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 of the change. Not transforming would mean being stuck as the world leaves them behind, often to their detriment.
Funerals are instances of acute transformation because a dramatic and impactful event triggers the need to engage with the funeral experience. Funerals are not so much a matter of finding closure, as is commonly believed, but rather they are about getting with the reality of death in general and this new death in particular. Sometimes, you don’t get over a death; you get with it.
What would it be like if society was more attuned to the need for acute transformation? Then after a divorce or a layoff, your closest friends might have smarter experiential tools to reach for than a night binging on the town. They won’t simply settle for helping you numb out. They would help you tune into the new reality you are facing and the richness to be found in it.