One at a Time
Losses resulting from a death or life transition can be difficult to navigate. Sometimes you need someone to just be there and listen so that you don’t have to grieve alone. Grief Facilitation provides the opportunity for a facilitator to accompany the grieving, hurting person in their grief journey.
The first step to healing is to acknowledge that you need help in navigating unchartered waters of grief and then secondly, seek the appropriate help. In choosing a facilitator or therapist, it is important to feel a sense of rapport or connection and enough initial trust to allow for a consistent relationship in building further trust to facilitate healing and overall wellness through this important transition. It’s been said that in grief facilitation, it is easier to create an atmosphere of willingness to share because participants are not being diagnosed or treated.
Dr. Tonya offers straight talk coupled with the compassion that comes not only from her educational background but also from firsthand experience with the many phases of grief, healing, and the wonderful metamorphosis that occurs after the struggle. Her approach to grief and loss also challenges the participant with the decision to deny it or deal with it when it sits squarely in our laps.
Her philosophy includes a consistent walking beside those affected rather than “treating” them as “patients” – after all, grief is not a disease!
You’ll be surprised to learn the word “treat” also means “to handle,” and the word “patient” indicates someone who is a passive, long-time sufferer. Thus, this approach to grief only serves to literally handle a hurting person while they take no active part in changing their circumstances — there’s no healing in that approach!
Grief facilitation isn’t about assessing, analyzing, or“fixing” a person’s grief
It’s about walking alongside them as they navigate the overwhelming waters of grief and loss; helping them accept and even come to appreciate their “ground zero.” This is the philosophy Tonya ascribes to in her “release the pain” sessions. Dr. Tonya likens her work in grief facilitation to helping a struggling chrysalis release itself from its cocoon of pain and into the transformation process that facilitates its cycle into a fully-formed butterfly!
Dr. Tonya helps her participants understand that grief is a natural normal response to any kind of loss such as divorce or separation, incarceration, unemployment, relocation, disasters, and death (human and pet). She helps them to know that sooner or later, grief touches everyone; secondly, know that it is a process, not an event; and lastly, that there is no shame involved in this very natural process.
“Every day above ground is a good day!”
In Western America, we live in a death denying society. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room. We all know it’s there. It’s large and yet we squeeze by and ignore it. Generally, we live our lives in a world marked by assumptions. We wake up in the morning and assume life will be much as it was the previous day. When tragedy or loss happens to us or someone we care about, our world of assumption is threatened and many times, destroyed.
We are then faced with this phenomenon called, “grief”. It’s easy to say to others, “get over it.” But how? Exactly how do you “get over” the terrible pain that comes through death, divorce and all the other losses in life?
Dr. Tonya proposes that you don’t “get over” the loss but “adjust to” the loss. Understanding this basic principle will bring about awareness of how to respond to the pain of grief versus reacting to it. Her presentation offers practical tools that speak to the intellect and the heart of others, encouraging people to take a leap and build a ‘new’ life after a traumatic event has destroyed the life they once knew.
Help a Grieving Family
Thank you in advance for considering becoming a partner with Dr. Tonya Cunningham. Your donation helps provide grief support services at no charge to those who cannot afford one-on-one facilitation. Support services are full of activities to help people work through their loss.
The grief journey can be difficult, especially during special days such as holidays; therefore, participants are allowed to return for help if necessary. Your contribution will help heal the broken hearts of broken individuals, provide a safe place to transform, and guidance re-enter society as a new person.
Give today, and make an impact in the life of the brokenhearted.