By Janie Exner, Therapist at Rio Retreat Center
“If you’re at this workshop, there’s a good chance you have a broken heart”. That statement marks the beginning of Healing Heartache: a Grief and Loss Workshop. The goal of this 5-day intensive is to create a safe and nurturing space for participants to process the unique losses they have experienced and engage in an active program of recovery.
Grief is a natural response to the changes brought about by loss, yet many of us were never encouraged to grieve in a healthy way and had no role models for how to process the intense feelings evoked by loss. We may have received the explicit or implicit message that our feelings weren’t valid and may not have been given the skills necessary to deal with the often life-changing consequences of loss. If so, you may be struggling to find your footing again after one or more significant losses in your life.
Healing Heartache: A Grief and Loss Workshop offers participants an active pathway through the paralysis of unresolved grief. As is the case with all workshops at The Meadows, we begin the process by looking at how presenting issues relate to the larger context of relational experiences in childhood:
- What losses did you experience as a child?
- How were your feelings addressed by major caregivers?
- Did the adults in your life model healthy or unhealthy coping skills?
In this empowering workshop, misconceptions about grief and the grieving process are replaced with accurate information. Expressive art and written exercises give participants insight into their personal history of loss and a felt sense of how and when they became overwhelmed with incomplete grief.
Finally, the use of experiential techniques allows participants to begin accessing and releasing carried emotional energy that may be keeping them frozen in the past.
A New Normal
None of us are exempt from the experience of loss, as it is part of the human condition. Participants come to this workshop to deal with a wide spectrum of losses, both tangible and intangible. For example, you may be dealing with the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of perceived safety, retirement, changes in physical or mental health, loss of dreams for the future, job loss, children leaving home, or loss of ability to trust.
Sharing this healing journey with a small group of peers creates a level of connection and safety that exponentially enhances the potential for all to heal. Your peers may be experiencing similar or very different losses, but whatever the particular experiences of loss are, each of you deserves support and guidance as you process the associated emotions and integrate the reality of your post-loss “new normal”.
Call 800-244-4949 or send us a message through our website to register for the workshop. Those that sign up on or before June 30 will receive a 25 percent discount on workshop registration fees. And, don’t forget that we now offer convenient lodging at our new Rio Retreat Bunkhouse.
I hope to meet some of you soon!