Gary R. Beaver: Grief and Trauma Therapy with Induced After-Death Communication
Jun 28, 2014 10:24AM
● By Michelle Hamburger
Gary R. Beaver
Gary Beaver, a licensed psychologist and certified Induced After-Death Communication (IADC) practitioner and trainer in Eagan, specializes in therapy for prolonged grief or trauma. “Most of the people who come to me for IADC are people who have suffered a loss and are stuck in it, still experiencing crushing grief after years, sometimes even decades,” Beaver says. “Time has not healed them, so they’re looking for something else.”
Beaver believes IADC therapy is the most revolutionary approach he’s found for working with grief and trauma and says the results continually amaze him. The program consists of two 90-minute sessions held on consecutive days. The first session is intended to address and clear the client’s grief, and the second session is focused on facilitated communication between the client and the deceased loved one.
During session one, clients process grief using a technique called Core Focused EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Core Focused EMDR reprograms the way a person’s brain processes loss, clearing sadness and giving peace to memories that previously might have caused a grief-stricken state. “What usually would have triggered a distress response now doesn’t create that same response, changing the person’s perspective on that memory,” Beaver says. “That’s really what this entire first session is about, changing a person’s perspective on memories.”
Beaver says most clients can process their sadness within the first session, which is an essential part of IADC’s success. “Clients need to be relatively free of sadness and in a calm, relaxed state,” Beaver says. “If not, emotions can get in the way of their being able to calm their minds and have a communication.” He adds that 90 percent of the work in IADC is in clearing the sadness; the other 10 percent of healing happens through communication during the second session.
Session two begins with clients addressing any residual grief or sadness. Once grief has been fully relieved, Beaver leads clients through a formal induction process, during which they form purposeful statements or questions they would like to say to their loved ones. These are used to help calm the clients’ minds and open up the possibility for after-death communication.
Communication with or from a loved one is not guaranteed with IADC, nor is it required in order for a client to find long-term healing. Conventional grief therapy focuses on severing the connection between a person and their love one, but Beaver says it’s not effective. “What we’re finding is that people do better when they have an ongoing sense of connection, which is one of the things they end up with when they go through IADC,” he explains. “They have a very real sense of the existence of that person in their life.” If communication happens, clients will often receive messages such as “I’ve been with you all along,” “I am with you now” and “I will always be with you.”
Beaver is very clear that his practice is strictly therapeutic, not supernatural. “My role as a therapist is to help create the conditions in which communication can occur,” he says. “After-death communication is a direct experience that the client has. I’m not doing anything to make it happen.” After a loss, about 30 percent of people naturally have spontaneous communication experiences with their loved ones, meaning communication is not dependent on IADC therapy. However, Beaver says not all spontaneous communication is peace-giving because the person’s unresolved sadness can limit the healing benefits of the communication, leaving them with unanswered questions and residual grief.
IADC is time-specific, and most successful when conducted no less than six months after the loss has occurred. “Basically, the longer the better when it comes to this process,” Beaver says. “If it’s a death such as the death of a child, even a year is probably pushing it. People need time to access their sadness to successfully clear it during the first session.” Most people exist in a state of numbness for a period of time after a loss, which Beaver says inhibits IADC’s effectiveness. For these clients, Beaver advises them to first seek conventional counseling or grief support groups, and then come back for IADC once an adequate amount of time has passed.
Beaver says that until IADC was developed, there wasn’t effective therapy specifically available for grief. “We’ve been providing support in the hopes that time will heal their grief, and sometimes it would help,” he says. “But sometimes it doesn’t work; it happens that the person gets stuck and they’re not going to heal just from time. That’s where IADC can really make a difference.”
The office of Gary R. Beaver is located at Asian Institute, 4141 Old Sibley Memorial Hwy., Eagan. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 612-910-1191, email [email protected] or visit GaryRBeaver.com.
Michelle Hamburger is a freelance writer for Natural Awakenings and can be reached at [email protected]