Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has been very helpful to me in grieving important losses, including those that still haunt me from childhood. In this context, ACT’s working hypothesis is that the questions and recriminations with which we torment ourselves after the death of a loved one are products of language and can be addressed by adjusting our relationship with verbal thought.
ACT emphasizes how thinking can interact with feelings to obstruct our pursuit of values. Let’s take my mother’s death as an example and see how this works.
As mentioned last time, my mother died in a psychiatric hospital after battling depression for years. That much is factual. But my mind has never been satisfied with the documented information.