Using the written word to help process grief

While the journey through grief is a singular experience for those who have suffered a loss, there are tools that can help, said Tiffany Kring, a bereavement counselor at Gulfside Hospice.

One approach uses the power of the written word to work through the grieving process, said Kring, who will be leading a free workshop called “Journaling Through Grief.”

The session is scheduled for March 23 at 2 p.m., at the Gulfside Center for Hospice Care in Zephyrhills, at 5760 Dean Dairy Road.

It is open to the public, but the session is limited to 10 participants, so the seats will be given, based on the order of those signing up.

“Generally, it’s about a one- to two-hour workshop. It’s using some different writing and journaling techniques to help process thoughts, feelings and things associated with the grieving process,” Kring said.

“It’s especially helpful for people who have a hard time verbalizing, or sharing feelings,” said Kring, who has been a counselor for about 25 years and has used writing as one of her counseling tools throughout her career.

“I think it’s a very effective tool,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realize how beneficial it really is.”

Some exercises involve free-flow writing, others are more structured, such as asking participants to do some writing based on a writing prompt, or writing about a specific topic, she explained.

There’s something about the writing process that frees thoughts and feelings, she said.

“Sometimes when they just sit down with pen and paper … they’ll find that it helps to release what’s going on,” she said.

“Even if they are in counseling for it (grief) or have friends, or someone, they’re talking to, it’s still a good way to get those things out, especially because it’s something people can use when they’re alone, or in those late-night hours when they get up,” Kring said.

Kring said if more than 10 people call in to sign up, she’ll keep a list of those she can’t accommodate, and she’ll reach out to them when she has her next “Journaling through Grief” workshop.

The deadline for signing up is March 17. Those interested should call Kring at (727) 247-7510.

Published March 15, 2017

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