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Main Line: (312) 655-7283
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Featured this Month:

From the Desk of...Father Jakubik
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 by Father Jakubik

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Fr. Richard Jakubik, a therapist at the Holbrook Counseling Center. I am honored to also be a part of the LOSS team at Catholic Charities. For the past few months, I have met with survivors who have lost a loved one to suicide. Many survivors share with me how the aftermath of their loved one’s suicide wore them down mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The survivors, expressing their deep emotional pain, ask the most heart-wrenching questions of “why?”

One woman described how deeply horrified she was by what her loved one had done to his body, his life, and to the lives of those who loved him. Underneath her pain and the tragedy of her loss was the question, “Should I have been more aware of his severe depression?” She had believed he would get through the depressive episode, as he had done so many times before. She reviewed the details of the events leading to his suicide, wondering why she did not see things more clearly or have the power to save him. She described how, after learning that her loved one had taken his life, she went into mental and physical shock, moving back and forth between denying and accepting the news of his death. She said, “I thought at first that it couldn’t be true; he couldn’t have done what he promised not to do.” She began to share parts of her story, as much as she could bear, reserving the whole story for another point in time, when she felt she could deal with the rest of it.

Survivors frequently bring up difficult questions about what they or other family members might have done differently to have saved their loved one from suicide. They doubt themselves, the professionals involved in their loved one’s care, and quite often God. It is not uncommon when meeting with survivors of loss, to hear them refer to their religious faith as they tell their story. “Where was God?” is a question I have heard many times. This is a point in the grief process where the person is revealing another dimension of their pain, their deep spiritual woundedness. This type of questioning of one’s religious beliefs is an opening in the therapy process to connect on the deepest levels of faith, belief, and meaning. Other questions asked are: “What kind of God would allow this to happen to my loved one? Why didn’t God intervene? and/or Why did this have to happen?” There are no quick answers to their questions that are filled with fears, doubts, and anxieties. Regardless of religion, people who believe in a universal presence often benefit greatly from addressing issues around their own spirituality. Reconnecting with our spiritually can be another way to move through the dark place of grief and back into life.

One individual said to me recently, “Where was God when my brother was contemplating suicide?” “Where was God when my brother was in pain?” “Why didn’t God intervene?” “Why did this have to happen?” A survivor may wait to see how others will react to their questions of faith or doubt, belief or disbelief, before they allow themselves to become more vulnerable in the relationship. I have found that when I am able to sit and listen patiently to the questions and recognize their spiritual dimensions, a deeper moment of sacred presence is revealed, where even stronger emotions of loss, anger, and pain can be expressed. Faith for survivors does not look like a traditional set of faith practices. It is ultimately grounded in a person’s connection and re-connection with self, others, and God. A survivor’s faith journey may begin in a traumatic, fragmented way, with survivors first speaking of “losing their faith.” This may launch them into a deep, empty, painful place, where the once familiar no longer makes sense. A shattered belief system can be devastating and cause cognitive and emotional problems, including an acute sense of betrayal. Any spiritual beliefs or values that a survivor previously had may no longer feel valid or true. Anger and disbelief may make it difficult for a survivor to find comfort in the spiritual or religious values once held.

A psycho-spiritual approach to grief therapy can provide nurturance, encouragement, and openness, at a time when one’s spiritual perspective is thrown into question. It accepts strong expressions of anger and rage, even those directed at God. A survivor is not corrected or contradicted in their expression of faith or doubt. All expressions are authentic and true. Including spirituality in therapy is a growing approach to treating the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. Spiritual beliefs can be seen as part of a person’s healthy coping skills, offering social support, an ability to find meaning and purpose in life, and providing comfort in times of grief. Regardless of religion, people who believe in a universal presence can benefit greatly from addressing issues around their own spirituality. Acknowledging the power of ones beliefs and addressing the interrelatedness of spiritual beliefs with a person’s mental and emotional recovery can foster a spirit of healing.

For those interested in exploring more, a three session Spirituality Support Group will be offered in the coming weeks. This group will incorporate spiritual components into the dynamics of a group therapy setting, using supportive, cognitive behavioral and existential techniques. The intention for group members is to be able to develop and strengthen their own inner resources, develop coping skills to live more hopefully and purposefully, and to help nurture their spirit. At its heart, the group hopes to enhance self-worth and create a safe place to share insights, experiences, and validate the worth of one another. This nondenominational group will offer support, connection, and reflection. I look forward to working with you and hope that we can discover together the spiritual direction that will bring you comfort and peace. Allowing for the spiritual component in a survivor’s journey can bring health, healing, and the opportunity to raise important issues about the spiritual impact of their trauma. Dealing with the spiritual consequences of complex trauma, integrating spirituality and psychotherapy, and using spiritual techniques such as meditation, setting intentions, and spiritual reading, can complement psychotherapeutic strategies. To register please call Jessica Mead at 312-655-7283.



Keep On Keepin' On,






Archives:

From the Desk of...Father Jakubik
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 by Father Jakubik

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Fr. Richard Jakubik, a therapist at the Holbrook Counseling Center. I am honored to also be a part of the LOSS team at Catholic Charities. For the past few months, I have met with survivors who have lost a loved one to suicide. Many survivors share with me how the aftermath of their loved one’s suicide wore them down mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The survivors, expressing their deep emotional pain, ask the most heart-wrenching questions of “why?”

One woman described how deeply horrified she was by what her loved one had done to his body, his life, and to the lives of those who loved him. Underneath her pain and the tragedy of her loss was the question, “Should I have been more aware of his severe depression?” She had believed he would get through the depressive episode, as he had done so many times before. She reviewed the details of the events leading to his suicide, wondering why she did not see things more clearly or have the power to save him. She described how, after learning that her loved one had taken his life, she went into mental and physical shock, moving back and forth between denying and accepting the news of his death. She said, “I thought at first that it couldn’t be true; he couldn’t have done what he promised not to do.” She began to share parts of her story, as much as she could bear, reserving the whole story for another point in time, when she felt she could deal with the rest of it.

Survivors frequently bring up difficult questions about what they or other family members might have done differently to have saved their loved one from suicide. They doubt themselves, the professionals involved in their loved one’s care, and quite often God. It is not uncommon when meeting with survivors of loss, to hear them refer to their religious faith as they tell their story. “Where was God?” is a question I have heard many times. This is a point in the grief process where the person is revealing another dimension of their pain, their deep spiritual woundedness. This type of questioning of one’s religious beliefs is an opening in the therapy process to connect on the deepest levels of faith, belief, and meaning. Other questions asked are: “What kind of God would allow this to happen to my loved one? Why didn’t God intervene? and/or Why did this have to happen?” There are no quick answers to their questions that are filled with fears, doubts, and anxieties. Regardless of religion, people who believe in a universal presence often benefit greatly from addressing issues around their own spirituality. Reconnecting with our spiritually can be another way to move through the dark place of grief and back into life.

One individual said to me recently, “Where was God when my brother was contemplating suicide?” “Where was God when my brother was in pain?” “Why didn’t God intervene?” “Why did this have to happen?” A survivor may wait to see how others will react to their questions of faith or doubt, belief or disbelief, before they allow themselves to become more vulnerable in the relationship. I have found that when I am able to sit and listen patiently to the questions and recognize their spiritual dimensions, a deeper moment of sacred presence is revealed, where even stronger emotions of loss, anger, and pain can be expressed. Faith for survivors does not look like a traditional set of faith practices. It is ultimately grounded in a person’s connection and re-connection with self, others, and God. A survivor’s faith journey may begin in a traumatic, fragmented way, with survivors first speaking of “losing their faith.” This may launch them into a deep, empty, painful place, where the once familiar no longer makes sense. A shattered belief system can be devastating and cause cognitive and emotional problems, including an acute sense of betrayal. Any spiritual beliefs or values that a survivor previously had may no longer feel valid or true. Anger and disbelief may make it difficult for a survivor to find comfort in the spiritual or religious values once held.

A psycho-spiritual approach to grief therapy can provide nurturance, encouragement, and openness, at a time when one’s spiritual perspective is thrown into question. It accepts strong expressions of anger and rage, even those directed at God. A survivor is not corrected or contradicted in their expression of faith or doubt. All expressions are authentic and true. Including spirituality in therapy is a growing approach to treating the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. Spiritual beliefs can be seen as part of a person’s healthy coping skills, offering social support, an ability to find meaning and purpose in life, and providing comfort in times of grief. Regardless of religion, people who believe in a universal presence can benefit greatly from addressing issues around their own spirituality. Acknowledging the power of ones beliefs and addressing the interrelatedness of spiritual beliefs with a person’s mental and emotional recovery can foster a spirit of healing.

For those interested in exploring more, a three session Spirituality Support Group will be offered in the coming weeks. This group will incorporate spiritual components into the dynamics of a group therapy setting, using supportive, cognitive behavioral and existential techniques. The intention for group members is to be able to develop and strengthen their own inner resources, develop coping skills to live more hopefully and purposefully, and to help nurture their spirit. At its heart, the group hopes to enhance self-worth and create a safe place to share insights, experiences, and validate the worth of one another. This nondenominational group will offer support, connection, and reflection. I look forward to working with you and hope that we can discover together the spiritual direction that will bring you comfort and peace. Allowing for the spiritual component in a survivor’s journey can bring health, healing, and the opportunity to raise important issues about the spiritual impact of their trauma. Dealing with the spiritual consequences of complex trauma, integrating spirituality and psychotherapy, and using spiritual techniques such as meditation, setting intentions, and spiritual reading, can complement psychotherapeutic strategies. To register please call Jessica Mead at 312-655-7283.



Keep On Keepin' On,