How to Overcome Grief

Masterclass with Insights from Holly K. Severson Herzog (Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC)

It’s common to experience grief after narcissistic abuse.

Grief is the experience of coping with loss.

One might grieve:

  • Lost time and energy invested in the relationship.
  • The idealized version of the relationship you believed in.
  • Trust in your judgment and instincts.
  • Emotional stability and peace of mind.
  • Relationships with others affected by the abuse.
  • Sense of self and personal identity.
  • Missed opportunities due to the abusive relationship.
  • The feeling of safety and security in relationships.

If you can relate to any of those, this masterclass could be for you.

Meet Holly K. Severson Herzog.

She is a Licensed Professional Counselor from Oregon.

Today, she will guide you through five strategies to help you overcome the challenges associated with grief.

Watch Now

  • Warning: This content discusses narcissism and narcissistic abuse. This subject may be triggering for some people. If you find yourself feeling triggered, please click here to watch our Trigger/Flashback Protocol.

If you struggle to stay focused when consuming long-form content, you’re not alone. We’ve found that listening to our content as you read the transcript is the easiest way to stay focused because the audio will keep you on pace with the text. In addition, when you do this, the information is processed by two different parts of your brain, which can give you a more comprehensive understanding and memory of the material.

Holly K. Severson Herzog’s Strategies

We recommend using If/When-Then Plans to implement Holly K. Severson Herzog’s advice effectively. Please click here to learn more about this research-backed approach.

First Strategy: Allow Yourself to Grieve In an Active Way

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [0:34] and rewatch Holly K Severson Herzog’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Second Strategy: Journal

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [7:57] and rewatch Holly K Severson Herzog’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Resource Alert

To help you put this strategy into practice, we’ve created two writing activities. Give it a try – it’s designed to support your journey.

This writing activity is designed to help you actively grieve and tune into your body. Remember, it’s okay if this process feels challenging. 

Grieving takes time. Be gentle with yourself and take breaks if needed. This activity is a step towards healing and understanding your emotional landscape more deeply.

Preparation

  • Find a quiet and comfortable space.
  • Have a notebook and a pen ready.
  • Set a timer for 10-15 minutes.

Activity Steps

Step 1: Grounding

  • Begin by closing your eyes.
  • Take three deep, slow breaths to center yourself.
  • Feel yourself present in the space, sitting comfortably.

Step 2: Body Scan for Emotion

  • With your eyes still closed, start a mental scan of your body from your head to your toes.
  • Notice the physical sensations or emotions in different parts of your body. This could be tension, discomfort, heaviness, or any other sensation linked to your emotional state.

Step 3: Immediate Writing

  • Open your eyes and start writing about the sensations and emotions you noticed during the body scan.
  • Write about where you feel these emotions in your body and what they feel like. For instance, “I feel a tightness in my chest; it feels like anxiety,” or “There’s a heaviness in my stomach; it feels like sadness.”
  • Allow your writing to flow without censoring or analyzing it.

Step 4: Connecting Emotion to Experience

  • Briefly describe why you think these emotions are present. Relate them to your experiences of narcissistic abuse.
  • For example, “The tightness in my chest relates to the constant anxiety I felt around criticism,” or “The heaviness is the sadness of feeling unvalued.”

Step 5: Acknowledging and Expressing Grief

  • Conclude by acknowledging the grief these feelings represent.
  • Write a statement of acceptance, such as, “I recognize this pain and grief as part of my experience, and I allow myself to feel it.”
  • Express a commitment to healing, like, “I am working through these feelings to heal and grow.”

Completion

  • Once the timer goes off, take a moment to reflect on the process.
  • Breathe deeply and thank yourself for taking this time to acknowledge and express your grief.
  • You can keep what you’ve written as a part of your healing journey, or you can choose to let it go as a symbolic act of moving forward.

This writing activity is designed to help you tune into your body’s responses, observe your emotions, and engage in active grieving, all within a focused 10-15 minute period.

What You Need:

  • A quiet, comfortable space.
  • A notebook or journal.
  • A pen or pencil.
  • A timer (use a kitchen timer, phone timer, or any other timing device).

Instructions:

1. Setting the Scene

  • Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Sit in a way that feels relaxed yet attentive.

2. Setting the Timer

  • Set your timer for 10-15 minutes, based on your comfort level.
  • Once you start the timer, commit to writing for the entire duration.

3. Starting the Free Write

  • Begin writing as soon as the timer starts. Write about anything that comes to mind regarding your grief and emotions. Don’t worry about grammar, structure, or coherence.
  • Focus on expressing your feelings and thoughts as they are in the moment.
  • Pay attention to any physical sensations or emotions that arise as you write. Where do you feel these emotions in your body? How do they manifest physically?

4. Observing and Reflecting

  • If you find yourself pausing, use that moment to observe how you’re feeling. Are your emotions changing as you write? Is the physical sensation of grief shifting in intensity or location?
  • Resume writing, incorporating these observations.

5. Concluding the Session

  • When the timer goes off, stop writing.
  • Take a few deep breaths and acknowledge your work in this session.
  • Thank yourself for taking the time to explore and express your grief.

Post-Exercise Reflection:

  • After completing the exercise, briefly reflect on the experience.
  • How do you feel now compared to before you started?
  • Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to feel. This exercise is about your journey through grief and emotional awareness.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Third Strategy: Exercise

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [15:41] and rewatch Holly K Severson Herzog’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Fourth Strategy: Try New Activities

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [18:41] and rewatch Holly K Severson Herzog’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Fifth Strategy: “Oh, There You Are Again”

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [25:27] and rewatch Holly K Severson Herzog’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Closing Remarks

Thank you for watching this masterclass!

We hope you found it informative and empowering.

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Take care and see you next time.

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