Monday, July 27, 2009

Adjunctive Strategies: Caring for the Grieving

I just finished a class called Grief and Bereavement Counseling. Grief is the suffering of loss. Bereavement is the time of healing and moving on from this loss. Some people get stuck in their grief and cannot move on through the bereavement process without help. It is called Complicated Grief. Are you seeing the similarities here between Complicated Grief and RAD? Our children are stuck in a form of grieving. We talked about several forms of counseling for people stuck in grief.

One is called Adjunctive Strategies. Adjunctive Strategies are really more or less homework a person does to promote healing and help in the bereavement process. I'm posting them here because I think they would be beneficial to our kids AND to the moms. They are a way of relaxing your mind and comforting your soul and body. This will probably take several posts.

First of all, I'd like to say that I believe none of these methods are in any way contradictory to my faith. Each can be done in an attitude of prayer and meditation. They are a way of reconnecting the body, mind and spirit. When we are stuck in grief we can feel very disconnected.

These start with very simple methods such as listening to uplifting music, soaking in a warm bath, breakfast in bed, gardening, fishing, etc. We think about how relaxing these activities may be for us, but what about our kids? Have we filled the tub with tons of bubbles and said soak away? I realize for young kids this would turn into a play time but what is wrong with that as long as they are supervised?

All of us need these type of activities in our daily lives.

Next is Labyrinth Walking which involves a spiral path. It is not a maze. It actually gets the left side of the brain working, the logical side which sometimes is not so strong during our tough times. Check out these websites: Labyrinth In the Society , Trinity Church, and Whispering Grove. You may walk through with palms facing down, reflecting on what you would like to receive from God on your walk. Stop at the center and pray. Turn and walk out with palms up reflecting on what you will do with what you have received. There are a couple not to far from here that I am anxious to try.

Reflect on how you take care of your body, mind and spirit today. Do you nurture yourself? Reflect on our kids. They do not value the body, mind or spirit God has given them. They are often filled with shame, low self esteem and may be even some self-loathing. These activities may help calm their brains too. There are several other activities I'll talk about later in the week.

Have a healing, reflective day!


linda said...

I don't know if you remember my hand held labyrinth, not quite the same but portable.

Brenda said...

OHHHHHHH. I forgot all about that. Can you post the website where you got that again?

BT said...

I've been out of town for awhile but wanted to weigh in on your complicated decision of what to do with your blog as you move into your professional career. I just wanted to let you know that I really really appreciate your blog. I find it helpful in a variety of ways: source of ideas, source of solidarity, inspiration to remain positive while parenting a child healing from RAD, source of information. I have loved that it's done from a mom's point of view (rather than professional), but that you have also incorporated "academic type" material from your studies and how you find that material personally relevant to your mothering. I would hate to see these angles lost. However, I commiserate with the complicated ethical issues you have to consider. I just wanted you to know that a mom up in Winnipeg Canada finds your blog -- in its current incarnation -- extremely wonderful! Thank you.

Brenda said...

BT. Thank you so much. I appreciate you all. I really do.