The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith

The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith

by John W. James, Russell Friedman

Paperback(Twentieth Anniversary Expanded Edition)

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Overview

Updated to commemorate its 20th anniversary, this classic resource further explores the effects of grief and sheds new light on how to begin to take effective actions to complete the grieving process and work towards recovery and happiness.

Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on the capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories as well as from others', the authors illustrate how it is possible to recover from grief and regain energy and spontaneity.

Based on a proven program, The Grief Recovery Handbook offers grievers the specific actions needed to move beyond loss. New material in this edition includes guidance for dealing with:

·  Loss of faith

·  Loss of career and financial issues

·  Loss of health

·  Growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home

The Grief Recovery Handbook is a groundbreaking, classic handbook that everyone should have in their library.

“This book is required for all my classes. The more I use this book, the more I believe that unresolved grief is the major underlying issue in most people’s lives. It is the only work of its kind that I know of that outlines the problem and provides the solution.”—Bernard McGrane, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Chapman University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061686078
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/10/2017
Edition description: Twentieth Anniversary Expanded Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 15,878
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

John W. James and Russell Friedman have been working with grievers for more than thirty years. They have served as consultants to thousands of bereavement professionals and provide Grief Recovery® Seminars and Certification Programs throughout the United States and Canada. They are the founders of the Grief Recovery Institute®.


John W. James and Russell Friedman have been working with grievers for more than thirty years. They have served as consultants to thousands of bereavement professionals and provide Grief Recovery® Seminars and Certification Programs throughout the United States and Canada. They are the founders of the Grief Recovery Institute®.

Read an Excerpt

The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition

Chapter One

Grief: A Neglected and Misunderstood Process

Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. Therefore, the feelings you are having are also normal and natural for you. The problem is that we have all been socialized to believe that these feelings are abnormal and unnatural.

While grief is normal and natural, and clearly the most powerful of all emotions, it is also the most neglected and misunderstood experience, often by both the grievers and those around them.

Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a -familiar pattern of behavior. What do we mean by conflicting feelings? Let us explain by example. When someone you love dies after suffering a long illness, you may feel a sense of relief that your loved one's suffering is over. That is a positive feeling, even though it is associated with a death. At the same time, you may realize that you can no longer see or touch that person. This may be very painful for you. These conflicting feelings, relief and pain, are totally normal in response to death.

What about divorce? Are there conflicting feelings too? Yes. You may feel a genuine sense of freedom now that the battles are over. That is a positive feeling. At the same time, you may be afraid that you will never "find someone as beautiful/as good a provider." These conflicting feelings, freedom and fear, are also natural responses to loss.

All relationships have aspects of familiarity whether they are romantic, social, familial, or business. What other losses cause similarconflicting feelings? While death and divorce are obvious, many other loss experiences have been identified that can produce grief. Among them are:

Death of a pet
Moving
Starting school
Death of a former spouse
Marriage
Graduation
End of addictions
Major health changes
Retirement
Financial changes-positive or negative
Holidays
Legal problems
Empty nest

Often these common life experiences are not seen as grieving events. We grieve for the loss of all relationships we deem significant - which are thus also emotional.

If the major loss events in your life have not been associated with death, do not put this book down.

After twenty years of working with grievers, we have identified several other losses, including loss of trust, loss of safety, and loss of control of one's body (physical or sexual abuse). Society still does not recognize these losses as grief issues.

Loss-of-trust events are experienced by almost everyone and can have a major, lifelong negative impact. You may have experienced a loss of trust in a parent, a loss of trust in God, or a loss of trust in any other relationship. Is loss of trust a grief issue? The answer is yes. And the problem of dealing with the grief it causes remains the same. Grief is normal and natural, but we have been ill prepared to deal with it. Grief is about a broken heart, not a broken brain. All efforts to heal the heart with the head fail because the head is the wrong tool for the job. It's like trying to paint with a hammer-it only makes a mess.

Almost all intellectual comments are preceded by the phrase, "Don't feel bad." In 1977, when John's infant son died, a well-meaning friend said, "Don't feel bad-you can have other children." The intellectually accurate statement that John had the physical capability to have other children was not only irrelevant, it was unintentionally abusive, because it belittled his natural and normal emotions. John felt bad, his heart was broken.

When Russell and his first wife divorced, he was devastated. A friend said, "Don't feel bad-you'll do better next time." Most of the comments that grievers hear following a loss, while intellectually accurate, are emotionally barren. As a direct result of these conflicting ideas, a griever often feels confused and frustrated, feelings that lead to emotional isolation.

Since most of us have been socialized to attempt to resolve all issues with our intellect, grief remains a huge problem.This intellectual focus has even led to academic articles that suggest gender is an issue in grief. We recognize that males and females are socialized differently, but our experience indicates that males and females are similarly limited when it comes to dealing with sad, painful, and negative feelings. Feelings themselves are without gender. There is no such thing as girl sad or boy sad, girl happy or boy happy.

We are not saying that intellect is totally useless in regard to grief In fairness, you are reading a book, which is an intellectual activity. The book will ask you to understand concepts and to take actions, so clearly there is a degree of intellect involved.

Grief and Recovery

For many, seeing this book's title is the first time they have ever seen the terms "grief' and "recovery" used together. Religious and spiritual leaders have pointed out for centuries that we should look at loss as an opportunity for personal spiritual development. Yet in modern life, moving through intense emotional pain has become such a misunderstood process that most of us have very little idea of how to respond to loss.

What do we mean by recovery? Recovery means feeling better. Recovery means claiming your circumstances instead of your circumstances claiming you and your happiness. Recovery is finding new meaning for living, without the fear of being hurt again. Recovery is being able to enjoy fond memories without having them precipitate painful feelings of regret or remorse. Recovery is acknowledging that it is perfectly all right to feel sad from time to time and to talk about those feelings no matter how those around you react. Recovery is being able to forgive others when they say or do things that you know are based on their lack of knowledge about grief. Recovery is one day realizing that your ability to talk about the loss you've experienced is indeed normal and healthy...

The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition. Copyright © by John W. James. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Bernard McGrane

“This book is required for all my classes. The more I use this book, the more I believe that unresolved grief is the major underlying issue in most people’s lives. It is the only work of its kind that I know of that outlines the problem and provides the solution.”

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The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book provides a process that I found very helpful in dealing with the death of a loved one. It is worthwhile for anyone who has suffered a loss, such as divorce, loss of a job, death of a family member or a close friend, for some it might be the stress of a major life change such as retirement. The process this book suggests can be used for a variety of grieving situations. It is concise and easy to follow. I definitely recommend it for anyone who has suffered a loss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband recently lost his 40-year-old son. This book has been so very helpful to him through his grieving process. We have already recommended it to others for its no-nonsense, caring, straight-talking advice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me by a friend after the passing of my father. It has been immensely helpful in moving me toward recovery. I have since bought three additional copies for family members and have recommended the book to another friend who recently lost her husband.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to this handbook by my grief counselor. It has been the ONLY book that has given me some real, concrete steps to take as I recover from the death of my 22 year old son.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are all ill equipped to deal with grief. We have been socialized to stuff it, pretend we're okay, however none of the things we've been taught about loss helps one heal from a devastating loss. Whether it be the death of a very special loved one, divorce or major disruption to what we know as our life we have NATRUAL emotions that occur yet we are taught we should feel that way. This handbook, whether working on your own or with a partner walks you through the necessary steps to deal with, and move forward in to a new normal not leaving the past behind, but carrying with you the things that are what you fell in love with and eventually incorporate them into your every day life. I recommend this book for anyone who feels stuck and unable to move forward however small those step are, so that you can learn to carry the good forward with you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I have stuggled in various ways with my mom's death for over 30 years. the exercises and advice in this book finally bought relief. and bonus! they also apply to other issues in life :)
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Everyone experiences loss and sometimes, even as a friend or loved one, we fell powerless in knowing how to help the person or ourselves. That's where this book comes in. This book is a huge step in dealing with that grief. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," which takes an intimate look at the power of God and forgiveness. This book too will change your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago