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Grief A Universal Experience.

This week I was able to attend a day seminar of “grief” and as part of my ongoing personal development  (OPDs-as a requirement of belonging to the ACA) and understanding of grief.  I try to attend these seminars at least twice a year.  I enjoyed this seminar because I didn’t have to give a talk. I didn’t have to prepare. I didn’t have to make sure PowerPoints were suitable, I just sat and listened to another who has been involved in “grief matters”  many many more years than I have.

Dr Jeoffrey Glassock Phd did a beautiful job on grief and what it actually is, the various types of grief, the various ways which people manage their grief and the differences between the gender (male and female) and their expressions of grief.
We looked at the nature of disenfranchised grief (the grief which exists and at times very deeply but cannot be openly expressed because of societal taboos, e.g. abortion, suicide, death of a homosexual partner, death  of pet etc.  Disenfranchised grief, first posited by Porf. Kenneth Doka is valuable because it puts a “voice” where none or silence  existed.

Indeed the whole seminar with lecture plus interaction was good and it was good to meet other “griefworkers” and what amazed me was the fact that many attendees agreed that abortion grief exists (when I mentioned what I do) but no one seems to know much about it and are flailing in the dark.

The presenter spoke very very briefly about abortion grief and how he came to encounter it and how he handled it, and  the way it was handled I would have said  was a more earlier model  of handling this type of grief. Much has happened since those years ago when he encountered it and much more work and writings are available. Including my own book Redeeming Grief: Abortion and its Pain details on my website :   whilst Dr Glassock managed the situation I would not have handled it the same.  I believe he left several issues undealt with  and not finished.

I did try and speak with him but he seemed “surrounded” so in the end I could not be bothered.

And until we come to understand that abortion, suicide, grief, sexual abuse grief even adoption grief are different and what lies behind the difference in this grief, then we are going to get well intentioned people, and well intentioned counsellors but misunderstood grief and not a real secure way of handling the grief.

However I will continue to go these seminars because it means that I get a chance to network with other psychologists and counsellors and we can share experience of our respective work. Me post abortion and they help me understand grief better.

I did though meet someone who was “pro choice” thanks very much.
OK …I hope she felt better.

Anne Lastman

Anne is a qualified post abortion grief counsellor and sexual abuse counsellor who has worked in this area for nearly 30 years. Over the years Anne has developed a recovery strategy, which works well for those who persevere with the programme. Anne continues to study post abortion grief and the related, sexual abuse grief, which manifest with similar symptoms.

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