Jul 1, 2020 in Life Coaching

Have you lost a loved one?

You can work through your grief, heal and move forward.

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Dr. Ven Eyarhono is an Online Therapist and an Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist at a senior level. She also provides supervision to Counselors and Psychotherapists and she has a holistic approach. Dr. Eyarhono's main areas of expertise are in grief, bereavement and relationships. She also uses a variety of therapeutic methods to help her Clients. Let's get to know more about Dr. Ven Eyarhono:

WikiExpert: Many people have lost their loved ones due to COVID-19. How do you help them with dealing with their grief and moving forward?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: The COVID – 19 pandemic is unprecedented in our time and it just struck suddenly. In that respect, I have had to adjust my working pattern and schedule accordingly. Individual coping mechanisms vary, some people are resilient and for others who may not be so resilient, I have to identify and work on their coping mechanism which could be a hobby, sport, family/friends support or religious belief system in the absence of this, I network with other charitable or mainstream organizations. Furthermore, due to redundancies and loss of jobs by many people. I am researching alternative sources of online income that I will address in detail, in my forthcoming Business coaching articles.

As an Integrative Psychotherapist, I apply a variety of relevant psychological and sociological theoretical models eclectically, to establish various grieving stages of individual clientele. Furthermore, I have a Law qualification that enables me to identify the legal duties of third parties, as local authorities towards vulnerable adults and children. 

In cases where local authorities have discretionary powers and service providers may be limited. I will liaise with voluntary or charitable organizations to enhance maximum support. In practice, my approach is embedded in an inclusive approach that embraces diversity, ethically and from a legal perspective (Equality Act 2010). In terms of acknowledging each Client as a different unique individual with different needs. When it comes to assisting an individual Client. 

I conduct a person-centered holistic approach in assessing his/her individual needs. Various research has concluded that there is no fixed pattern with regards to stages of the grieving process. It varies from one person to the other. For some Clients, I may recommend short to long term therapy sessions and others could be intermittent. 

WikiExpert: What is your number one approach to helping people who are struggling with grief over long periods of time? 

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Grief is a multi-dimensional Psychological process relating to how individuals relate to grief. According to the Kubler- Ross (1969) model, there are five grieving stages: 

1) Denial; 

2) Anger; 

3) Bargaining stage; 

4) Depression; 

5) Acceptance. 

On the other hand, Bowlby (1969), suggests stages that appear a lot more relevant in practice in dealing with the loss itself whereas Kubler Ross is more targeted to terminally ill people: 

1) Shock and disbelief:

This is the most difficult stage because the person would be shocked and overwhelmed with the sad news. It entails a lot of attentive listening because it gives an insight into the Client's feelings and it also allows them to let out their emotions that may involve crying, hysterical laughing or just anything, even listening to music. 

2) Yearning:

This is a stage where most Clients would be feeling the emptiness or void left by the loss and is normally characterized by regret on what they could have done to save a situation or even guilt on what they felt they could have done better. Anger is quite often expressed, as well as mood swings. It is an extremely sensitive time, requiring a lot of patience and empathy. 

Uncharacteristic behavior is often displayed, and this is a time when I find that culturally constructed theories that like ‘men don’t cry’ are not in the least helpful. We are dealing with human emotion here and people should be able to express themselves in sync with their feelings.

3) Disorganization and disrepair:

At this point, you find that the Client is normally disorientated and literally struggling to gain back to normalcy due to the loss. It will never be the same again and they are trying to adjust to the reality of their situation.

4) Reorganization:

At this stage, there is a visible willingness to sort things out, including paperwork and finances as well as acknowledging previous responsibilities and adjusting to any new responsibilities. In conclusion, I must emphasize once more again that there is no fixed behavioral order, pattern, time frame, or sequence with regards to these stages. It varies from one person to the next and some people may even take years to get over some of the stages hence the need for ongoing therapy. The stages are a good guideline, but it can also be argued that they present a balance of probability. People are different and they react to situations differently. 

 My number one approach to helping my Clients is solution-focused psychoanalysis. It entails a process of getting to know them as individuals and acquiring a better understanding of their cultural or religious background in order to avoid imposing my own belief system on them. I achieve this by conducting individual assessments from a family system, theoretical perspective coupled with other psychological perspectives. For example, psychodynamics, cognitive-behavioral theory, etc. From a theoretical perspective, the whole idea is to enable all their personal functional systems to work effectively in order to get them to get back on their feet. For example, working on their cognition i.e. thinking and reasoning capacities to get rid of disempowering feelings of helplessness and emotional dependency, reinforcing positive behaviors as well as referring them to other micro or macro support services

WikiExpert: Please explain the healing process?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: The healing process in relation to the commonly used grieving stage models vary from one person to the next. Some people may struggle for an exceptionally long time on one stage. My holistic approach in assessing prior to sessions enables me to identify other practical problems that may exacerbate or prolong the Client's condition hence the necessity of networking or liaising with other professionals. For example, the deceased person may have been the sole breadwinner, so financial problems may be affecting the people left behind. In such situations, I must coordinate the case to other agencies like the job center, grant-giving charities, or even social services in situations where children or vulnerable adults may need extra support.

WikiExpert: What does your typical online grief and bereavement session look like? What do you cover in it? 

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Grief and bereavement relate to loss. Grief is the response to the loss itself whereas bereavement is defined as a period of loneliness and sadness after experiencing loss. Having said that, I must mention that grief can also relate to other areas of loss. For example, divorce, relationship breakdown, loss of a job, or some parents who may have been expecting a healthy child may end up giving birth to a child with a disability of serious health problems. 

It's very much likely that they will grieve for the loss of the healthy child that they were expecting; although that does not mean to say that they do not love the child that they are looking at because it’s the same child. That is where diversity comes in. In my sessions for such cases. I assist the parents to acknowledge the difference and that child's uniqueness. 

That way, they will go through a process of getting acquainted with their new bundle of joy and together, we explore different ways of how they are likely to cope as well as the extra support that they may need from other sources or professionals. What may the norm for one family does not necessarily have to be the norm for the next family? We are all different, not necessarily equal because there are no known standards of measurement for equality, but the fundamental principle of equity and social justice applies.

My typical online grief and bereavement sessions entail some form of anxiety allaying process in which we establish power balance by agreeing on a working contract with the client. We can start off by email or messaging until the Client warms up to me. I am a non-judgmental, attentive listener and to that end, I facilitate proper uninterrupted dialogue with my Clients. We will agree on what the Client wants to talk about, how often they want to access sessions and that also helps me to establish if they may need support from other relevant professionals. We are going through an exceedingly difficult time due to COVID -19 and this has necessitated a completely different approach and flexibility to practice on which I have to draw upon skills and knowledge from my other relevant areas of experience or my academic expertise. I need to know of any other problems that may hinder my Clients’ therapeutic progress.

WikiExpert: In addition to those who have lost their loved ones because of the current pandemic, many are struck with feelings of anxiety and fear of COVID-19. How would you advise them and help them to cope with these feelings?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: The onset of the pandemic has not only brought so much pain and sorrow; it has also left deep gaps in many aspects as well as acting as a trigger for individuals who may have had unresolved issues, hidden in their mental processing, as the psychodynamic perspective may suggest. Therefore, anxiety is predominant in most cases. Causal links of anxiety disorders are mainly to do with the inability to cope with many problems at the same time and from a psychological perspective, this frame of mind can also be triggered by a multitude of other unresolved issues, trapped in the mental processes that may even date back to childhood. 

Therefore, my approach is to analyze every single problem raised that can be solved in the most practical way possible and then to facilitate for other sessions of a psychological nature, for example, CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy of which I maintain an ABC chart, music and other activities or simply talking as well as working closely with other relevant professionals. With regard to fear and anxiety revolving around the pandemic; people have different ways of dealing with it. But then again, it is real, and my strategy is to advise Clients to cooperate with all preventive guidelines in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. 

WikiExpert: Many are also isolated and away from their loved ones. This leaves them feeling lonely and depressed. How do you motivate them and help them to get through this difficult time?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Measures to curb the pandemic have brought about the social distancing rules. As a result, a considerable number of people are in isolation and separated from their loved ones. Calls from people in that situation are frequent and sometimes they just feel the need to talk about anything in general of which I am always willing to engage.  

WikiExpert: You also help couples with their relationship issues. Can you tell us about this? What are the most common issues you help with?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Yes. I assist many couples with relationship issues. The main problems revolve around lack of effective communication, domestic violence finances and infidelity. In practice, I find that it is common for an alpha figure to feel inferior or intimidated by their partner's achievements or wealth portfolio then conflicting themselves by establishing a strong sense of entitlement. In as much as this topic may trigger controversy. I come across such cases quite often. This is expressed in many ways and maybe a great cause for concern if it is not realistically addressed.

WikiExpert: In your opinion, what causes a relationship to fail?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: In my opinion, the most common causal link to relationship failure is lack of effective communication, lack of commitment and trust issues. A relationship built on a false foundation is not likely to last. Disagreements to do with finances are common.

WikiExpert: From your experience and perspective, what factors are important to have in a relationship for it to be successful?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: The choice of the right partner is important. People really need to know the type of person that they want to get in their life and the idea of combining assets can be a noticeably big problem. Unless of course, they start a family and children are involved. One of the fundamental principles of the 1989 Children Act clearly states that the welfare of the child is paramount, therefore, parents and all third parties are compelled to act in the best interest of the children.

There is a need for clarity and boundaries from the onset because some people get in relationships with ulterior motives or for the wrong reasons. I have worked with a considerable number of public figure clientele who, in time, get to find out the hard way that the other person was only interested in their finances from the onset. 

WikiExpert: In your online sessions, do you prefer to work with both partners in one session and work with them individually, so that you can resolve their issues?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Yes, I prefer to work with both partners in a session because it is a lot more transparent unless otherwise stated. There are two sides to a story and I need to create a logical balance.

WikiExpert: For couples that are on the brink of breaking up or divorce, how do you help them with repairing their relationship and making it work again?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: For those on the brink of breaking up or divorce, I focus on facilitating effective communication between the two of them, then relating to them as individuals and jointly as a couple. 

WikiExpert: For those who have broken up and parted ways? How do you help them to heal?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: For those who have broken and parted ways. My focus is on assisting them to go through the grieving process of that loss. For some, it may take longer to get over the loss but I have had cases where people have managed to move on upon realizing that they had been putting their life on hold for someone who may not come back because they have already started their life with someone else. 

This assists them to open up to possibilities of taking a break or opening themselves up to meet other people. In some cases, people just decide to make a closure and move on with someone new. My approach to helping them to heal is to start from where they are and how they feel. It's about exploring those feelings and taking up personal responsibility that will enable them to divert from allowing the ex-partner to keep on controlling their life indirectly.

WikiExpert: To all those who are single and longing for love, how do you advise them?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Loneliness is a precursor of hasty decisions. There is always the right man or right woman for everybody. It's better to get to know the person very well before committing to any relationship. It should be noted that there is a noticeably big difference between falling in love and the idea of falling in love. 

A person who is truly interested in you would not want to dig deeper in finding out your wealth portfolio and it should not be a cause for a quarrel if you do not wish to reveal it to them. Anybody who insists that you should make unreasonable sacrifices as a condition for holding onto a relationship must be treated with caution. True love is unconditional. 

WikiExpert: Do you recommend pre-marital therapy? If yes, how can couples benefit from this?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Every relationship is unique to the two people involved and times are changing. Yes. I would recommend pre-marital therapy because marriage is supposed to be a lifetime commitment and it entails understanding and tolerance of each other’s s shortcomings, as well as complementing combined weaknesses and strengths. 

Couples need to be realistic about the long-term survival of the relationship because there are other factors to be considered, for example, finance, house, bills, etc. A high percentage of Clients that I see have problems stemming from financial issues. I recommend pre-marital therapy because it assists and prepares couples for the common realities of sharing and committing their lives to each other

Now, let's get to know more about Dr. Ven Eyarhono:

WikiExpert: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Where can we find you?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: In my spare time, I love to treat myself to spa time such as steam treatments and meditation together with the family. With regards to where you can find me lol; try the library first. 

I believe that learning never comes to an end. Each day brings in new experiences. Knowledge is power. Anyway, I have to say that as a mother, I love spending my time with the family, baking and cooking. 

WikiExpert: If you could change anything about the world, what would it be?

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: Change in all different aspects of life is constant, so I suppose I must go along with the flow, ensuring that I get well acquainted with ever-changing trends. Currently, I am literally fascinated with Artificial Intelligence. There is a considerable shift from office work to working from home. I am a living example of online working and in the aftermath of COVID -19. I envisage that a lot of people will be working online from home. To that end, I would say that if I could do anything to change the world, I would ensure that everybody is constantly empowered with knowledge as individuals and collectively. I am currently involved in Humanitarian work, mainly for my country of origin where there is so much suffering due to political unrest and I am hoping for positive change over there.

WikiExpert: What are your plans and goals for the future? 

Dr. Ven Eyarhono: I have published articles in a whole diverse range of genres and successfully conducted a piece of qualitative research on vulnerable clientele in the Royal Borough of Kingston of which my recommendations were taken up and made a huge positive impact. I have a strong academic background in Applied Social Sciences & Behavioural Sciences and I believe that an inclusive wide theoretical base is of the essence. My plans and goals for the future are to conduct further research and write more books on Psychological & Sociological theoretical perspectives that are a lot more ethnocentric or multicultural compliant. In as much as most of the Western models that I have learned in University are universal; in practice, they may turn out to be conflictual or inapplicable. 

Work through your grief today and overcome relationship issues. Message Dr. Ven Eyarhono for free to book a session!

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