Sunday, March 8, 2009

Using a Recovery Program Incorporating Support Groups

by Sandy Fox

Not everyone agrees that a grief support group is what all bereaved parents need. One psychology counselor, Maurice Turmel, says that support groups are just that; they offer support but no direction. He believes that these parents are simply recycling their pain and not moving forward with their recovery. He believes parents should go through a “proper recovery program” and incorporate a support group within the recovery program, if they chose to do so.

In the end, he says, it doesn’t matter what took your child from you. The grieving and healing process you must undergo remains the same. Dealing with feelings through therapy, group work and guided journaling are the tools and practices necessary for recovery. He successfully uses this approach for all his grieving clients. “Everyone who pursued this program completed their recovery and got on with their lives,” he said.

“There is no substitute for working through your grief if you truly want to heal,” he adds. “Some people simply refuse to move forward, hanging on to their grief as if they were hanging on to their child. They don’t accept that they can actually heal and hold on to that precious child in a loving and expansive way rather than continue with their suffering.”

He continued, “You have to choose healing in order to recover from grief. You have to commit to your own recovery just like any other person who is stuck in some disabling condition. And those wonderful memories you had of each other before the tragedy, where do they go if you choose suffering?”

I have a friend whose husband cannot get past the last two weeks of his son’s life in the hospital. He cannot remember the good times because of it. He is stuck. I can see where this type of program would help him tremendously. On the other hand, there are those who only go to grief groups and find that is enough for them to move on. For myself, I read every book I could get my hands on and that is what helped me. I could identify with different feelings and situations when reading, and I began to understand that my feelings were normal, and I had to help myself climb out of the abyss and into the sunlight again.

I think this program suggested by Dr. Turmel would be excellent for those who are stuck and for those who need a helping hand to see where they are and where they are going. Let me hear from you as to what you did for yourself and how you feel about such a program.

Mauice Turmel holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology. He was a practicing therapist for 25 years providing counseling and therapy to individuals, groups, organizations and families. He is the author of many books, one of which is “How to Cope with Grief and Loss – Support, Guidance and direction for Your Healing Journey.” He has been a guest on numerous regional television and radio talk shows and hosts his own Teleseminar Series on .

1 comment:

  1. Not all parents can afford a "proper recovery program" and not all support groups simply recycle their pain. Their is truly nothing better for my soul than to be with parents and grandparents who understand my pain, and don't charge me by the hour to help and support me. Our group has a library and internet support with a news letter filled with information on the grief process. Most people, even deeply hurt ones, know that recycling their pain is not a good plan. We truly can figure that out ourselves. I won't paint all psychology counselors with same colour if Maurice Turmel doesn't.