Early evening yesterday I had my Professional Identity Development Seminar. This seminar was given by a graduate student who is into his internship. He is doing his internship at a hospital in the psych ward. He is in what could be called the long term unit. He co facilitates several groups. One is called Moving Toward Recovery and I found the information fascinating. He prefers to say the clients are grieving rather than traumatized. He feels this gives a more accurate picture of what they are dealing with and what they need to do.
This is a 12 lesson program. I only have the first 6 but will try to email him for the last 6. Here is lesson 1.
First they need to understand they can work through their grief. As parents we can tell them it is a trip we can go on together. We will walk through the steps of grief over their losses with them.
Step 1 is to accept the reality of your loss. They have to realize that their bio family is gone and accept that fact. This is very hard for some of our kids to do. They may say they understand but their words in between say otherwise. They may be fantasizing about their birth family and what their life could be like if they were with them.
Denial about the facts of loss can vary from a slight distortion to a full blown delusion This hinders the acceptance of the loss. You might hear "I don't really miss them" and "We weren't that close anyway." So intellectually they have to accept that their birth mother is gone but emotionally as well. Talk, talk, talk about it and be real with them.
We'll talk about further steps on other days. This kind of gives you a taste of grief counseling though. I think it could be very effective for RAD and I look forward to learning more about it.