Reflections on 9/11 and Grieving

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A book review of Patricia Murphy’s (2008) book, Tough Topics.

Source: Murphy, P. (2008). Tough topics: death. Chicago: Heinemann Library.

 

Reflections on 9/11

                September 11th (9/11) is remembered annually for the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001. Wikipedia (2017) reported that 2,996 people were killed in this attack.  Sometimes death happens quickly when it happens by an unpredictable accident (like a car wreck) or a random act of violence (like 9/11). Sometimes the approaching death is known (like having an incurable cancer) or suffering prolonged illness.

Radical acceptance: Death is something that will happen to all of us. It is part of life.  U.S. Senator John McCain shared, “every life has to end one way or another,” in a (2017, Sept 11th) CNN video.  McCain argues valuing the importance of life.

Tips for Grieving

                Patricia Murphy provides education on death and coping in her (2008) book, Tough Topics: Deaththat was designed for children. Murphy consulted with Gillian Dowely McNamee, Ph.D. who is a professor of child development at the Erikson Institute in Chicago.

 

                Murphy (2008) discusses these areas:

  1. Death happens and it is part of life.
  2. People can say goodbye when they know a person is dying. Sometimes a person is not able to say goodbye when the death happens suddenly.
  3. What funerals, burials, and receptions are described.  Murphy argues that this, “is a tie to celebrate the life of a person who has died.”
  4. Grieving after loss is covered as well as the mix of feelings a person experiences like guilt, sadness, anger, loneliness.
  5. Murphy argues that it is healthy to open up and talk about feelings. A grief counselor can be helpful.

Here are Murphy’s(2008)  tips for coping with grief:

  • Write feelings
  • Draw or paint pictures of loved one
  • Do something your loved one enjoyed and think about that person
  • Take time to grieve
  • Remember: You’ll always have memory of that love.

               

Bibliography

Murphy, P. (2008). Tough topics: death. Chicago: Heinemann Library.

CNN. (2017, September 11), Video: Available at: http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/09/10/mccain-every-life-has-to-end.cnn

Wikipedia. (2017, September 11), September 11 Attacks. Available here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks

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Teaching Compassion

canstockphoto43756I provide services for children and teens with various mental health and behavioral health needs.

Some of their behavioral needs include targeting verbal aggression, physical aggression, destruction of property, self-harmful behaviors.

Interpersonal skills are taught to these children. Concepts like: giving up harmful choices. Developing empathy and concern for other people. Finding a healthy way to express thoughts and feelings. Being assertive opposed to passive or aggressive. Validating other people’s thoughts and feelings. Being an attentive listener. Learning to accept “no” for an answer.

We often do compassion training with local facilities.

In example, we have a local no-kill animal shelter.

  • Our children can donate their own extrinsic reward points to buy pet food, animal toys, and blankets. We take the kids to the shelter and let them take a tour.
  • Our children (who are in a psychiatric residential treatment setting) have often written letters to the elderly in nursing homes who are sick and lonely.
  • We play emotional movies (that are age-appropriate for children or teens) and have a discussion on being empathetic with characters in the movie.

I  thought this Huffington Post article on “8 ways to teach compassion” was a good article to read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/signe-whitson/8-ways-to-teach-compassio_b_5568451.html 

“Anne with an E” on Netflix

I realcanstockphoto7287322ly enjoyed the “Anne with an E” (Anne of Green Gables) on netflix.

I believe fiction (cinema) and (books) can be a great way to teach empathy.

I had a lot of empathy for Anne and her adoptive parents throughout this series.

I offer a CEU course on Cinema Therapy that you might want to check out. it is listed in the courses here: http://www.dannypettry.com/courses.html

Here is a review of the series:

Click here for my amazon affiliate link to the original book. 

Resources for Rec Therapy (individual or group sessions)

canstockphoto3355752One of my co-workers shared this amazing site today, titled: http://www.therapistaid.com/

It has:

  • Resources: worksheets, videos, articles, and links to products.
  • Help with Emotions: anger, anxiety, stress, depression, and grief.
  • Therapy models: DBT, CBT, Motivational interviewing
  • Topics: goals, education, communication, art, self-esteem, and values.
  • Ranges for: children, adolescents, and adults.

I think RTs will love this:

http://www.therapistaid.com/