In the moment that Oisin took his last breath, when I felt his heart and it was no longer beating, the overwhelming pain of what we had just been through hit me. It could only hit me then. When death became certain. As a psychologist I knew to surround myself, my husband and Cilly with compassionate others, self care and emotional support.
Waves of tremendous pain and grief rise within me often. They can come at any moment. As humans we have some pretty complex strategies for avoiding our emotions! Fortunately and unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, grief seems to be one of those emotions that wont allow you an escape route. I find it is helpful to stop, be with the pain and fully connect to my grief. Sometimes that might have to wait a while as I go about my immediate tasks, but sooner rather than later I allow it in. I go through it and come out of it as quickly as I went into it. I know I wont drown. My work with others, my work on myself and my professional training has helped me to do this without fearing the overwhelming emotion that comes. It is something everyone can learn to do and there will be a natural readiness to do it. Professional support can sometimes be of value in helping someone to learn how to be with suffering in order to try and learn from it and grow.
I have put together some web sites that I used and found helpful as well as some others I came across along the way.
This page is a work in progress. Feel free to alert me to any other links and info that you think might be of value.
Therapy and support
http://www.anamcara.ie Monthly support meetings for parents who have lost a child
http://www.sesame-institute.org/ Dance and drama therapy for children and/or adults
http://www.comprehensiveresourcemodel.com/ – This is only just beginning to establish itself in the UK and Ireland. It’s mission statement is “To remember, re-process, and release traumatic material from the nervous system in order to provide the opportunity for re-connection to one’s true self, the meaning of the truth of one’s life, and to the ability to embody love in one’s actions.” I write about my experience of this model in the blog post Friday 24th April “Earth, Layers and The Mud Hole.” We all have traumatic material, big and small, so don’t think this doesn’t apply to you. It applies to everyone who has been born into a human body! I have received the basic training and invite questions.
http://www.psychologicalsociety.ie/find-a-psychologist/ A psychologist will use one or more psychological therapies that are “evidence based” i.e. some research has been done to show that the therapeutic approach improves outcomes for a person. The therapy used will be based upon a clinical interview with the person to get an initial understanding of the presenting issues and will usually fit also with the psychologist’s personal style and approach. Psychological therapies are free of charge if offered through the HSE and can be accessed through a local GP. There is usually a waiting list for this service or the option of a private psychologist.
Psychotherapy There are any number of private psychotherapists out there on the internet. It is really just a case of trying it out with someone. I usually tell people to give it three sessions to get a good feel of whether you have found a fit in your relationship with the therapist. The relationship is very important so it is worth investing your time in. A trained psychotherapist will have a professional accreditation in the same way that psychologists have to be accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland. The Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy sets and maintains the standards of relevant psychotherapy training and practice in Ireland and they represent humanistic and integrative psychotherapy at national and international levels. All IAHIP accredited psychotherapists are fully qualified and experienced practitioners. In order to be accredited, therapists must have completed a comprehensive course of training as well as a minimum of 600 hours of supervised practice.
http://www.acumencoaching.ie My friend gave me a gift of kineseology with a lady called Kate Kalin who is based in Cork. I write about my experience in my blog post Friday 24th April “Earth, Layers and The Mud Hole.” My friend has attended for herself and found it so helpful that her whole family have now attended. Suitable for children and adults. The web site gives info on what this is all about.
http://corkkinesiology.com/ This is another kinesiologist, Tony Galvin, that came along my path. I have spoken about him in my blog post, “Tues 29th September – A memorable Month.” Tony works in both Cork city and from Carrigaline. He specialises in working with children but he also works with adults/the whole family. I have found a particular connection with Tony because we have both experienced child loss. I highly recommend him.
http://www.everydaymindfulness.ie/ Catherine Sutton is a wonderful mindfulness teacher. The site gives a little more info on what mindfulness is and offers a chance to attend courses and workshops in it. I began a course with Catherine and had to stop due to Oisin’s diagnosis. My colleagues completed the course and we would all highly recommend it whether a beginners or a professionals wanting to add to their practice.
http://www.wellwithin.ie You can learn some more about Kundalini Yoga here and go on google for a local class. Douglas Yoga Centre and The Teaching Rooms on Wellington Street are places where classes are currently being held around Cork. You can also like the facebook page “Kundalni Yoga Cork” for info on events and classes.
Ira Greenberg: Phone number: 0863773559 (based in Cork, Ireland). I write about my session with Ira in the blog post Friday 24th April “Earth, Layers and The Mud Hole.” I highly recommend his work.
Both of the above are spiritual podcasts that offer a spiritual view on death and dieing amongst many other spiritual teachings you might find of value.
http://www.dzogchenbeara.org/ Have some retreats specifically focusing on death and grief. Check out http://www.dechenshying.org/what-we-offer/residential.html