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Conflict to Collaboration

Restoring Hope

Restoring Hope

Practical Appreciative Inquiry based strategies to effectively resolve grief and resentment.

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About the Author

Rob Voyle

Rob Voyle

The Rev. Dr. Rob Voyle is a leader in the development and use of appreciative inquiry in church and coaching settings.

Rob's Approach to Training

  • Helpful: Training must provide practical, sustainable solutions for today's challenges.
  • Humorous: Creativity and humor go together as people enjoy new insights.
  • Healing: I create opportunities for people to experience transformational insights that lead to new ways of living, working, and being in the world.

>>   See more on Rob's
        Helpful, Humorous, Healing
        approach to training.

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Videos for
Restoring Hope

Restoring Hope Videos

  • Watch author Rob Voyle coach actual clients through the strategies outlined in his book: Restoring Hope.
  • Videos are accessed online for immediate viewing.
  • Each video has a brief commentary to guide your learning.
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Resolving Grief and Distress Following a Traumatic Death

Often grief is complicated by other factors such as the manner of a loved one's death, for example when their death is preceded by considerable pain and suffering. Discovering what is actually evoking distress when a client remembers their loved one is critical if we are to resolve the distress and restore the person to hope.

In this video you will see Rob Voyle work with an actual client who is very tearful and distressed following the death of her mother several months earlier. The client cared for her mother at home while she died painfully of lung disease that caused her mother considerable choking and difficulty breathing.

As you watch the video, see if you can identify the mistake Ronb makes in the first few minutes and ponder how you would have responded to the client

Below the video is a brief commentary. I suggest you watch the video before reviewing the commentary.


Strategies Used and Demonstrated in this Unedited Video

  • Rebuilding the image of a loved one following a traumatic death:
    The "How Shall We Remember Process"
  • Transforming demands into preferences to facilitate acceptance of an unwanted event.
    This is also an aspect of the forgiveness process, but is used here to facilitate acceptance.
  • Separating timeless qualities from the temporal way they were experienced.
    For example discovering unconditional love (a timeless reality) received through a hug (a temporal experience).
  • Projecting timeless qualities into the imagined future to rebuild a sense of hope.
    The resolving grief process.
  • Resolution of a traumatic memory

In the follow-up session 4 days later the "client" discusses the changes she has experienced.

  • She is now looking forward to a family gathering at Christmas. Prior to the session she had been dreading the Christmas gathering and "didn't want to do Christmas at all."
  • She is now able to remember her mother the way she wants without the memories evoking the high levels of distress.
  • She is finally able to sleep through the night.

Rob's Reflection on the Session

This video taped session demonstrates the need to flexibly move through several processes and parts of the protocols that are outlined in Restoring Hope as we respond to the individual experiences of the specific client we are working with.

My Big Mistake and its Correction

In the session I make a significant error in not identifying the specific trigger for the client's distress.

While the client made several improvements, I was aware during the session that she continued to have significant levels of distress that I was unable to resolve. While viewing the recording after the session I realized that I had overlooked a specific and very simple trigger of the client's distress. Fortunately I was able to resolve the trigger in the follow-up session.

As you view the video consider what you would do at each step and wonder what did I miss in the first few minutes of the session.

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