Trauma is certainly a difficult problem to overcome. Trauma can lead to a number of challenging emotional issues, ranging from anxiety to flashbacks to grief.
Grief, however, is a problem that is often inadequately addressed in regards to trauma. Many people experience trauma as a result of the loss of a loved one: a family member, a friend, a pet, even a teacher or employer.
The grief associated with this form of trauma constitutes its own problem, and needs to be addressed properly. In this article, we’re going to talk about how trauma and grief are intertwined and how you can deal with them.
A Bit About Grief
Grief is a unique, personal process that is hard to define. There is a concrete definition to grief: deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. However, this definition doesn’t acknowledge the fact that grief differs significantly from person to person.
There are a large number of factors involved in grief:
- The individual’s relationship to the person or pet lost.
- The individual’s current emotional maturity and mental health.
- The support group that the individual has to help them with their grievance.
What may cause grief in one person may not cause grief at all to another. For this reason, it becomes difficult to lump all forms of trauma-related grief into a single category.
For example, some people may find the death of a family member due to homicide incredibly traumatic. On the other hand, people who live in countries where homicide is a regularity may find this experience to be somewhat less traumatic.
Whatever the case, there’s little doubt that the death of a loved one can lead to trauma and grief.
What Is Traumatic Loss?
According to some definitions, traumatic loss by death occurs when a loved one dies unexpectedly. The loved one doesn’t have to be a friend or a family member, either… many people experience traumatic loss and grief from the loss of a family pet.
There are several factors that can contribute to this:
- If the death involves violence
- If the death is untimely
- If the death involves damage to the body of a loved one
- If the death was caused by malicious intent
- If the death could have been prevented
- If the death involved a lot of suffering
- If the death was believed, by the loved ones of the victim, to be unfair
Traumatic loss almost certainly will lead to grief. Traumatic deaths tend to affect the loved ones of the victim much more than a normal death. This is because they have to deal not just with the trauma itself, but with the associated grief as well.
When we lose a loved one – be it a friend, a family member, or a pet – we often feel like we are losing a part of ourselves. In a positive relationship, we tend to invest a lot of ourselves into our loved ones and our pets. When they are gone, it feels like we lose a part of ourselves.
Trauma and grief are acknowledged as being two very different emotional issues. When an individual finds that they suddenly have to cope with both at the same time, it can become very difficult for them.
Working Through Trauma and Grief
Trauma and grief may be different problems, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be tackled together. Using holistic practices, coaches are able to help their clients target various psychological issues at the same time.
It is becoming widely recognized that trauma and other emotional issues can become stored in the body. Holistic practices are important because they help people work through more than just the psychological aspects of their issues. These practices can also help people uproot, unlock, and eliminate the physical residue of these problems.
There are lots of holistic practices that can help with this. Some of the most effective are:
- Somato Emotional Repatterning, a form of holistic treatment that makes use of muscle motion tests to help clients understand how they truly feel about traumatic situations. In many cases, people aren’t entirely aware of how a traumatic situation – like the death of a pet or a loved one – has affected them.
Somato Emotional repatterning not only helps people understand how they feel, it can help them work through the resulting trauma and emotional illnesses. It can do this by developing harmony between the mind and the body and allowing the client to openly and honestly understand themselves.
- EMDR is another form of holistic treatment that is similar, in many ways, to Somato Emotional Repatterning. EMDR, which stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, makes use of various eye movements as a form of treatment. By assessing the movement of the eyes in response to certain cues, practitioners can help a client understand their emotions regarding traumatic situations.
There are many things that can contribute to traumatic loss and grief – not the least of which are the death of a parent or a loved one.
Fortunately, there are many ways that people can work through these issues with the help of a holistic coach. Treatment techniques like Somato Emotional Repatterning and EMDR can be very useful for helping someone work through traumatic loss and the related grief.
If you or someone you love is experiencing grief, know that you do not have to face it alone. Give me a call at (805) 256-0372. Let’s being working toward healing together.