Seeing Through the Grief

A Time Perspective Therapy Approach


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About the Book

When we experience a great loss, our despair can be so intense that we get stuck, oftentimes facing backwards, reliving painful experiences that may leave us feeling stranded in the past. We can find ourselves living day-to-day on autopilot, going through the motions, while in the back of our minds we might think we don’t deserve to be happy anymore. When we try to look at the future, whatever plans we had made prior to our loss now seem impossible to achieve.
If this sounds familiar, Time Perspective Therapy (TPT) is designed to help; it provides simple tools to turn your perspective from dark to light, from negative to positive. This book dives deep into the many facets of grief: from depression and caregiver stress to reestablishing relationships that may have fallen to the wayside and making plans for your new and different future. Through real-life intimate stories of those who have suffered loss and grown from the experience, and easy-to-do exercises, it is designed to help you learn how TPT can help you cherish the past, enjoy the present, move toward a new and brighter future, and live a fulfilling, meaningful life.

About the Author(s)

Rosemary K.M. Sword is codeveloper of Time Perspective Therapy and lead/coauthor of numerous TPT-related books and articles as well as a popular blog. She lives in Kula, Hawaii.

Stanford University professor emeritus Philip G. Zimbardo is known for his landmark prison study, dramatized in the IFC film The Stanford Prison Experiment. His nonprofit Heroic Imagination Project teaches how to meet challenges with wise and effective action. He lives in San Francisco.

Bibliographic Details

Rosemary K.M. Sword and Philip G. Zimbardo
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 191
Bibliographic Info: appendices, 2 photos, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9414-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5182-8
Imprint: Toplight

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
One. Grief, Loss, and Time Perspective Therapy 7
The Difference Between Grief, Mourning, and Loss 8  •  The Difference Between Loneliness and Being Alone 10  •  But What Is Grief? 10  •  What Is “Normal” or “Common” Grief? 11  •  How Long Will I Mourn? 12  •  Many Kinds of Grief 12  •  Is Depression a Part of Grief? 15  •  Is Anxiety a Part of Grief? 17  •  Is Stress a Part of Grief? 19  •  Religions and Spiritual Practices: How We Mourn—Part 1 20  •  The Elephant in the Room 22  •  The Unkindest Things to Say to a Mourner 23  •  What If I Need Help? 27  •  Take This Quiz 28  •  Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) Short Form 29  •  Five Main Time Perspectives in Time Perspective Therapy 31  •  A Balanced Time Perspective Leads to Greater Stability 31  •  Positive Effects 32  •  To Sum Up 33
Two. The Past 37
The Genesis of Dying and Grief Research 38  •  Rick and Rose: How We Found Out Rick Was Dying 39  •  ­­Kübler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief 40  •  New Research 42  •  Bias Toward the Past 43  •  Religions and Spiritual Practices: How We Mourn—Part 2 44  •  Similarities Between Grief and Post-traumatic Stress 46  •  Changing Past Negatives into Past Positives 51  •  Noelle 52  •  Noelle’s Journey from Past Negative to Past Positive 56  •  Let’s Get Started 58  •  Building Your Treasure Chest of Past Positive Memories 58  •  Take a Breath 59  •  Good Memories 60  •  A Good Night’s Sleep 61  •  To Sum Up 66
Three. The Present 71
Caregivers 72  •  Caregiver Stress 73  •  Rick and Rose: Circle of Support 74  •  Help for Caregiver Stress 76  •  Hospice Care 78  •  Rick and Rose: Everything Everywhere All at Once 79  •  The Vultures in the Room 81  •  Crash Course in Narcissistic Personality Symptoms 82  •  Religions and Spiritual Practices: How We Mourn—Part 3 83  •  Parents, Children, Narcissists 85  •  The Importance of Wills 87  •  Rick and Rose: The End of Physicality 88  •  Bias Toward the Present 90  •  Temporary Present Fatalism 91  •  Noelle’s Journey from Present Fatalism to Present Hedonism 94  •  Let’s Get Started 95  •  Be Kind to Yourself 96  •  Be Here Now 99  •  Reconnect 100  •  Flip the Switch and Then Go Random 101  •  To Sum Up 102
Four. The Future 107
The Importance of Nature 108  •  Music and Grief 110  •  Rose: Facing the Future 112  •  When Life Feels Out of Control 115  •  Religions and Spiritual Practices: How We Mourn—Part 4 117  •  Making Things Right 121  •  Ho’oponopono 122  •  Bias Toward the Future 124  •  Noelle’s Journey into Her Brighter Future 126  •  Let’s Get Started 128  •  Our Brighter—and Different—Future 129  •  Setting Goals 131  •  Looking Forward 132  •  A Good Night’s Sleep Revisited 134  •  Living a Life of Happiness and Meaning 136  •  To Sum Up 141
Epilogue 149
Glossary 153
Appendix I. ZTPI Questionnaire (Long Form) 155
Appendix II. Core Values 163
Appendix III. Character Strengths 167
Resources 171
Index 173