A therapy technique that can help with grief – The Memory Jar

We know that emotional health is complex and unique to every client. Sometimes it doesn’t feel obvious to the client where their depression and anxiety stems from and in other cases it is crystal clear why they feel the way they do; losing a loved one is one of these times.

Our therapists are highly trained and can help those whose depression is linked with longstanding grief.

Sometimes the natural grieving process may be ‘blocked’, this could be because of unanswered questions, regrets, fear or other painful underlying emotions.

When an important person in our lives is lost it can be a sudden event which means you may not have had the chance to say things you wanted to, other times there can have been a long illness that was traumatic to see a loved one go through or maybe you had to care for them in this time. Every person has a unique story, but all can benefit from an experienced and supportive therapist.

Sand tray therapy

Memory Jar for grief

It can help those struggling with grief and loss to create a memory jar as a way of expressing and making sense of distress. Some clients can feel ‘stuck’ in the agony of grief, almost afraid to remember anything positive or celebratory for fear they any lessening of pain means they are forgetting. However, being able to celebrate those we have loved and lost is a crucial part of the grieving process. With the support of an experienced therapist clients can create a memory jar, as a symbol of this, that they are able to take away with them.

“I didn’t think this kind of support would be able to help someone like me but I have been pleasantly surprised. I found my sessions an important space where I could be honest about my feelings and a great source of release. The techniques, advise and support given were very helpful through a difficult time. I will keep using some of the methods.
Many thanks for the support and a caring and professional service.”

Patient testimonial

How it works

The client is invited to choose a jar. This could be one with personal significance to them (e.g. the deceased favourite brand of coffee or jam) or one provided by the therapist. They also choose coloured chalks and, if they want, glitter.

The chalk is worked into handfuls of clean sand as the client explores memories of the lost – these are usually positive, happy memories.
As each memory s completed, the sand is poured into the jar creating another layer of colour, with glitter if desired.

Another handful of sand, another colour, another memory is added until the jar is full.

It may be that once the work is started that the client is able to share and explore more negative memories, thoughts and beliefs. The jar can still be completed in the same way but the client may chose not to keep it, or to empty it out in a place and way that has meaning for them, perhaps into running water or scattered into the air.

Every client is unique

Every client who comes to us for a Talking Therapy is unique and we offer a wide range of therapies depending on your specific requirements. We can even offer therapies via phone, skype or online if it is hard for you to access our locations or prefer to work at your own pace.

About DHC Talking Therapies

Talking Therapies are here to help when life gets too tough.

We provide a range of therapies including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Computer-based CBT to people over 18 and registered with a Surrey GP.

You can refer yourself for these services without seeing your GP first.

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