The Intervention

I began with the use of guided imagery, (Bandler & Grinder, 1975; Bradshaw; 1988), and asked the client to close her eyes and go to the last time things were well with her cat and her. I had her visualize that moment. In only seconds, the tears flowed. I asked her to tell her pet that this would be the last time they would be together. The group watched in awe as her state transformed into one of deep grief. Her head held in her hand, she began to weep. I prompted her to tell him whatever she needed to say to have the closure she so desperately needed. "Look into your cat's eyes and tell him how sorry you are that this happened. Tell him that you hope he will forgive you for not being there as much as you used to be. Imagine that you can touch his back, feeling the fur that coats his body; imagine that you can put your face close to his and feel his presence; allow yourself to be present and tell him how important he was to you."

All this was done in silence through her own neurological system. I prompted her with the words that would provide her with the healing she needed. I had her complete stem sentences such as:

• "What I will miss the most about you will be..."

As she did her internal processing, she was encouraged to say whatever else she needed to say to complete this work. As she processed these moments in silence the tears and sobbing exacerbated. I encouraged her to release her pain.

"Let it come up," I said, encouraging her to allow her feelings to emerge. Some of the other members encouraged her as well. They identified with their own losses. Soon the sobbing became louder, and her guttural cries resounded in the room. She cried for her cat. She cried for herself as a child. The intervention took about ten minutes. I encouraged her to release the energy that had been frozen in her since childhood.

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