Humans are social beings; we attach, bond and connect with people every day. The natural desire to connect also leads to a natural response when we must part with people or situations. That response is grief. While death being the obvious and most severe form of separation, what about all the other types of loss we experience every day? What airtime do those get? Grief shows up in break-ups, moves, disability, divorce, and unmet expectations among others.
A supervisor of mine recently suggested reading the work of Pauline Boss, PhD., who has been a professor at the University of Minnesota and at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Boss writes about “ambiguous loss.” This type of loss she says differs from ordinary loss in that there is “no verification of death or no certainty that the person will come back or return to the way they used to be.” The ambiguity of such losses prevents closure and often impairs an individuals or family’s functioning.
While ambiguity can stifle the grieving process, there are two other major obstacles to processing a loss. CONTINUE READING
Having been recently diagnosed with my second ever herniated disc while recovering from a footy surgery, I’ve been thinking a lot about the connection between the mind and body. Growing up dancing and playing sports, I was so accustomed to a number of aches and pains in my body that I became very in tune with it and what it was telling me. However, after having to cut out my weekly routine of going to the gym, dance classes and yoga for the past 7 months, something changed. Not only did I lose my source of exercise, but also I lost my routine that was my release and kept me centered and sane! Needless to say, the effects of various thoughts and events had been lingering the last 7th months. Not only is this a lesson in self-care for therapists, but also a reminder to everyone that allowing such things to linger in the mind eventually affects the body. As goes the Buddhist saying, “holding onto anger is like holding on to a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
These back to back injuries have been a jolting reminder for me to practice what I preach to my clients and others around me about reducing stress and being aware and connected with your body. So many of us eat healthy or exercise to tend to our body’s health and do things like listen to music or watch TV to relax our minds. But what kind of routine do we have that tends to our overall well-being? CONTINUE READING!