The Masculine Side of Grief Series
Lesson Five: Grieving Through Thinking Activities ACT Step Two
1. “Some people are more philosophical than they are emotional. Many people who are grieving have stacks of books. They study grief because every time they read those books, it resonates with their own story. As they read, their story is told.” – Soul & Science Lesson.
Think of a person whom you would classify as “more philosophical than emotional.” How does this quality manifest? How does it change the way he or she faces crisis or loss? In what ways could a book be a better gift of comfort than a condolence letter or a lengthy conversation?
2.“Bilbliotherapy offers multiple benefits: providing information, augmenting insight, stimulating discussion, communicating values, reducing perceived isolation, and generating solutions. Clients exposed to literature are more likely to recognize personal characteristics, understand complexity, generate new interests, increase their sense of cultural indemnity, and expand their world views.” – ( Use of Bibliotherapy in the Treatment of Grief and Loss: A Guide to Current Counseling Practices 2008)
Bibliotherapy (using self-help, fiction, or non-fiction literature as a means of emotional healing) has been shown to reduce perceived isolation and help generate personal solutions in times of loss. In your opinion, what books in each category (self-help, fiction, non-fiction) can best help in the healing process?
3. “Therapeutic writing can take many forms, ranging from inviting the bereaved to write about themselves in light of their loss from the standpoint of a compassionate other, through biographical work chronicling their shared life with their loved one, to meaning reconstruction interviews in which they re-access vivid images of the loss and seek fresh significance in them.” – ( Grief Therapy and the Reconstruction of Meaning: From Principles to Practice 2010)
In what ways have you experienced therapeutic writing? How did it aide in healing? What could you do to better utilize therapeutic writing during times of loss and grief?
4. “Grief refers to the internal process of regaining equilibrium. It requires reorganization on both emotional and cognitive levels, and includes a re-evaluation of spiritual concerns.” - William F. Doverspike, Ph.D
The internal process of re-evaluating changes, processing loss, and rediscovering emotional balance requires a time for deep introspection. In the Soul & Science Lesson, this is referred to “healing through inaction.” In your experience, when and how do you find time for deep contemplation and evaluation? How can you create periods of “inaction” to find greater equilibrium?
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