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In my counseling practice, with my domestic violence and anger management folks, I
teach a model of grieving every anger management workshop, and way too frequently in
my domestic violence classes.
Our culture no longer handles grief the way it used to and men in particular,
although women are now doing it also, who get caught up in the stoic, 'I just get
the job done mentality' will not process grief appropriately, and unprocessed grief
will limit the ability to feel positively in the future.
For example, not too many decades ago, when we were a more rural country, wakes were
held in the home, and the family of the deceased would wear black for awhile to
indicate to the community that they were letting go, and not so available to join in
the usual village activities. We do not do that anymore. I have so many clients say
they were told to "just get over it, and go to work" at the funeral of a loved one.
While a return to normal routine is part of the process, "just get over it" may
leave some stones unturned psychologically.
The focus in the Anger Management classes is on learning to manage the flow of
grief, that there is a road map, that grieving is very important and necessary
process involving a non-linear process of
That particular sequence is based on the Kubler-Ross model of grieving, and I make
it a point to let my clients know that there are other models. The point being that
the experience of anger at a loved one for dieing is part of a normal process, and
is a sign that healing is happening. Without a road map, an individual might judge
themselves rather harshly for having such a thought and push it out of mind. What is
close to the anger is the love and the sorrow, which must get acknowledged, felt,