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Discuss Factors That Facilitate Or Hinder Grief In Your Tribe (Admission Essay Sample)


grief therapy assignment

1 Discuss factors that facilitate or hinder grief in your tribe. (15 Mks)
Grief is the internal response that comes about as a result of bereavement, the loss of a loved one by death. Although grief is a uniquely personal experience, there are many factors that can affect the nature and intensity of one’s grief experience. The primary factor is the degree of attachment to or significance of the deceased. It is generally agreed that the more we are attached, the more likely we are to more deeply experience the loss of him or her.
Whether the death is expected or unexpected: It may seem that any sudden, unexpected loss might lead to more difficult grief. However, studies have found that bereaved people with high self-esteem and/or a feeling that they have control over life are likely to have a normal grief reaction even after an unexpected loss. Bereaved people with low self-esteem and/or a sense that life cannot be controlled are more likely to have complicated grief after an unexpected loss. This includes more depression and physical problems.
The personality of the bereaved: people with certain personality traits are more likely to have long-lasting depression after a loss. These include people who are very dependent on the loved one (such as a spouse), and people who deal with distress by thinking about it all the time.
The religious beliefs of the bereaved: religion helps people cope better with grief. Religion seems to help people who go to church often. The positive effect on grief may be because church-goers have more social support.
Whether the bereaved is male or female: In general, men have more problems than women do after a spouse’s death. Men tend to have worse depression and more health problems than women do after the loss. This may be because men have less social support after a loss.
The age of the bereaved: In general, younger bereaved people have more problems after a loss than older bereaved people do. They have more severe health problems, grief symptoms, and other mental and physical symptoms. Younger bereaved people, however, may recover more quickly than older bereaved people do, because they have more resources and social support.
The amount of social support the bereaved has: Lack of social support increases the chance of having problems coping with a loss. Social support includes the person's family, friends, neighbors, and community members who can give psychological, physical, and financial help. After the death of a close family member, many people have a number of related losses. The death of a spouse, for example, may cause a loss of income and changes in lifestyle and day-to-day living. These are all related to social support.
There are a number of factors that affect the grief experience:
1 The nature of the relationship with the deceased
* The strength and security level of the attachment
* The type of relationship:
* mother/father, child, sibling, grandparent/grandchild, friend, etc.,
* or a socially un-acknowledged or disenfranchised relationship, i.e. ex-spouse, extra-marital lover, homosexual relationship, pet, etc.
* Any ambivalence or conflicts in the relationship
* Dependencies – emotional, financial, etc.
2 The type of death – circumstances surrounding the death (“death surround”)
* Natural, accidental, suicidal, or homicidal
* Suddenness or expectedness of the death
* Violent or traumatic death
* Multiple simultaneous deaths (or within a short time period)
* Was the death preventable, or believed to be so?
* Ambiguous death – not sure if s/he is dead or alive, i.e. MIA, kidnapped, etc.
* Stigmatized death, i.e. AIDS, suicide (accidental or intentional), etc.
3 Personality variables of the bereaved
* Age and gender
* Uniqueness of temperament and coping style
* Life experience, birth order, only child, etc.
* Ego strength: self-esteem level, general mental health
* Physical health
* Assumptive world view – beliefs and values – cultural, religious, spiritual – the ability to make meaning from a tragedy
Past grief experiences
4 Social variables
Support network availability – family, friends, church, community, etc.
Cultural or ethnic influences and expectations
Disenfranchised grief caused by a socially stigmatized relationship or death surround
5 Other stressors on the bereaved
Multiple losses over a lifetime and/or relatively short time period
Secondary losses – job, home, health, etc.
2) Discuss how you can use Kubler Ross Model of grief to help a client who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. (15 Mks)
The diagnoses of a terminal disease is rarely met immediately with a sense of peace and acceptance, most often the individual in question will travel though five separate stages of grief. These stages, in order, are: Denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Recognizing the stage of grief the individual is currently experiencing will help you to tailor your counseling approach.
During the denial and isolation stage, for example, repeatedly confronting the individual with the reality of their condition is likely to do no more than anger them and create a wall of resentment. Denial and isolation stage is a good time to help educate the individual on the specifics of their condition and on the various treatments that may be available. There is a certain optimism that comes with denial, one should take advantage of the energy that comes with that optimism.
First of all, a good rule of thumb is to listen three times more than you speak. When you do speak try to say things like:
* "It's normal for you to feel that way."
* "I'm listening."
* "I'm here for you."
* "I understand what you're trying to say."
At the same time, help them to combat the desire to isolate themselves from friends and family. Often as the individual's condition progresses they will be increasingly tired and often either sedated or in pain, at that point they may regret isolating themselves from those they love during a time of relatively good health and that regret can hamper their ability to achieve acceptance. There is no reason for the individual to spend every waking moment with their loved ones and they should be allowed quiet times to themselves, but involving family and friends in everyday tasks, as well as enjoyable outings will create comfortable memories for everyone involved.
Avoid saying things like:
* "I know how you feel."
* "Everyone goes through this eventually."
* "There is no need to feel that way."
* "Don't say things like that."
* "Don't be pessimistic."
Anger stage is the most difficult to deal with. The individual has come to grips with the inevitability of their condition and suddenly feels frightened, “cheated”, defiant and even unloved. The natural reaction for both loved ones and counselors alike is to distance themselves from the individual, but this reaction should be avoided as much as possible. For the loved ones, a time of detachment can create stronger feelings of guilt once the individual has passed on. For the counselor a time of detachment can harm the individuals trust and make them feel as though they cannot depend on you fully, or that they must guard what they say and how they act with you. This can be very harmful to the counselor relationship. In my opinion, the best way to deal with this stage is to simply let the individual know that you’re there should they need you, let them know it’s okay to be angry, and be honest. Very few individuals enjoy being handled with kid gloves, and an individual with a terminal illness might feel as though they’re being ignored or babied if those around them simply take their abuse without comment.
The bargaining stage usually presents itself in one of two ways - both typified by "if / then" thinking. Sometimes the individual will bargain with their past - "If only I had taken better care of myself, then I wouldn't be sick now." Depending on the situation this type of guilt might be relieved with knowledge. An individual dying of lupus, for example, is unlikely to have had any way to prevent the disease. An individual dying of lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking, however, is unlikely to be comforted by the knowledge that he / she is in fact partially responsible for their illness. In such a case I would recommend looking for ways in which the individual can forgive themselves, and seek the forgiveness of their families, for their condition and eventual death. I will go through a couple of ways this forgiveness can be sought later on in the article.
Other individuals will bargain with their future, though it has been my experience that future bargaining is mostly done by theists - "If only you heal me, I'll spend every day spreading the gospel". I suppose there are ways for an agnost...
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