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Disenfranchised Grief can be characterized the most primarily by not being recognized for any of the essential components that entitles a person as a griever for someone else. Thus, there can be many different forms of disenfranchised grief. For instance, the existence of the griever oneself can be left not recognized, the existence of the bereavement itself can be left not recognized, and the legitimacy of the relation that the griever used to hold with the deceased can be even downright denied. Therefore, the role of the counselor for disenfranchised grief can become complex. For example, the counselor may have to cooperate partially with the police force, or even reunion agencies in order to settle the situation when either the bereavement itself or the griever is left not recognized by others. As for a situation where the denial of any relation is involved, the best way to begin the counseling is to listen with open ears to how the counselee interprets the relation and where it was standing right before the bereavement. The next thing that the counselor can do is to begin the rest of the counseling with reminding the counselee that a bereavement is not a choiceless event, but an active moment to make a lot of different paths, as much as death only ends the physical communication, while the relationship still stands, regardless of whether it is recognized by others or the public.
Symptoms of complicated mourning is the most striking in a way that they can be highly somatic, even compared to other forms of griefs. For instance, one of the most commonly reported somatic symptoms is the difficulty with swallowing, along with other many forms of, mostly, neuropathic sufferings within the mourners during complicated mourning. For another example, a mourner can even show the same kind of suffering that the deceased used to have shortly before the death. For milder examples, nightmares are quite common, and these nightmares can be very doleful events for a mourner, as much as, according to DSM-V, nightmares triggered by bereavement usually cause moments of contemplations on the times that are gone, and even on the phenomenon of life itself. In the class, some of the most rememberable complicated griefs included: A situation in which a bereavement was merely considered as a “statistic” by the public as the environment where the deceased and the griever used to live had been labeled beforehand as “dangerous” and “criminal;” A situation in which the bereavement was in the form of an ambiguous death; A rather extreme situation in which grievers are even forced to lose touch with the reality both before and after the bereavement, as they were denied the communication with the deceased before the death happened, and then denied the corpse of the deceased after the moment of passing away. Before the counseling begins with someone whose mourning is complicated, it should be noted that making a detailed profile of the mourner is important, as there can be many personal factors that directly triggered the death to result in complicated mourning. Afterwards, forms of rituals that fit the personal factors of each counselee can be very helpful, (For example, when the counselee is a child around 5 years of age, it’s the most important to help them commemorate the life of the deceased, especially in linguistic ways, at which they are not fully competent yet,) since rituals are defined as any behaviors that are able to trigger emotional connections. Yet, the most notable thing to remember during those rituals is that, those rituals must increase the reality of the loss, not decrease the reality of the loss.
Intuitive grievers are more prone to directly express their sentimental reactions upon a bereavement, while instrumental grievers, instead of focusing on sentimental expressions, try to devise a way to notify others what kind of meaning that the life of the deceased has held. As for counseling instrumental grievers, the first thing to ask is if they had any form of emotional conflicts with intuitive grivers around themselves, because they are perhaps the most frequent challenge that instrumental grievers face after the bereavement, as much as at least external behaviors shown by instrumental grievers can be seen as insensitive by intuitive grievers who are prone to value expressions. Thus, the counselor needs to reassure instrumental grievers that they are not alone in this world for being instrumental grievers. Then, perhaps the best thing to talk about as the next step of the counseling with an instrumental griever is to help them devise their own way to mourn for the deceased loved one.
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