The intent of this group is to allow a process where one can identify and experience emotions related to a loss or a combination of losses. This may include sensitive or hidden details associated with unresolved grief. In doing so, internal shifts and transformations are often more easily achieved. Even though loss is often associated with the end of a relationship or death of a loved one, it can also be understood in more complex or insidious ways, such as loss of identity/self, loss of childhood, losses associated with traumatic or abusive experiences. Even when mourning, people often leave out details and memories that are too painful to remember or they minimize their effects. These details can manifest and cause other problems. Unresolved grief manifests differently for each person. It can be underlying and associated with depression, anxiety and/or inability to function in meaningful ways.
Grief, as a process, is often most effectively navigated within a group/community setting. North Americans tend to wear "masks" to hide or deflect pain, which usually surface in some other unexpected way. These masks lead people to feel isolated. Our culture values independence and strength to our detriment, disabling us in knowing what to do with lingering or strong “negative” emotions. Many people try to “move on” and are not comfortable with expressing emotions, and need help with integrating them.
Small numbers in group therapy provide an experience which is intimate enough for each participant to share, be witnessed and to be supported. Common feedback is that participants are reminded that they are connected and not alone in this process. For some, there may be a decrease in somatic complaints. For others, there may be a noticeable shift with respect to feelings of anger or anxiety, and experience a feeling that "the block" has disintegrated. Many express a lightness/relief following grief work and report finding new ways to honour and address grief.