Grief and loss retreats

Published: 30/11/2022

No one can really prepare you for the intense emotional rollercoaster that comes with the loss of a loved one. Difficult and painful times can shape your wellbeing and future and can feel challenging to overcome. We can learn to adapt to a mixture of other losses that are thrown at us, but loss due to death is in a league of its own, and for some they may need extra support and guidance.

Specialised retreats for grief and loss are designed to guide and offer solace as well as provide actions that can help manage emotions. A loss of a loved one is traumatic and painful, it cuts deep into our hearts, and no matter how compassionate our support network is or how many self help books we read, professional support during a defeated time can help in many ways. 

Unaddressed Grief

Grief is expressed in many ways and can affect emotions, thoughts, physical and mental health. At times, emotions can become so hard to control that many will ignore how they feel which can lead to sleep deprivation, symptoms of depression, anxiety and antisocial behaviours. Relationships with family and friends can also suffer when a person is clearly struggling to understand their emotions and current circumstances. 

What is expected from grief and loss retreats? 

Grief and loss retreats come in a variety of forms, there are short term and long term programs that are tailored to the individual and focused on providing a safe, supportive and compassionate environment for healing and grief recovery. Many programs vary in breadth but share a common goal of facilitating emotional healing in a peaceful environment. Retreats can use traditional methods of healing, such as psychotherapy and group therapy, and  innovative holistic methods including yoga, meditation and healing techniques. 

Activities to help process grief

Experiencing a loss of a loved one is a different journey for everyone and it shouldn't be shaped by another person's experience. Retreat therapists will provide the tools and knowledge that help with processing grief and loss.    Retreats that focus on healing from grief and loss include the following activities; 

  • Yoga classes: Hatha, Kundalini, Ashtanga and hot yoga
  • Integrative breathwork: learning to use breathwork to help with stress, anger, anxiety and fear incorporating breathwork into daily practices. 
  • Tai Chi: Chinese martial arts practice working with fluid, relaxed movements integrating control, breathwork and mindfulness reflecting the yin and yang in yoga. 
  • Art music and drama therapy: using art as an outlet for expressing emotions can work with traditional psychotherapy.

Below are retreats across Australia with specialised programs for grief and loss. 

The Banyans

The Banyans Health and Wellness recovery program provides Australians with support to achieve optimal results. The Banyans offer a variety of therapeutic programs with up to seven one to one sessions daily. 

Salt Recovery

Salt Recovery has an unique approach to an individual's recovery and comes from an evidence based practice, bringing health and wholeness to the mind and body. Salt is an eco-friendly property and is nestled amongst a natural environment with scenic views.

Living Valley Springs

Living Valley Springs is a non for profit organisation and was established more than 30 years ago to help individuals through depression, trauma, anxiety and addiction. Living Valley includes a team of therapists, naturopaths, health educators, fitness trainers and chefs working together to bring optimal health and to heal. 

Samadhi

Samadhi is 'the Jewel of healing retreats' offering a loss and bereavement program, works to support individuals processing grief and celebrates the lives of those lost through acceptance. The program is unique and includes daily nature walks as this is known to invite calmness and restores depleted energies throughout the body. Incorporated in the program is the 'ceremony of remembrance' offering a chance to heal in a natural environment.

Samadhi include holistic body therapies that can soothe the nervous system, calm the mind and enhance overall wellbeing by restoring balance to the chakras and energy in the body.

Noosa Confidential 

Noosa Confidential helps understand the events around grief and uses advanced evidence based therapeutic practices for the treatment of grief and trauma. The programs are tailored to the individual person working to improve relationships, emotional resilience and provide a therapeutic approach combining traditional and alternative therapies to create a sustainable outcome. 

Life Flow

Life Flow retreat provides individuals with techniques to manage grief and loss through meditation. The teachers incorporate meditation and their own personal experience of grief and loss. Providing tools and strategies to help find peace, to let go and heal emotional trauma. Life Flow creates a safe environment for individuals to accept emotions and learn ways to process and work through them. The retreat offers catered food, restorative yoga, deep relaxation and time to reflect and rest.   

Palladium Private

Palladium Private programs are designed to deliver outcomes for a range of mental health concerns. The stays range from one week to several months depending on each individual's circumstances. Palladium Private encourages individuals to focus completely on themselves and wellbeing providing a holistic approach to mental health needs and support for a complete life transformation. 

Quest for Life Foundation

Quest for Life assists people living with trauma to find hope, healing and peace within themselves. Providing educational programs and community workshops to encourage, educate and empower individuals. Quest helps improve resilience during times of illness, depression, grief and trauma.

Nobody knows how it feels to be you, for every person their feelings are so unique. When faced with grief, loss and trauma it can be challenging to enjoy life with ease and everyday activities. People respond to grief differently and each individual's journey, length and breadth of grief is never the same. Grief and loss retreats provide a way to get back on track and rebuild overall wellbeing.

By Alana Dintinosante

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