Cognitive Therapy for Widows

Cognitive therapy for widows is just a fancy way of saying “change your thinking”.

Widows need to take their time and grieve.  So don’t even consider this until you are ready to start healing your broken heart.  But when you’re ready this is another thing you can do for yourself, a skill you can apply to your broken life.

Basically you are learning to rethink your beliefs, see if they suit what you want your life to be and if not , be willing to change them.

Some of the things we learned about grief are false and may, in fact, harm our healing progress.  We often become unwitting fulfillers of our own negative prophecies.

You lost your husband, you talk to yourself about it and discuss your beliefs with yourself.  Then you grieve according to your inner beliefs.

This is the hard part – if you learn to change your beliefs (as “my life is over” to “my life is different) and the way you discuss your beliefs with yourself, you can then change the way and length of your grieving.

Emotions can be controlled, not to say that you put on a happy face and pretend that all is fine.  In fact, expressing your emotions is really important to your grief journey.  Don’t embrace positive ideas that are not true or that don’t lineup with your values.  That kind of pretense won’t do you any good.

This process is simple, but not easy:

First – become aware of your present beliefs about yourself, your world and the people in it.  Part of becoming conscious of your emotions is being completely honest and open to them.

Second – make two lists.  Write any negative beliefs you may have about yourself on the left side of the page.  Across from each belief, on the right side, rewrite the beliefs in a more positive way.

Third – read and say the new belief to yourself and to others.  Whenever you think the old thought, replace it with the new one.

Example – the old belief may be that you are not handy around the house and need someone to help you.  The new belief is that you can learn how to do small repairs by asking for help and watching YouTube videos.

In Summary , feelings are the results of our beliefs.  Examine the thoughts behind it, write down the thoughts or beliefs, check to see if they are valid, then rewrite them in a more positive way.

Remind:  This is for the widows that have moved forward in their grief journey and are starting to heal.

3 Responses

  1. Diana Farfan_Jacobs
    | Reply

    I lost my husband almost a year ago.
    I feel completely lost. Bruce ( my husband) used to handle everything for the house so this is all new to me.
    I decided to have my son and daughter_ In law and grandchildren move in with me, but that was a big mistake. I’m now more confused than I was before.
    I glad there is a Web site I can try to see what others do. In the same situation as mine.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      To connect with other widows for support and encouragement request to join my Facebook group called “The Sisterhood of Widows – Private Group for Widows”. You will have to answer all three security questions when you request to join.

  2. Morven McAlister
    | Reply

    Thank you for this very helpful piece. It is almost a year since I lost my husband, and since getting the dreaded Christmas holiday over with, I have started 2020 with a can do attitude, and learned that I too can unblock toilets and get fish tank filters working. Admittedly this will not change the world, but it has helped my world. Yes, the sorrow is still there, especially as we move towards that awful anniversary date, but I feel stronger by accomplishing tasks that I would have always left to my husband previously. Thank you again for this, I feel back on the moving forward path after reading this.

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