When you have lost someone loved and very close to you, grieving comes naturally and is an emotionally healthy response. But if this grieving persists for longer periods of time then it is troublesome for the person as well as for the people around him/her. This script is for clients who have lost a beloved one and are grief-stricken even after a lapse of a huge time period. This therapy will help the bereaved to overcome heartache and lead a normal life once again. Depression must be excluded before the start of the therapy, if the patient is suffering from too much grief.
Bereavement therapy metaphor is used for the hypnosis. For example, instruct the client to imagine himself/herself on a beach. Tell them that the beach is the border between the sand and the sea, and so is life. It is a place in between two destinations. Ask them to observe the movement of the water and the sand, constantly changing and replacing each other. This is actually a strong metaphor to give a hint to the change in life which is also constant. Things are not always what they seem to be, they are constantly being changed.
Then you ask instruct your client how he/she imagines a pier at one end of the beach. The waves constantly crash on it and subdue. This is also a metaphor for the anguish and crying and the grief felt by the client. As the client moves closer to the centuries old pier, he/she sees a stairway, a way out. The client climbs the stairs and reaches the top. He/she observes that on the other side of the pier the water is very calm and tranquil.
The client is then instructed to get down on the other side and walk towards a ship which is on the calm, peaceful water. Here you have to stress the client to see something magical, like this ship out of a fairytale. The client when reaches near the shore sees someone in the ship. The passenger aboard the ship is the deceased. There is a spark of recognition between the bereaved and the deceased and they acknowledge that with a smile. The passenger of the shop is very comfortable and content with where he/she is, as if very much ready for the journey that is about to begin.
Then the deceased points to something at the feet of the patient. He/she realizes that it is the rope of the ship tied to the pier and the deceased wants it to be set free. So the client goes and unwinds the coil gradually and let go of the ship. This is a metaphor of letting the beloved one go. The ship start sail, and the passenger can be seen smiling and content. The client smiles at the bereaved and feels the connection and warmth through the smile. The ship is slowly moving away from the shore and getting smaller and smaller, until it can no longer be viewed. Thus, the client has let go of the deceased but they still have that connection, a smile with them. You have to make sure that the connection is kept.
Then the client is instructed to walk away from the pier as there is nothing left there for him/her. He/she walks away and sees a steep street on the land side of the beach. He/she start walking on the street and all of a sudden, it is full of people, houses and shops. This symbolizes that the client is back among the living. These people will recognize the client and say hello and see the change in him/her through the smile and they will know that the client can smile and be happy again.
So the client moves along the road happy, satisfied and eager to find out more about the street and the new town. And also realizes that things change, some things remain of the past too but life is a continuous process and it continues in the same way as before. The client is made sure that he/she has to continue from this new beginning while keeping on to some other thing from the past too.