping with loss is ultimately a deeply personal and singular experience.
Theses stages may be experienced in a different order than listed here. It doesn’t matter what order they occur in or length of time one experiences each stage and a person may bounce from one to another and back to a previous one.
IT IS OUT OF MY SCOPE OF PRACTICE TO WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SUICIDAL, UNLESS COLLABORATING WITH PHYSICAN OR PSYCHOLOGIST
Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255
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Disclaimer: While hypnosis has many beneficial effects, it is not a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Statements and programs offered on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness. When dealing with physical and/or mental illness or disease, always consult a qualified physician or therapist. Sherri Hanner does not treat, prescribe for, or diagnose any condition. She is a properly trained facilitator of hypnosis and is not practicing any other profession that requires a license under the laws and regulations of the State of Florida. Hypnosis is not a substitute for medical or psychological treatment. Hypnosis for subclinical purposes requires no referral. Sherri Hanner only practices therapeutic hypnotherapy within the guidelines of the law and Florida Statute 485, which requires a referral and oversight from a licensed practitioner of the healing arts.