Grief Therapy: Healing by Deepening Connection
Part 5: Grief From A Clearer Perspective

Grief clearer perspective
After a loved one dies, is common for people to wish that they had spent more time with that individual, told them that they love them more, or had resolved the problems between them before they die. These wishes oftentimes result in obsessive thoughts about wishing things had been different and feelings of regret. People believe that they should have done things differently and their thoughts are played with imaginings of doing things differently. This imagining activates the Primitive mind to try to unbake the cake of the past but as we discussed earlier this is trying to get the  Body to do them possible through the use of negative emotions to drive Behavior. The problem with this is that the Primitive mind is attempting to do them possible so that there is no resolution or end in sight to the negative emotions and suffering the person experiences.  This perpetual account to change the past oftentimes results in feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and depression.  Once the mind gets that you did the best you could given the situation and the knowledge you had at the time then it will naturally start focusing on other things in turn relieving the anguish you had been feeling.

 For instance, imagine someone is tapping your shoulder to get your attention trying to get you to do something good but it is also impossible to do. You would recognize that the person's intention is not to cause harm but is actually trying to help. Now imagine that this tapping goes on and on and on. Eventually, the attempt to get you to do something good becomes quite painful to you. This is what happens when the Primitive mind tries to get the person to reconnect with the loved one physically. This part of your mind doesn't want you to feel bad it just wants you to do the possible and will stay at it until it understands that you can still feel that connection but just in a different way.

I believe that grief does not stem from a loss of connection. Instead, it arises from the mind persistently attempting to compel the individual to connect with the departed person in physical form which in turn creates a feeling of disconnection that we call grief. In doing so, grief unintentionally interferes with potentially meaningful ways to forge that connection.   I am much more interested in fostering and increasing the sense of connection in order to relieve the person's suffering. When I help people feel more connected they typically say that the grief is completely absent.

Ways I help people heal from their grief include having a shared positive intention, helping the person to alter their primitive mind is processing information, and fostering a deeper connection with the loved one. I have been trained to help people to do this on the unconscious levels of their brain that generally have been out of their direct control and influence.   Some of these methods employ deep focused relaxation or shallow states of hypnosis to help the Primitive mind become more responsive to integrating healthy and healing information as well as to process information in a more functional manner.   I find that RRT and EMDR therapy are wonderful counseling tools to help the person do this in a way that generally feels positive and good to the individual.

During therapy, I begin the conversations with individuals sharing their challenges or areas of concern.  My intention is clearly understand what they wish to convey as well as to build a sense of connection and trust between the two of us.   We don't spend too much time in this area because I am more concerned about getting the person to where they want to be going instead of how they have been stuck in their misery. Traditional therapy oftentimes spends most of the time going over a person's pain and distressing memories which oftentimes just deepens and reinforces they're suffering related to the dysfunctional information processing of the primitive mind. If a therapist has a client going over and over their painful past while the therapist affirms their pain than the Primitive mind me actually prolong and intensify the negative emotions. I find that honoring and respecting the person's pain through compassion while also helping their mind shift results in a much more positive outcome.   As I am listening to where the person has been,  I am also imagining where it is that the person likely wants to be. The reason for this is the better I can imagine it and feel it as a reality, the more that my conscious and unconscious minds align to help achieve the school. For instance, if someone is talking about how depressed and regretful they have been feeling regarding the loved one, I imagine them being full of energy and engaged in their present life where they understand that they did the best they could given the circumstances. If I believe it and can imagine it then it is helpful in getting my client there.

Another difference that is a fundamental concept of Rapid Resolution Therapy  is that I am the professional in the room and that I am the one responsible for getting my client to a better place. Traditional therapy has had a foundational belief that people need to be “ready”  for therapy in that they are the ones responsible for change. To me, this is like going to the dentist in the dentist telling you that you're not ready or that you're being too resistant. I can't think of any other profession where it would be acceptable to blame the customer for the lack of improvement. By my taking responsibility, I find that it helps the client to relax and be more open to the process I am leading them through.

One of the primary ways that the Rapid Resolution Therapy process helps people to heal their grief is by helping them to Shift Perceived Identity of themselves and the person who passed.  People commonly identify with various aspects such as their beliefs, illnesses, bodies, and sexuality, leading to dysfunction in various aspects of life. This identification may also extend to possessions or things they deeply care about. In the mental health and substance abuse industries, individuals may be labeled as addicts, narcissists, obsessive, or resistant, reflecting an identity-centric perspective. Statements like "I hate myself," "I need to discipline myself," or "I wish I could control myself instead of..." further exemplify the pervasive influence of identity.

When addressing these aspects, I emphasize the need to shift behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and sensations rather than altering one's entire identity. However, many individuals strongly identify with aspects they dislike experiencing, creating a challenge in embracing self-love. Instead of urging individuals to love what they despise, I focus on transforming their perception of their identity, fostering a more positive and empowering self-concept.  To transform someone's sense of identity is to initiate an effect that alters their experience and understanding of who they are, transcending labels and challenges. This process delves into the core of their being, surpassing mere words and actions. For individuals grappling with profound grief, this transformation can be a profoundly impactful experience.

One effective method involves guiding the participant to recall a moment of awe, perhaps in nature, and framing that feeling as a combination of excitement and peace. By linking this sensation with the participant's true essence, a remarkable and enjoyable experience unfolds, reshaping their overall perspective.  Throughout this transformative process, exemplified in numerous transcripts, the participant's awareness is directed toward their center, where they embody that peace and excitement. Emphasizing that one is not confined to their body, habits, beliefs, or personality, the focus shifts to identifying with a core light—an energy that science validates as indestructible, changing only in form.

Directly engaging the body offers another avenue for shifting perceived identity. By contemplating the composition of a hand—flesh, blood, molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles—one arrives at the realization that all these components are fundamentally energy. This prompts the understanding that one is composed of energy, a concept reinforced by the scientific principle that energy cannot be destroyed.

Yet another strategy involves altering the perceived identity of a participant's deceased loved one, thereby facilitating a renewed connection. This approach acknowledges the transformative power of shifting not only the individual's self-perception but also their perception of those who have passed.  Once this is done it puts the client in a position where they're deeper selves are more open to connecting with the essence of their loved one.

So, if grief is the mind's attempt to foster connection in a manner that proves ineffective, and it's acceptable to embrace a state of well-being, then how can one cultivate genuine connection?  A crucial element in establishing connection involves perceiving the departed individual as possessing power, ability, knowledge, and wisdom beyond the limitations of imperfect senses and a dysfunctional mind, as experienced during their physical existence.  Engaging in a conversation with the departed loved one is a suggested approach. It is optimal to articulate feelings of resentment, anger, and grievances aloud, as the response from the loved one is believed to emanate from a place of total clarity. Through authentic communication, one can then listen or sense what a person tapped into universal wisdom might convey.

The antidote to grief lies in connection. The mind strives to prompt action, be it to prevent the loss of connection, gain connection, or reclaim it. Shedding light on these aspects diminishes their credibility and, consequently, their power. Examining components such as guilt, anger, and regrets allows one to question their validity and explore examples of others who have successfully overcome profound grief, as evidenced in transcripts illustrating resolved grief.  Our accustomed mode of connection involves sensory and bodily experiences. However, the desire to smell, hear, see, and feel the loved one is a means of connecting with their essence, transcending their words, appearance, or sensations. These sensory experiences are not the essence of the individual but rather manifestations projected and perceived through distorted filters.

Through this process of eliminating guilt and regret,  clearing the Primitive Minds distortion, and fostering and improving the sense of connection that has always been there, clients report a significant Improvement in their mood  and energy. Clients regularly share how this change has been enjoyable,  effective, and long-lasting.   If you're interested in meeting with me, please feel free to email  or call me through my contact page.

David Cummins, Phd practices therapy as a Counseling Psychologist and is the owner of a counseling center that employes over 15 therapists in the Boise and Meridian Idaho area called North End Wellness and Counseling.  Many of the ideas in this series have come from studying for years under Dr. Jon Connelly and his book Grief is not Sacred.  I suggest getting the book for a better understanding of these concepts.

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