Interactions with young people while allowing expression of sadness and pain can also be opportunities for encouragement of hope. The Dual Process Model (Stroebe & Schutt, 2003) suggests that people oscillate between being:
- Loss-orientated- Immersed in intense and powerful emotions around the loss and the person
- Restoration-orientated- Respite from pain, functioning in life, finding hope for the future
Young people oriented towards loss might struggle to recognise that there are times when the sadness and pain associated with their loss is less powerful or not having an influence. When a young person is ready practitioners can help them to create a space in which to be ‘restoration-orientated’. The following practice elements drawn from solutions focused therapy and narrative therapy could provide practitioners with a useful method of doing so.
B3. Exception Seeking
Emerging from Solutions Focused Therapy the idea of exception seeking is to assist exploration and identification to exceptions to the problem. This can promote a sense of competence and mastery that emerges from the young person’s experience. When working with grief it is important that exceptions are investigated around the impact of the grief e.g. substance use rather than the source of the grief.
E4. Unique outcome and exception seeking
Narrative Therapy employs questioning styles that encourage the potential for client’s to recognize differences to the dominant story and opportunities for difference. These strategies promote the potential for hope to emerge in the highlighting and celebration of exceptions and potential for change.