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On the last track we discussed delayed grief work. We discussed how grief gets delayed and techniques for delayed grief work. Three techniques we discussed are talking, cemetery visits, and drawing.
On this track we will discuss resolving childhood grief as an adult. The two main topics regarding resolving childhood grief as an adult on this track are latent signs of childhood grief and why childhood grief spills into adulthood.
This track can also serve as a resource for determining negative ways for dealing with grief in children, such as overlooking or discounting. If the parent or guardian of a grieving child you are treating fails to see the importance of grief work, you might consider playing this track for or relating the case study to him or her.
Two Topics Regarding Childhood Grief
Topic #1 - Latent Signs of Childhood Grief
As an adult, David struggled with the latent signs of childhood grief. David stated, "I have trouble trusting people. All of my intimate relationships seem to end because I can’t bring myself to trust anyone. Also, from time to time, I feel guilty or get angry over stupid things." At a later session, David revealed his experience regarding the death of his friend, Jason. I stated to David, "Your painful memories of death at such an early age may be the reason you have a fear of abandonment which leads to your trouble forming intimate bonds."
I have found that additional latent signs of childhood grief may also include abnormal concern regarding death, funerals, or losses of various kinds that are not directly related to the client. Have you treated a grieving client who is showing latent signs of childhood grief? Are you currently treating a grieving child who otherwise may have carried grief with them into adulthood?
Topic #2 - Why Childhood Grief Spills into Adulthood
David stated, "I don’t know why my mom never talked to me about Jason’s death. It was pretty traumatic for me. I walked to his funeral alone. When I got home, I was in tears. I felt embarrassed."
If the parent of a grieving child is consumed with their own grief, they overlook the child’s grief and fail to see how shattered their children are, or how much they need to express their grief. Think of your David, either at the age of 12 or 29. Does he or she need help to express his or her grief? If so, you might consider the Reliving an Early Death Experience technique.
Technique: Reliving an Early Death Experience
David once again mentioned his feelings of guilt and anger, as well as his fear of abandonment. However, at a later session, David stated, "I feel like Reliving my Early Death Experience helped me gain insight as to why I feel and act the way I do sometimes." Understanding himself better helped David begin resolving his childhood grief.
Do you have a client like David who could benefit from the Reliving an Early Death Experience technique? Could you use some of the information on this track to treat a grieving child or to help parents of a grieving child see the importance of grief work?
On this track we have discussed resolving childhood grief as an adult. The two main topics regarding resolving childhood grief as an adult on this track are latent signs of childhood grief and why childhood grief spills into adulthood.
This material was written by Tracy Appleton, LCSW, MEd and the reference listed below was used as a resource:
This CD set has covered such topics as: 3 types of denial, diffusing anger, relief from guilt, murder affecting grieving children, melancholic features, fear, change, adjustment, parental guidelines for trauma, hyperactivity resulting from loss, grief and explaining separation, displacement reactions, delayed grief work, and resolving childhood grief as an adult.
I hope you have found the information to be both practical and beneficial. We appreciate that you've chosen the Healthcare Training Institute as a means for receiving your continuing education credit.
Other Home Study Courses we offer include: Treating Teen Self Mutilation; Treating Post Holiday Let-Down and Depression; Living with Secrets: Treating Childhood Sexual Trauma; Interventions for Anxiety Disorders with Children and Adults; and Balancing the Power Dynamic in the Therapeutic Relationship.
I wish you the best of luck in your practice. Thank you. Consider us for future home study needs.
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