The Refuge offers holistic and experiential residential treatment in a serene, secluded healing environment for grief and loss-related trauma recovery, moving beyond the symptoms to resolve the underlying issues.
About Grief & Loss-Related Trauma
Everybody experiences grief and loss differently. If you’ve lost a loved one, the way you experience the loss will be influenced by the closeness of the relationship, the nature and type of relationship, the closeness of the relationship, and the nature of the loss. When the loss involves a situation such as job loss or divorce, your reaction is affected by how significant the situation was to you, if it provided you with a sense of purpose, and whether you feel the loss will lower others opinions of you. Grief may be affected by our methods of coping, life experiences, personality style, culture, religion, and often, social rules that dictate accepted manners of grieving.
Normal Grief & Loss
Grief differs from person to person and situation to situation; there is no “normal” definition for grief. However, there are some commonalities expected when someone is grieving. Some people may feel sad, cry, feel extremely tired, have difficulty sleeping, lose their appetite, have difficulty concentrating, paying attention, making decisions, or remembering things. They may withdraw from friends and loved ones, preferring to be alone. Others may stay home for long periods of time or may compel to stay out of the house all of the time. Still, others may experience symptoms of depression.
When Do Grief & Loss Become a Problem?
Grief is a normal and unavoidable reaction to loss. Most professionals consider 12 months as a limit for normal grieving, however, based on the culture and type of loss, some individuals may experience normal grief for a longer period of time. When a person who is grieving begins to experience other, more intense forms of grief including intrusive thoughts and images of the deceased person, denial of the death, wanting to die, imagining the deceased is still alive, or a physically painful yearning for their presence, they may be experiencing abnormal grief. When the symptoms of grief linger and become debilitating, normal grief may become complicated, unresolved, protracted, traumatic, or complicated grief. This form of grief has features of both posttraumatic stress disorder and depression.
Some indicators of problematic grief and loss include:
- Grief lasting longer than 12 months
- Constant yearning for the individual or situation lost
- Frequent crying
- Becoming preoccupied or fixated on the individual or situation lost
- The person may become fixated on the manner in which the deceased died
- Difficulty accepting the loss, such as continuing to prepare meals for the deceased
- Disbelief that the loss occurred
- Distressing memories of the lost individual or situation
- Self-blame for the loss though the individual could not have prevented it
- Difficulty thinking positively about the person or situation
- Excessive avoidance of reminders of the person or situation
- Trouble trusting others
- In the case of death, the desire to die to be with the person
- A sense of detachment from others
- Belief that it’s impossible to function without the individual or situation
- Feeling that life no longer has meaning
- Decreased self-esteem
- Difficulty identifying one’s role in life
- Difficulty planning for the future
- Loss of desire to pursue interests or engage in previously enjoyable activities
- Extremely distressing anxiety or depression
Traumatic grief is a form of grieving that occurs as a result of an intensely traumatic death such as death by violent homicide or suicide. Reactions are influenced by whether the person witnessed the event or found the person’s body. The reactions experienced from this type of trauma may include persistent, distressing preoccupation about traumatic nature of the death, increasing fixation on the death triggered by reminders of the individual, intense focus on the last moments of the deceased, amount of suffering endured, fixation on the severity of a mutilating injury, or obsession with the malicious or intentional nature of the death.
If your bereavement feels overwhelming or interferes with your ability to function normally, our residential treatment center can help you process your loss and begin to live a happy, healthy life once again.
Treatment Options for Grief & Loss at Our Center
At our grief and loss residential rehab center, our clinicians are trauma-certified and versed in many types of trauma-related therapeutic approaches. We recognize that everyone has to cope with losing someone or something they love and for some, this can become a traumatic event, especially if it follows a lifetime of stressful events. We approach grief and loss trauma treatment with compassionate caring; we will never minimize or judge your experiences. You work with your treatment center team to create a plan of care for your stay at our rehab.
Our trauma treatment center has many types of therapeutic techniques to help you process your loss so you can move forward with your life. We use both empirically-validated trauma therapeutic approaches, as well as experiential treatments in your care.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) – Interpersonal therapy focuses on relationships with others and re-establishing normal roles in life.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – Through CBT, our treatment center helps you challenge and replace negative thought patterns with more adaptive ways of coping.
Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) – DBT integrates treatments from behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy to validate your experiences, stabilize your emotions, and cope with stress.
Intensive family therapy – Family Week – We recognize families and loved ones are crucial in supporting you as you adjust to your loss and plan for the future. Family members often need to process their own loss-related emotions and may need to grieve. Sharing the bereavement process with your loved ones at our center can be a very powerful treatment for support.
Experiential therapy – We believe that while traditional approaches to trauma can be helpful, different individuals may experience events through one or more sensory modalities. Memories are often sensory-based; seeing your environment at work, inhaling the aroma of coffee can trigger an emotional experience. Some of the specific sensory-based treatments we use at our center may include:
- Art therapy
- Creative expression
- Ropes courses
- Equine therapy
- Dramatic experiencing
- Sharing through speaking aloud to the group
As the time for discharge approaches, we will work alongside you to create an aftercare plan that meets your continued treatment needs. Our rehab center offers partial hospitalization treatment which may meet your continuing needs. However, some people feel they have made enough progress to continue the healing process on a regular outpatient basis. We will help you set up an outpatient treatment schedule and schedule your first appointment with the therapist.