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Traumatic Grief is Different from Traditional Grief. The unique set of circumstances associated with your loss and the powerful force that results when trauma and loss interact are incredibility destabilizing and make it difficult to function. You may feel out of control, overwhelmed by what has happened, and unprepared by the enormity of what this means for your future.
You’ve known that death is part of life’s continuum, but you probably never expected to lose a loved one in a sudden, unexpected manner.
Consequently, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the intensity of your feelings, the rush of memories, the futility of unending daily tasks, or the deep sense of permanence in your loss. You may also be experiencing nightmares, flashbacks, trouble sleeping and/or difficulty functioning. Your world, as you knew it, has been turned upside down. Everything you understood to be real, your past as well as your plans for your future, feels shattered because of the tragic events that changed your life. It may be hard to imagine going on with life without your loved one or holding hope for your future.
You need to know that the experience of traumatic grief differs from traditional grief and that this experience may increase your risk for physical and mental health challenges, unhealthy coping mechanisms, or complicated grief.
You need to know that trauma and grief therapy that integrates techniques grounded in mindfulness-based skills, cognitive behavioral therapy, and emotional regulation can reduce painful thoughts and feelings and introduce new coping skills for difficult times.
You need to know that pain changes over time, and for some individuals, growth is a possible outcome from trauma and loss. Researchers have identified post traumatic growth as positive changes beyond healing. Others have reported the ability to find hope, meaning, or future possibilities.
- TESTIMONIAL -
I didn’t think I was ever going to get over this. I thought I was going to be like this for the rest of my life and then at a certain point I started to know that I was getting better. I wasn’t ruminating on it all the time. I came to the conclusion that this happened for a purpose and I think that in horrific things in life there are silver linings.
My name is Jennifer R. Levin, PhD, FT and I am a traumatic grief expert, clinician, educator, and coach. I am also a recognized Fellow in Thanatology – the study of death, dying, and bereavement - by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. I have been privileged to work in the field of death, dying, and grief for over 30 years and I am passionate about helping individuals living with traumatic grief transition from suffering towards healing, and from pain towards growth.
After experiencing my own trauma and losses and working with individuals who have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one, I realized that accessible resources are needed to improve the healing process associated with traumatic loss. I have met so many people unable to pursue traditional therapy who are searching for a way to process, grieve, and make sense of their loss on their own.
From Grief to Growth was developed to provide those in need with tools to foster healing in a manner that holds and respects the grief and trauma that has injected itself into their world.
I understand what it is like to have your world shattered without notice and the resulting turmoil that takes over your life. I know the impact this has on your ability to function and interact with the world. The physical toll you are experiencing is enormous. I know that at this point in your life you may feel exhausted by your grief and trauma. You no longer feel capable of carrying on or even know how to start. I have combined my personal and clinical experiences, my education, expertise, and the tools I use with a countless number of clients into a course to help you grieve, move towards healing, and grow.
The end result – an online course you can use throughout your grieving process to cope and grow after a sudden, unexpected loss.
I learned that was nothing wrong with me, that my feelings were normal. I did not know that I could stop and ask myself if thinking about certain things would be helpful or harmful. I discovered that I just needed to trust in the process. I did not know there were specific tools I could use in the moment to get through tough times and that they would pass. This was kind of a surprise because I felt like my life was just over.
Growing After Traumatic Loss is an online, self-help course designed to move you towards healing from traumatic grief, at your own pace & timeline. The program combines informational videos, growing exercises, and tips sheets to help you cope, process emotions and feelings, and experience positive shifts in your grieving.
When you place your order you will have immediate access to Module 1. Every other week, for sixteen weeks, you will receive access to the next module in the eight module series, exploring different topics related to traumatic loss. Within each module, there are three short, informational videos, growing exercises, and tip sheets.
The videos I present offer information about traumatic loss and are supported by research and case studies. Videos also demonstrate and teach new skills and tools in a compassionate manner that are easy to understand. Growing exercises provide you an opportunity to deepen your learning with hands-on writing exercises, development of personalized coping skills, and assessments for tracking your progress. Finally, tip sheets are provided as reference documents allowing you to easily refer back to information presented in the videos.
Every other week you receive access to a new module consisting of three videos, growing exercises, and tip sheets. Click on each module below to view the program goals, video titles, and growing exercises.
Goals – To orient you to the program, provide an understanding of why and how traumatic grief is different, and establish your roots in order to ground yourself prior to beginning grief and trauma work.
•Video 1: An Introduction to Growing After Traumatic Loss
•Video 2: Traumatic Grief is Different
•Video 3: The Importance of Establishing Roots
Growing exercises will include assessments to document where you are at the beginning of this program and will be available to track progress and thoughts throughout your program. Additional exercises will provide opportunities to create safety and structure and establish routines to strengthen day to day wellness and functioning. You will also learn how to use grief thermometers to monitor feelings and emotions, as well as pleasant event scheduling to provide brief distractions from your pain.
TIP SHEET TITLES
•Traumatic Grief Basics
•Importantance of Establishing Roots
GROWING EXERCISE TITLES
•Grief & Growing Goals
Goals: To identify where you are in your traumatic grief and who you are right now. To identify what needs to be grieved, honored, and shared.
•Video 1: How My Loved One Died
•Video 2: Mourning Your Losses
•Video 3: The Story of a Life
Growing exercises will focus on what has been lost, left, and unfinished in both your life and the life of the loved one you have lost. Additional exercises will provide prompts and guidance to narrate your loved one’s story without focusing on the manner of death and help you engage in optional legacy projects to commemorate his or her life.
Goals: To address the isolation associated with grief, the necessity of self-care, and challenges that arise when you have to care for others or attend to professional obligations while living with traumatic grief.
•Video 1: Isolation and Loneliness in Grief: Tools for Support
•Video 2: Difficulties Interacting With Others During Grief
•Video 3: Redefining Self-care
Growing exercises will assist you in identifying the people, activities, and boundaries you will require to thrive. Exercises will also provide you with tools to establish boundaries and protect yourself from empathy overload, highlight how to develop a self-care plan tailored to your needs and how to help others help you.
Goals: To learn about contemporary grief and trauma models used to guide treatment and utilize skills to manage cognitive and emotional grief and trauma symptoms to improve functioning and quality of life.
•Video 1: How Theoretical Grief Models Can Guide Our Mourning
•Video 2: Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Intense Moments
•Video 3: Using Self-compassion & Forgiveness in Traumatic Grief
Growing exercises will help you identify important grief tasks toward healing, cope with diverse emotions, regulate your emotions, and build an individualized toolbox to manage grief and trauma symptoms.
Goals: To create a new sense of normality without your loved one while still finding a way to feel united with their presence. To learn how to handle difficult interactions with others and important life milestones in the absence of your loved one.
•Video 1: Creating a New Normal
•Video 2: Techniques to Live With the Daily Challenges of Traumatic Grief
•Video 3: Coping With the Holidays, Milestones & Celebrations
Growing exercises will focus on how to use new tools to help contain grief when faced with daily tasks and challenges, and techniques to cope with triggers and grief attacks. Exercises will also identify ways to feel united with your loved one throughout the day, encourage the use of a gratitude practice to shift your energy, and reframe daily thoughts about grief.
Goals: To focus on discovering the changes and growth within and commit to your “why for living” while creating an enduring connection without the physical presence of your loved one. To strengthen strategies for living with grief as it changes and further embeds itself within your daily existence.
•Video 1: Are You a Victim, Survivor, or Thriver?
•Video 2: Rebuilding Your Identity After a Traumatic Loss
•Video 3: Committing to Your 'Why'
Growing exercises will help you identify your why for living, your core values, and the person you would like to become. Exercises will also assist you in managing grief in your everyday existence and identifying ways to incorporate your loved one into future experiences.
Goals: To develop a long-term relationship with your grief, honor the needs of your grief, and create a new relationship with your loved one. To generate continued growth, develop a personal meaning of closure, and learn how to live with uncertainty.
•Video 1: Living with Uncertainty
•Video 2: Developing a Long-term Relationship with Your Grief
•Video 3: Developing a Long-term Relationship with your Loved One
Growing exercises will help you create rituals for remembrance, guide you in writing a narrative for the unknown, and create a sustainable relationship between you and the essence or spirit of your loved one.
Goals: To reflect on your grieving experience so far, contemplate the perceived meaning of your experiences and connect with future possibilities for yourself.
•Video 1: Exploring Big Questions: Why Did This Happen & Other Existential Concerns
•Video 2: How am I Starting to Grow? Post Traumatic Growth, Silver Linings & Meaning
•Video 3: My Future Self: What is Next For Me?
Growing exercises will help you conceptualize what it means to move forward in your life without moving on, and envision future possibilities that may be possible from your growth.
- TESTIMONIAL -
Things are going to suck for a while. There is no way out but through. It is going to feel literally painful, physically painful. Grief is a form of love or praise. It is going to hurt a lot and one day it will hurt less, and you won’t know when and you will just think 'oh, it just doesn’t hurt as bad'.
16-week program completed on your own or with the support of your mental health professional
24 Videos (3 per module)
•Save by paying in full at $997
16-week program completed on your own or with support of your mental health professional
24 Videos (3 per module)
Eight 25-minute individual private coaching sessions with Dr. Levin
•Save by paying in full at $2397
- TESTIMONIAL -
If you have the intention to heal, you will. I know that it looks impossible and you have no idea how it is going to happen. As long as you take the step forward and you are open to the possibility of it happening, it will.
Click the questions to open the responses.
In one sense all loss and associated grief is traumatic. No matter how prepared you may feel or how much you understand the circle of life, the loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience. A traumatic loss USUALLY involves a loss that is sudden and unexpected. However, what really matters is how you perceive the loss and how you are reacting to the loss. If your loss feels traumatic, if the experiences described in this program resonate with you, or the course curriculum sounds like a good fit then you are in the right place.
One of the hallmark features of traumatic grief is feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Because grief and trauma have no timeline, you have no time limit to complete program materials. Take your time. Pace yourself. The program was designed to make you feel less overwhelmed and to break things down into small pieces. You can make it manageable for yourself.
I am so glad you are receiving professional support to help you through this difficult time. In an ideal world, everyone who enrolls in this course would integrate the content and process the growing exercises with their therapist! This program is not meant to replace professional mental health services and it is a perfect complement to your therapeutic work. The program, however, is available for individuals who do not have access to mental health services or individuals who are not interested in pursuing therapy at this time.
Absolutely, grief is a unique journey with no time line. Some people begin working with traumatic grief days after a loss has occurred and others wait years before they are ready. It does not matter how soon or how long you wait to start the program. The exercises are tailored to your experience and where you are right now in your grieving process.
Even when you have an amazing support network, grief can be an isolating experience. Friends and family are well meaning but often do not understand the different needs of a traumatic loss. I developed Growing After Traumatic Loss as an experienced traumatic grief expert to teach you the skills and tools you need to move toward healing.