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"Simply be willing to listen...the best approach for people is to open your ears, listen to what a griever needs to talk about, don't judge, don't criticize."

August 30, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen

A local therapist will be holding a seminar about grief awareness in Rexburg on Wednesday, August 30.

Grief isn't a topic many people want to talk about, but Geoff Winfree, a local therapist, and owner of Centerpoint Counseling thinks it's time to bring the topic out in the open. 

"I believe that incomplete emotional communication of any kind can cause lifelong problems and can rob someone of the quality of life," Geoff Winfree, a local therapist, and owner of Centerpoint Counseling told BYU-Idaho Radio. "So, people who try to avoid grief or go around it, so to speak, often will feel incomplete. The only way to really complete something incomplete is to get it up and out. So, the importance sharing and talking and expressing our feelings with others who are non-critical or non-judgment is very important to go through the grieving process."

Winfree thinks Wednesday's seminar will begin to help with that but also believes there are many myths about grief that need to be dispelled. Assumptions such as the cycles of grief or that grief only come as a result of sad experiences, can make working through the grieving process harder. 

But, no matter how much someone understands about grief, Winfree says the best thing anyone can do it to listen and not judge. 

"In many ways, many of us are grieving unawares," Winfree said. "Simply be willing to listen. We have a symbol in our grief recovery program of a big heart with big ears and a closed mouth...the best approach for people is to open your ears, listen to what a griever needs to talk about, don't judge, don't criticize."

Winfree's seminar takes place Wednesday, August 30 at 6 p.m. in the Madison Library Community Room. 

You can listen to the full interview below: