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Workshop to teach about grieving process

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PLAINS – Often times after the loss of a loved one, grief can become overwhelming and disabling. A hole remains in one's life that is hard and sometimes seemingly impossible to fill. In a way to help those suffering with grief, the Clark Fork Valley Hospice is holding a free bereavement support group.

The group will begin to meet on May 8 and will continue on for eight weeks.

Medical Social Worker Lisa Talcott will be spearheading the group.

"The group is kind of a combination of education and support," Talcott explained. "As a society, we don't do really well with grief."

She explained there are many misunderstandings about the grieving process. The group aims to create an environment where people can open up and talk about their loss with people experiencing the same kind of feelings.

"The group is designed to be supportive and offer an emotionally safe, confidential environment for people to talk about their grief experience and to listen to other group members," Talcott said.

Talcott has been running the workshop for nine years and said the experiences people gain from the group are invaluable. The goal is to help people understand the struggle of coming to grips with the loss of someone they loved.

The meetings last for two hours and span an eight-week period. Talcott explained that every week looks a little different but the goal remains the same throughout.

Activities are suggested for the people in attendance to complete outside of group time, whether it is to write in a journal or complete an assessment of their support system.

Anyone who feels like they would benefit from the group is welcome to join, although Talcott explained that it is typically best for an individual to wait two to three months after the loss of a loved one so the process is not overwhelming.

Not only do the participants learn to help themselves, but they also learn to help one another.

"Most people get three days off work (to deal with a loss) and are expected to get on with it and over it. As much as a person tries to do that, it's just not the way it works," Talcott said.

She also explained that the group will offer another outlet for the individual. Sometimes people dealing with grief are reluctant to lean heavily on their friends or family members for support because they may believe that people get tired of listening to them. This group allows those individuals to talk over things more.

"It provides people with an opportunity that for two hours that's what we are focusing on. They can talk about whatever they want in relationship to their grief," Talcott said. "Everyone is also there to do the same."

This free group encourages people at their wits end to get the help and support they need.

"A lot of people in this area are fiercely independent and self sufficient. They are reluctant to reach out for help until the end of their rope and they don't know what else to do," Talcott said.

Talcott encourages those interested in the group to preregister with her by calling 826-4863.

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