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Complicated grief - how common is it?

I recently wrote a blog post "Grief is our natural human response to bereavementwhere I said that mourning may well involve powerful feelings of yearning, disbelief, anger & depression.  When we have lost someone who has been very important to us, we gradually need to learn to live without them. Reconfiguring our inner emotional lives and our outer activities can be such a challenge.  Mostly though people manage.  It may be hard, but like the body healing after injury, emotional pain also resolves as we hold our loved ones in our hearts but engage more fully again in our lives.  Sometimes though after physical injury, wounds don't heal adequately.  Maybe there is infection or non-union of fractures.  In these situations the healing process may need help.

Grief is our natural human response to bereavement

When we're badly physically injured, there may be horrible pain and loss of ability to function normally. Then though there is typically a gradual recovery.  Scars may be left; there may be some persisting vulnerability, but basically our bodies are wonderful at self-healing.  There are parallels between wounds due to physical injury and wounds due to emotional injury.  For example, when we are bereaved, there may be horrible pain and loss of ability to function normally.  Gradually, over time, our minds & hearts can heal.  Of course, if we have lost someone important to us, we will never be quite the same.  We may always miss them, and remember them with sadness, gratitude and love.  The grief resolves though and we can move on with our lives, even though we continue to carry our loved ones in our hearts ... and this resolution is what they would have wanted for us.

Warwick BABCP conference: 1st morning - trauma memories & a master presentation on four decades of outcome research (2nd post)

Yesterday I blogged about the pre-conference workshop I attended on "Anger dysregulation". Today was the first full day of the conference proper.  Breakfast illustrated the kind of helpful, fun conversation that can emerge at this kind of event.  I talked to Fiona McFarlene & Tara Murphy who were going on to run a skills class on "Exposure and response prevention: adapting skills you already have to the treatment of tics".

Working with traumatic memories: KISS (keep it simple, stupid) and the virtues of straightforward prolonged exposure

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."  Leonardo da Vinci

"It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."  Antoine de Sainte Exupery 

I have just written a series of three posts on Arntz & Jacob's new book "Schema therapy in practice"  This led to a query about when we should use direct exposure to trauma memories, when introduce more deliberate cognitive restructuring of linked trauma beliefs, and when add in more complex rescripting as, for example, described by Arntz & Jacob?

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