On Grief Therapy; “when you’re religious you have a support system which helps you, but it doesn’t heal”

Understanding a problem and actually facing it is usually the first step of solving it. This goes without saying, but for some reason when this problem is grief, people seem to consider embracing it a weakness, or lack of faith. That is where grief therapy comes in handy, and thankfully, for the very first time in Egypt it is now available. We spoke to Sarah Moussa, the Grief Therapist who first brought this into Egypt, in an attempt to get a better understanding of it.

 

In a nutshell, what is grief therapy?

Grief counseling is performed either as one-on-one sessions or as group therapy. The people who need grief counseling are those who suffered any kind of loss whether it’s through divorce, death, or even if someone is suffering from a certain illness, or if their children are addicts, or paralyzed. The important thing when it comes to grief is to allow yourself to grieve. In one-on-one sessions I talk to the person I am counseling and give them advice. As for group therapy, I am the facilitator; I don’t tell them what to do. They talk to each other since they are all going through the same experience. I’ve started three groups, but we haven’t started meeting yet, because I need at least three people to attend each group; the first one is for death, the second is for divorced men and women, and the third is for cancer.

“The way people respond to grief depends on their personality, the environment, their life story, current circumstances and who they lost.”

How have people responded to this so far?

The one-on-one sessions have been going well, thank God. People thought it was a new concept and were glad something like this was available in Egypt. Yet, some thought that going to grief therapy means they aren’t accepting God’s will. My answer to this is “this has nothing to do with religion. When you’re religious you have a support system which helps you, but it doesn’t heal”. When it comes to the group sessions, people love the concept, but it needs to be marketed better. People need to understand it more and understand how I will guarantee that what is said in the group will not be revealed out of the group.

 

What’s the main difference between normal therapy and grief therapy?

You specialize in grief. When I get someone for grief therapy, this is all we talk about. The problem with grief is, when it happens the body goes into shock, and the person goes into denial. They start creating “films” as a strategy to survive this. So I might solve the trauma and grief and then spend more time solving those strategies they’ve come up with. So the earlier they come the better.

 

What’s the difference between grief and PTSD?

Not anyone going through grief goes through PTSD. Many people do this; if someone is going through grief they’ll diagnose them with PTSD, if a child has a short attention span, they’ll say they have ADHD, if someone is a little too neat they’ll say they have OCD. Labeling has become so easy, and that’s dangerous.

“Some thought that going to grief therapy means they aren’t accepting God’s will. My answer to this is “this has nothing to do with religion. When you’re religious you have a support system which helps you, but it doesn’t heal”.”

Do different people respond differently to therapy?

Everyone responds differently. That’s why walk-ins aren’t allowed in group therapy. They need one on one orientation first so that I can make sure if they are ready, managing their anger, and are aware of the important rules like how they shouldn’t put themselves, or others down. The way people respond to grief depends on their personality, the environment, their life story, current circumstances and who they lost.

 

This is the first time this kind of therapy is offered in Egypt. Do you think many were unable to deal with their grief and didn’t even know?

Definitely. People don’t know at the time. People don’t even know what grief is. It is their right to feel grief!

 

And what are the physical symptoms to grief?

It depends. Psychosomatic symptoms can manifest as sleep deprivation, or sleeping too much to escape life. Some people have digestion problems and irritable bowel syndrome. Some people who have back problems get even worse back pain; sometimes the pain is all over; and sometimes people wake up and their bodies refuse to move.

 

Are there different stages to grief?

There’s shock, then denial, then more stages before they reach the stage of acceptance (each in their own way, of course), and then comes the stage in which they reconstruct this grief and integrate it into their wellbeing, as well as understanding the message behind it from God or the Universe.

“The way people respond to grief depends on their personality, the environment, their life story, current circumstances and who they lost.”

Do you use different techniques for different people?

Definitely. As an autogenic training instructor I sometimes integrate that, which is self-hypnosis techniques, so it becomes a tool for them. I integrate the things I studied and see which one suits them the most.

 

Do you believe that when it comes to handling grief it’s “different strokes for different folks”, and that there are different ways to go about it?

The most important thing is that you face it, deal with it, and be conscious about what’s happening. This is in order for you to understand when you can deal with it by yourself and with the support system you have, and when you need to seek professional help.

 

 

Sarah Moussa is a Hypnotherapist, Grief Counselor, Sufi Healing Relationship, Trauma Consultant, Applied Self Leadership, Meta EFT Therapist, Grief Support Program Manager, Reiki Healer, Autogenic Training Instructor, Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique Instructor, specialized in Trauma Healing, and Founder and Managing Director at Tanmeya Egypt For Consultancy and Training.

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2 Comments
  1. I went through the grief after death of both my parents. What holds us back? The GUILD, the SHAME. What I learn from my TAO MASTER Mantak Chia, is that THIS is the reason why we have to UNDERSTAND to HEAL ourselves NOW and BEFORE physical death. Otherwise the soul can not go back HOME because they believe they MISSED something out and stuck to this who are left here on earth. It is like steeling the freedom of the soul. We MUST learn to speak out truth in the NOW. We mUST recognize our OWN emotions in each moment as we are the only responsible for how we feel, for our thoughts, actions. This is the only way to clear KARMA. I also learn that each soul decides THEMSELVES when and how they die. I was not present when my mother died some time after the accident she caused. I had only gone 10 days before. My REIKI Master back than told me that she did not want me to see her this way, waiting until I was gone…… it was not a nice death! And actually before leaving she agreed to receive Reiki initiation from me. While I somehow, unconsciously gave the prophecy that she would not need anymore certain things she meant to buy… only after I realized what I had said. I also understand that until now, we have been working (as souls) on the regular re-birth by death on the same issue each time we came here. NOW we know better….. and we are healing centuries of karma. ISn’t that WONDERFUL to KNOW?

    Following the SHAMAN’s path, I was able to understand the emotional baggage we carry from our ancestors, the foot prints we followed, believing this was us. We are genetically imprinted with patterns, believing this is our truths, our behavior. But in real its not. We have lived so many life times and in diff cultures and countries. We are ALL and everybody. Being able to go back in time to see and accept of who we are, of our ancestors and what they did or di not, their behavior etc… its allow carry from them. Its us. Being aware, we now have the chance to decide which road we want to walk.

    We are now breaking chains in our cultures, religions, generations, countries, restricted laws, politics. We are able to see clearer and clearer. We can only take care of ourselves to save our soul. Nobody can do it for us. NOBODY is an exception, we all are i the same boat. 10:10

    Love and appreciation

    ELKE A.C. NEUBECK

  2. In healing a young Egyptian man’s inflamed appendix, God shown me what I was able to perform. I did not feel good enough to do it and refused him. But he insisted. And God’s voice or the voice of my higher self I hear saying: what ever I put in front of you, you are able to perform. This all happened in a time space I have no explanation for. It just happened. So instead of surgery, I allowed Spirit, to work THROUGH ME. there was no goal for me or an intention as I had no idea how to heal him. It was Spirit guiding me in the moment. And the young man himself, was very confident I could do it.

    This also means that we are not ILL. There is no illness. That is an illusion. Our body is trying to communicate through symptoms. And when we learn to understand the language of our body, we can take action with our own will, the power of thoughts. And know this, that negative thoughts are creating high toxins in our body.

    Look at the animals people hold. Those who are sick carry the same as the human. Animals are taking our baggage on as they are exposed to us. WHY? Because human abuses them for their emotions baggage instead of become aware of what they carry an causing. They want to have an animal as a replacement of what they can’t give to themselves. But how many animals are REALLY kept in a proper way?

    Its all a chain reaction as we are connected with all. Through meditation and prayers, certain activities and the WILL to awaken we are able to heal ourselves. In truth there is no phyisical death necessary. Only few people are able to mange this yet. We call it alchemical transformation. At the end, there is only soul left and than we go back HOME… SOUL is only ENERGY / LIGHT

    ELKE A.C. NEUBECK

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