The Grief Coaching Process
Level One: Acceptance
When coping with loss, the first stage to navigate through is acceptance. There is no pre-determined time limit or recommended number of sessions to deal with this stage, as each person will come to terms with their circumstances in different ways and at greatly different speeds. The Grief coach will utilize several delicate techniques that will help achieve acceptance quicker and in a manner which pays homage to the client’s personal circumstances. This stage will not be rushed. It is the most important part of the whole process as it enables the client to be fully open to moving through the grieving process with more positive results
Level Two: Accomplishing Small Tasks and Goals
When dealing with a massive loss in our life’s, it becomes difficult to maintain focus which can spiral into things not being done the way they used to be, both at home and at work. Once we have achieved acceptance, we begin to work with our clients to help them start accomplishing goals again and completing tasks, sometimes as small as making the bed in the morning. This pervasive level essentially assists people in getting things done, which will amplify the later stages when the client begins to move towards achieving more important goals.This level also introduces an “accountability partnership” between coach and client. As the client begins to clarify their goals and lay out action steps towards achieving them, the coach is able to implement structures that ensure the client stays on track.
Level Three: Introducing New Competencies
In order to ensure that we are working with client’s in the most effective way in terms of coping with loss, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that we also want our client’s to develop competence, as well as learning something new. Whilst the overall goal is to help the client navigate through their period of suffering more positively, we aim to create a lasting set of impressions that can be applied to all areas of the client’s life. As we continue to work together accomplishing the small tasks and goals (level two), the client learns to do things of their own accord so that their “to-do lists” are never complete.Whilst being cognizant of the client’s grieving process, the coach also helps open up new possibilities, and encourages the client to take action. It is common during the grieving process that client’s uncover a new purpose or meaning, and the relationship between coach and client has now developed successfully enough to truly engage in coaching sessions that explore the realization of these new goals.
Level Four: Recognizing Capabilities
The focus shifts from addressing or improving competences to developing the person. Michael Jordan once said “ I’ve failed over and over and over again, and that is why I succeed”. We discover the most about ourselves through times of suffering and hardship, and it is too common that people will miss the learning opportunity that coping with a loss can provide. The Grief Coach aims to identify and explain the positive aspects of dealing with loss, and ensures the client understands fully how to extract the positives so that they can be applied throughout the rest of their life.
The Grief Coaches Task
Imagine your body inside a circle. In times of loss and suffering, it becomes easier to bump up against the edges of that circle, feeling almost claustrophobic. The Grief coaches goal is to widen that circle, helping the client navigate through the healing process whilst opening their eyes to new possibilities and recognizing the potential for learning that a loss can deliver.