Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 53.
In today’s article, I want to talk about grief. Grief is a natural process that takes place as a reaction to loss. It can be the loss of a person (or a pet), but also it can also be the loss of anything else that is important to us, including “things” like a job, a dream or project, our youth, our health, our independence, material belongings, etcetera.
We could say that grief is both a universal and personal process. Universal because no human is exempt from experiencing it at some point in their lives, and personal because how hard and/or painful the grief process is going to be for them is going to depend on each person’s individual history, as well as the nature of the loss itself.
As we learn to adapt and live with that loss, we are probably going to experience varying degrees of emotional pain when remembering anything about that which we’ve lost.
Let’s say for example that we are grieving the loss of a romantic relationship that didn’t work out. Chances are, both the negative and positive memories of that relationship are going to hurt (at least initially). The positive memories might hurt because, even though they were happy memories at the time, now they bring up sadness as we face the contrast and reality of no longer being in that relationship.
How long is the grief process going to take? There is no set length of time. It’s going to vary according to each individual, and it’s a normal natural process. However, sometimes (for example, when we have many unresolved/not fully grieved losses in our past) the process can get somewhat stuck or detained. This happens especially when we pretend the loss never happened and/or that it didn’t affect us. Or when we had to take care of so many things and/or people after the loss took place (having to be strong for them, for example), that we couldn’t allow ourselves to feel and process the grief.
Something else to keep in mind is that grief often comes in waves. We might feel relatively ok for a couple of days, weeks or months, and then maybe a certain date comes up, such as an anniversary, or we stumble upon a photograph of our ex romantic partner, and we are “hit with a wave of grief”.
With EFT we can tap on some of these memories (both the positive and the negative) so as to make these waves less intense (less tsunami-like), less frequent, and so that they don’t last as long.
The desired outcome is not that we will forget about the person we’ve lost, but that we will be able to think about them without as much emotional pain. That in turn might help us feel more connected to them and/or to the shared experiences we had with them, as well as the learnings and insights we got from those experiences.
Now, if you suspect that a memory might be too emotionally intense and/or traumatic to work on your own, feel free to enlist the aid of a certified trauma informed practitioner, such as myself, to help you with that. The same applies if you feel like it might be too hard to keep track of all the different memories and aspects at play. Feel free to get in touch with me, even if only to ask me for some free advice or guidance on how to tap on something by yourself.
That’s it for today. I hope this article was helpful. My name is Bruno Sade, and I’m a certified EFT practitioner with a mental health background as a clinical psychologist licensed in Argentina. I use EFT as a tool to help people (who speak English or Spanish) change their negative emotional reactions.
And, I’d love to know: How would you use EFT on grief? Do you have any questions or comments about what I wrote? Is there any particular topic you’d like me to write about? I’d love to know in the comments below.