World-Renowned Psychotherapist Offers 10 Powerful Tools for Shifting Turmoil in Grief and Forgiveness

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Edy Nathan, MA, LCSW is urging people in turmoil to give themselves the gift of forgiveness this holiday season by taking ten important steps toward inner peace.

Whether the loss of a loved one, having a serious illness or even as a survivor of abuse, people tend to play the blame game as a way to divert the angst aroused by the loss or trauma.

Through her practice, licensed psychotherapist Edy Nathan has found that forgiveness is a potent facet in overcoming grief and loss. In fact, she says the absence of forgiveness keeps people stuck and inhibits the healing process. But she states that losses in life affect everyone differently. "Whether the loss of a loved one, having a serious illness or even as a survivor of abuse, people tend to play the blame game as a way to divert the angst aroused by the loss or trauma," says Nathan.

In Nathan's experience, remaining in the active state of accusations and unbridled hate toward those who did not do enough or were abusive invariably creates a state of fusion with the loss or trauma. A bind is created when the negative memories are kept alive as they turn into what Nathan believes is an eventual form of self-abuse with the potential effect of a prolonged emotional disturbance. It is an imperative aspect of healing to let go of the judgment and culpability as a means of holding on to the truth of today.

The 10 tools to forgiveness:

1.    Decide to start the process of forgiveness
2.    When aware of judgments, replace them with a fact
3.    Stop obsessing about the person or occurrence if there is absolutely nothing that can be done to change the situation: think about what can be changed, and change that. Go inside of the psyche.
4.     To forgive does not mean to forget. Forgiveness is a respite from the active state of blame.
5.    Write a letter about the situation to safely externalize the anger/rage.
6.    Acknowledge the anger/rage/sadness around the situation: it allows for less fusion
7.    De-fuse by being in the moment of the mind. Stay present by counting, snap a rubber band and refocus to change the thought.
8.    Affirm a new positive intention and act on it
9.    Connect with others who have healed in similar ways
10.    Take an inventory about what is unforgiven: Imagine the outcome if there was an apology: This is a form of soothing the self.

Nathan says the following quote about forgiveness from Gerald Jampolsk supports the notion of resisting the temptation to stay in judgment and blame: “When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others, I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life, reminding me that I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge."

For more information about other topics related to grief, loss and trauma, please go to Edy Nathan’s website. edy(at)edynathan(dot)com.

About Edy Nathan:
Edy Nathan is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in the integration of psychotherapy and the world of spirituality. For two seasons she was the therapist on the A&E TV Show, “Psychic Kids”. She holds Masters from both New York University and Fordham University. She has post-graduate training from the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, The Gestalt Center and the Jungian Institute. She is a certified EMDR practitioner, regression therapist, certified hypnotherapist and grief expert. To find out more, visit

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