Grief, Loss & Traumatic Change Coaching
“I can’t thank Gemma enough for skilfully steering me through the grief recovery process. The (Stage 1) grief recovery coaching did in 8 sessions what I hadn’t managed to achieve in 10 months. I would highly recommend Gemma and the grief recovery process for any loss be it through death, divorce, loss of a job, a relationship or something more abstract like the loss of trust.” - Theresa Q, CEO, Oxford.
In my experience, companies struggle to know what to do when employees need help with grief and loss, beyond awarding some additional time off and referring employees to EAP. Sometimes the bereavement and counselling services offered by providers such as EAP are not quite right for employees. My own personal experience backs this up. When I was bereaved in 2010, I couldn’t find positive, proactive coaching support to help me recover and adjust to my ‘new normal’. I didn’t feel I needed counselling or therapy, and the executive coaches I spoke to didn’t seem to be experienced in this area. And yet I needed to continue performing in my busy HR Director role.
I became a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist ® to blend my professional HR and Coaching qualifications with my own personal bereavement experience. My approach is to work directly with organisations to educate, support and guide leaders and employees in the highly sensitive and complex area of grief and loss, which includes death, relationship breakdown, redundancy or loss of health, or any one of the over 40 significant life events that can lead to impaired performance and productivity, stress, mental health issues and illness.
I offer a range of support, including practical advice to HR and Business Leaders on how best to support employee wellbeing in relation to grief and loss, an action-oriented three step coaching intervention designed to help individuals deal positively with personal loss of any kind, and specialist coaching support following organisational change or crisis.
These interventions can be offered either as a standalone support service for identified employees with a key need (eg bereavement support, outplacement support etc), or as part of a wider organisation mental health and wellbeing initiative.
The Three-Stage Grief, Loss & Change Coaching Programme
Stage 1 - RECOVERY
Time does not heal - only the actions we take in that time can lead to recovery. This is a supportive, structured programme, following the Grief Recovery Method®, that safely and respectfully guides and support individuals through the actions required to complete their loss. It is applicable for anyone who feels they need to address a loss as a result of any significant life event, including (but not limited to) death, relationship breakdown, redundancy or loss of health.
*Format: 7-8x weekly 60 minute sessions - offisite location close to the individual's place of work or home
By the end, individuals report that they look at their old beliefs and behaviours differently, and have gained an important sense of perspective and balance in relation to the loss experienced. Sessions are designed to enable the employee to take the actions to help let go of the pain attached to their most significant loss. They will also have the tools to apply the same process to other losses in their life, now and in the future.
Stage 2 - DISCOVERY
Research tells us that the experience of trauma may lead people into new activities, insights or relationships, and many look at life and themselves in a new way. This stage is about deepening our awareness of our strengths and motivations, and learning how we can apply these to the 'new normal' created by the change.
*Typical format: 3x fortnightly 60 minute sessions - can be at place of work, or offsite as agreed, and includes strengths-based profiling.
By the end, individuals report that they gain new insights about themselves. Sessions are designed to focus on strengths, build confidence and resilience, and feel comfortable to move forward in the new environment. The insights gained are frequently applied both in and out of the workplace to promote personal growth.
Stage 3 - FLOURISH
Setting goals, and finding ways to achieve them is proven to be linked to improved employee engagement, and this stage is all about this, leveraging on the strengths and insights gained in the previous stage.
By the end, individuals report enthusiasm and optimism about the future, greater confidence and a sense of progress and achievement. Sessions are designed to focus on leveraging strengths and applying these to practical real-life challenges and scenarios, both in and out of the workplace.
*Typical format: 3x monthly 90 minute sessions - can be onsite or offsite
*Due to the sensitive nature of the process and licensing restrictions, the format of the first stage cannot be altered. However all other aspects of the programme can be adjusted to suit the needs of the individual or organisation. Stages can also be undertaken separately if preferred/appropriate.