Acute transformation is produced by a change that is imposed on someone without warning, against their will, or otherwise beyond their control. In this case, the purpose of the experience is to help the participants adjust to the change that has happened in their world and get past the shock. Not transforming would mean being stuck as the world leaves them behind, often to their detriment.
Funerals are examples of acute transformation in which death is the dramatic and impactful event that triggers the need to engage with the funerary experience. Funerals are not so much a matter of finding closure, as is commonly believed; rather, they are about accepting the reality of death in general, and a new death in particular. Sometimes, you don’t get over a death; you get with it.
Imagine if society was more attuned to the need for acute transformation.After a breakup or layoff, your closest friends might have smarter experiential tools to reach for than a night binging on the town. They wouldn’t simply settle for helping you numb out. Instead, they’d help you tune into your new reality, and the richness of transformation.