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And all subsided in the hush
that followed, in the calm
of great wings folding
and shadowy forms lying down.

I rose and left that room,
the house of my grief
and my bondage, my book
never again to be opened.

To see as once I saw,
steadied by the darkness
in which I walked
and would make my way.

John Haines


Home   < Grief Recovery Articles  < The Center's New Holistic Grief Scale

The Center's New Holistic Grief Scale

by David Fireman, LCSW

Grief is the natural, healthy, spontaneous, unlearned, normal, emotional, healing process that occurs after a significant loss.

Grief is experienced uniquely by each of us, and is often experienced in waves, with emotions, thinking, physical, social and spiritual/religious responses coming and going in terms of the intensity, duration and order of our reactions to the loss.

One of the keys to coping is awareness. Awareness is helped if you can learn about yourself. This holistic grief scale is for you to help yourself gain knowledge of your grief, and then to do something with that new awareness.

There are 5 sections in the grief scale. Each section represents a part of being human. They include: emotional, cognitive, physical, social, and spiritual/religious.

To be able to understand the waves of grief we have ranked each experience from 1 to 10: 1 being the low end of the scale and 10 the most intense. For example, if you have been experiencing helplessness since the death, and it is causing you to feel increasingly incompetent, frozen, or unable to exert your personal power in the world, then you would rate yourself near a 10 on helplessness.

After you have completed the scale you will have a picture of your grief at this moment in time. It is a good idea for you to periodically return to the scale and rate yourself again. You will then have a chart of your progress.

Remember that the grief scale can also capture your current experience not only after a death, but after some significant change or transition in your life, such as the loss of a job, divorce, move to another country, etc.

If you score in the severe range of the scale on most or all of the dimensions, we recommend you seek professional help.



Grief Scale

Emotional Components

1. Shock, numbness, feelings of unreality
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

2. Helplessness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

3. Fearfulness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

4. Vulnerability
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

5. Sadness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

6. Anger, irritability
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

7. Emptiness, loneliness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

8. Guilt
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

9. Carelessness, harming oneself in any way
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

10. Outbursts, euphoria
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

Cognitive Components

1. Slowed and/or disorganized thinking
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

2. Confusion, aimlessness, difficulty concentrating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

3. Preoccupation, rumination
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

4. Unaffected, no thoughts at all about the person or circumstances
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

5. Dreams, nightmares
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

6. Decreased self-esteem
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

7. Altered perceptions, sensing the presence of the deceased person
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

Physical Components

1. Fatigue, sleep disturbance
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

2. Decreased or increased appetite
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

3. Physical distress, nausea
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

4. Anxiety, hypo-or hyperactivity
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

5. Greater susceptibility to illness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

Social Components

1. Being unaware of others' needs
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

2. Passive
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

3. Withdrawn or avoiding others
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

4. Decreased work productivity
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

5. Loss of interest in usual pleasures, including hobbies, relationships and/or sex
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

6. Strained relationships, differences in grieving needs between self and others
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

Spiritual/Religious Components

1. Anger at God
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

2. Crisis of faith
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

3. No longer receive comfort and/or strength from your relationship with God
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

4. Loss of meaning in life
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
None Moderate Severe

 

 

Copyright, 2010
www.griefcounselor.org


The Center is expanding.

Center for Grief Recovery and Therapeutic Services has immediate openings for two full-time licensed psychologists. Click here for more information

The Center is expanding. Click here to for more about our newest clincial professional counselor, Elizabeth Cerven


New Groups

The Center is now taking names for new Healing Our Losses Group. See attached flyer and FAQ for detailed info. Contact Us by phone or email to find out more.

New Workshops
Center colleague Allan Schnarr, MDiv, PhD offering new CHANGE OF HEART . . . . Vulnerability and Self-transcendence workshop . . . [read more]

Center colleague Allan Schnarr, MDiv, PhD offering new "TRANSFORMING LOVE - Creativity as a way of new life" workshop . . . [read more]

News and Events
Thank You! Our 30th Anniversary celebration was a hit. To read more, click on this link.

Center Grief Recovery celebrates 30 Years with Open House Fundraiser. To learn more, click on this link.

We are excited to announce that Paul Martin, PsyD has become the Center's assistant director. To learn more about Paul's practice click on this link.

The Center Expands Again! Please join us in welcoming Megan Kelleher, LCSW who comes to us with wonderfully empathic presence, and a broad range of helping skills. You can learn more about her by visiting our Therapists section or clicking on this link.

Community Walk for Grief Support: Celebrating 25 Years of Transformation
The Center celebrated its 25th year anniversary with a fund raiser walk in Rogers Park, Chicago on June 4.
[read more]

New Articles

New interview on ideas for what to say and do to support the bereaved, by the Center's Meg Kelleher, LCSW. [read here]

Pain Bonds Us - I feel close to you when you let your pain show. A protective shield inside me slides away. [read more]

Private Practice: Dynamic Psychotherapy and Bereavement Counseling (CEU) [read more]

You Know Therapy Is Working When . . . - You feel increasingly uncomfortable with the status quo when it is causing harm. [read more]

Ideas About Mourning - For the griever the future feels shattered; everything hoped for is broken and gone/ lost like a broken mirror. [read more]

Myths and Realities of Mourning - Regrettably, our society maintains a host of unrealistic assumptions and inappropriate expectations when it comes to the work of grief and mourning. Here are some myths to consider: [read more]

The Difference Between Grief and Mourning - It is critical to know the difference between grief and mourning. Both processes are there to help the bereaved face the reality that their loved one is gone and then to slowly begin to accommodate to that fact. [read more]



 

 
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