~ Defining Transitional Medicine ~
Transitional Medicine is the term
we formulated for the grief work being done utilizing the Journey of Hearts™
website. This concept was presented first in 1998 in London at MEDNET 98:
The World Congress for the Internet in Medicine, then at the 2000 ITCH
(Information Technology in Community Health) at the University of Victoria,
School of Information Health Sciences and most recently in 2001 as part
of the "Somatic Aspects of Loss and Grief," with the University of California
Transitional Medicine combines elements
of medicine, psychiatry, counseling, and complementary therapies to provide
resources and support in the grieving process of going from loss through
a transition to eventually reach healing following a loss or a life-changing
event. This term describes an area of medicine long neglected—an area that
is "stuck" between the traditional medical and traditional psychiatric
practices; this is the area where the topics of grief and loss seem to
get "lost." This supportive, inbetween zone is one that has been long neglected
by the medical field, relegated to nursing, clergy, social workers, counselors
In Transitional Medicine a person
is educated about the "normal" grief response, including what to anticipate
in the transformational process that occurs following a loss. In addition,
the grieving person is encouraged to draw upon or discover their internal
source of strength to help them through the grief reaction as well as being
taught healthy ways of coping with the loss. This site provides a variety
of Grief AIDEs designed to help grieving people understand the grieving
process and find their own healthy way of coping with a loss, to discover
their internal source of strength in the midst of the crisis, to get through
the shock and the grief reaction. Ultimately, ther grieving person emerges
from the crisis transformed or reborn, forever changed and transformed,
as the butterfly, and stronger and victorious, as the phoenix.
Transitional Medicine is also based
on concepts of psychoneuroimmunology.
New scientific research in this relatively young field has demonstrated
that the mind can and does play a significant role in the disease and healing processes. Therefore many different areas—medicine, psychiatry, counseling,
spirituality, art, color, poetry, and biblio- therapy—are utilized in combination
to enhance the mind-body-spirit connections and create the healing experience
needed following a loss.
The Transitional Process
In the grief process a person first must experience
the loss or life-changing event. Then there is a transition time
that involves assimilating, if necessary reframing, the loss and/or events. In time reconciliation and amelioration of the loss or events occur allowing the
person to begin living again and reach healing. The ideal for Transitional
Medicine is to help a grieving person in the transformational process following
a loss, going from loss through transition to reach healing.
Key Points of the Transitional Process
Transitional Medicine is for the grieving person
who recognizes the need to change and have decided it is time to stop suffering.
In this process the grieving person:
The focus in Transitional Medicine
is on the transformation process, recognizing that loss is an instrument
for change and that a person is forever changed following a loss. Grief
is a powerful, universal emotion, but is most often survivable. Grieving
people must recognize that they often do not get over grief, rather in
time they learn how to integrate the loss or change into their lives and
Adapts to the change in situation following a loss
or a significant life-altering event.
Reconciles the loss or ameliorates the grief.
Assimilates the change.
Emerges transformed by the loss.
the depths of winter I finally learned
that within me there
lay an Invincible Spring.
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
| A Healing Place
| Loss & Grief
| Emergency Pick-Me-Ups
| Condolence & Sympathy
| Transitional Medicine
| Butterflies & Blazes
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