Bereavement coaching is particularly useful for clients who for various reasons feel they cannot move on from their loss. Their lives have been damaged and they are left with a host of negative emotions which can include guilt, shame and resentment. These feelings are really confusing and difficult to manage and can overwhelm us when we are already at a very low point. Daily life can become unbearable and sometimes we use alcohol, tobacco or drugs to try and deal with the huge tidal wave of negativity which engulfs us. The problem with this is that unless the emotions are addressed and dealt with, the use of suppressants will make the problem even worse.
What we look at during my bereavement coaching sessions is a before, during and after picture of a clients loss. The 'before' can go back a long way, sometimes even before the relationship with the deceased. I will coach the client to look at the bigger picture and consider many things, some of which may not have even seemed relevant at the time.
I have recently worked with a client who was struggling to come to terms with his mothers death. This was troubling him to the point where he was not sleeping properly and was suffering from mood swings and feelings of anger and hopelessness. His mother had passed away over a year previously and my client, his family and his close circle of friends felt he should have come to terms with this by now. However this was not the case and his every day life was being seriously affected by his low mood and he was having a really tough time of things. As his family started losing patience with him, he became even more isolated and withdrawn. He was becoming dependent on anti depressant medication and could not sleep properly. This added to his sorrow making him really unhappy. .
When he came to me for some coaching, we started by working together on his relationship with each of his family members, living or dead. His pain point was at its highest when we discussed his difficult relationship with his sister which filled him with anger, resentment, guilt and regret. This sister had in my clients eyes been the favoured child and had even hijacked their mothers terminal illness with her own problems. My client was ashamed by his thoughts that he had inwardly blamed his sister for speeding up their mothers death. His emotions were raw and palpable as he told me of a lifelong resentment of his older sibling. This is something he had never let himself dare to explore or admit before our sessions.
We worked together using NLP techniques and relaxation hypnosis to destroy these negative feelings to enable him to forgive himself and his sister. He then opened his mind to the acceptance that his sister was hurting just as much as himself. He had held these feelings towards his sister for as long as he could remember and now his relief was huge as he became free of them. His relief as he let go of these negative emotions was palpable and he said that he had never before considered the importance of his sisters place in his own or his mothers life. He moved from experiencing angry feelings to feelings of love and acceptance. During our last session together he decided to make contact with his sister, to tell her he loved her and that they should mourn their Mum together.
So things are not always as they seem and by enabling this client to explore and deal with his inner most thoughts and simmering resentment, he found the necessary closure and peace to move on with his life. He came to me looking for peace and acceptance of his mothers death and that is what we achieved for him. The added benefit is his newfound strong bond with his sister who he accepts is the nearest living connection to his late Mum.
I like, where appropriate to use NLP and relaxation hypnosis in bereavement coaching for unblocking and releasing negativity. They are powerful yet gentle tools which require from the client nothing but to be relaxed and have an open mind.