As a therapist specializing in grief therapy, I want to hear about the person who brought joy, purpose, and love to the life of my client. I am a firm advocate of applying a non-violent approach to my therapy practice. That being said, one of the most violent acts a therapist can do is try to help and "fix the pain". To clarify, a violent act is not a punch to the face. A violent act in therapy is the therapist taking over a client's organic process of feeling, healing, and grieving by trying to offer "expertise" on how to fix something. So how does one "fix" grief? You can't.
I am not here to take over the process of grieving for my clients. I strive to create a space where my clients can grieve but also feel connected to their loved ones. Talking about a loved one, talking out loud to a loved one, and speaking the name of a loved one out loud in conversation are all normal processes of grief. There is no "right" way to grieve.
"While grief may look like an expression of pain that serves no purpose, it is actually the soul's acknowledgment of what we value most"
One thing you need to know about grief: We never move on from grief. If anyone ever tells you that you will move on after someone has died, please tell that person to go sit down somewhere and leave you alone with that poor advice. We learn to move forward carrying the love and eternal memory of the person with us.
Amy Pope-Latham, LCSW is a clinical psychotherapist in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.