In grief, there are moments when the pain is so deep and intense words fall short.  There is no way to articulate adequately the physical and mental anguish pulsing through your body and brain.  You try and tell someone what you are going through but it is only a feeble representation of what the experience is like.  It is frustrating…you want someone to really witness the extent of your suffering.

Also, sometimes the words are too difficult to speak.  Too painful.  Your brain can’t focus on a topic and it’s hard to follow.  Comprehension of material, in literature or conversation, is slow and maybe distorted.  You read a paragraph in a book and have no idea what you have just read.  Someone talks to you and it’s difficult to absorb or remember what was said.

After my dad died, I had a friend come over, and I just couldn’t really talk much.  She asked me basic questions and it was like my words came out in slow motion, and I was detached from them. It was so exhausting and effortful.

When mourning the loss of a loved one, the pain is so severe it is beyond description.  How can we deal with this?

We can use our bodies.  We go into the pain in our bodies and move it.

Expressing through the medium of body movement that which seems beyond words is a way to begin processing the loss without the exposure or limitation of words.   Some clients believe it’s easier to begin here so they don’t have to talk about the many feelings they are experiencing.  These emotions are so complex, are unexpected and judged, and sometimes contradict each other.

Grief is so overwhelming it’s hard to know what to do next.  With movement interventions these embodied emotions are explored.  From here the movement therapist can support and guide, and accompany the bereaved as they try and figure out the next steps.

The movement therapy session isn’t only non-verbal. Thoughts and feelings arise through the movement which is then verbally addressed. The difference is that the trained movement therapist can attend to non-verbal cues and intervene through movement as well as through spoken dialogue.

In movement therapy, I enjoy telling my clients that there is no right or wrong way to move.  As long as they are safe with their bodies, anything goes.  It takes the burden off of the client and allows them do be with the loss in whatever way they are.  I don’t expect them to be or think differently from the experience.  I just allow them to be with the loss, however that manifests for them.

It’s quite a relief to not have to be a certain way when you are grieving.  Just being where you are at, accepted, not trying to fix it.

When words can’t begin to scratch the surface, it’s ok.  When words come out twisted and misguided, it’s ok.  Can you focus inward and see how your body is responding? It aches, it is tired.  It feels heavy and bloated.  It trembles and is restless. Eyes hurt from crying.

This is where we begin.

And even though we may not intentionally move to fix it, we can begin to find ways to be with it, and possibly notice the experiences of the pauses in the moments where are grief takes a break.  Times when we get a brief reprieve from the pain.  And we embody those.

Consider giving dance/movement therapy with me a try. 

17821 E. 17th Street Unit #260
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 941-2257

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