Grief and Loss
Grieving is a reaction to some form of loss. It is a process that everyone will experience in life, and can often conjure up a range of emotions, from sadness to anger. The stages of grief identified include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The process of adapting to loss can vary from one person to another. Because of that, there is no right or wrong way to experience grief.
It is normal for a bereavement period to last a few months, a year, or even decades depending on the relationship that person had with the deceased. It can lead to prolonged feelings of intense sadness, emptiness, bitterness, and anger to having a complete lack of desire to pursue personal interests or engage in activities that make them happy. Grief can be especially difficult for those living with mental illness, because loss exacerbates the symptoms and lead someone to have feelings of despair, worthlessness, and lack of joy.
A licensed psychotherapist trained in helping clients overcome grief and loss uses a number of research-based techniques that are proven to be effective in helping their clients maintain healthy connections with the deceased through memory or reflection.
Dialogue is the most important factor in therapy. Research shows that it is imperative people talk about the deceased and how the loss makes them feel, especially if that feeling is guilt or hopelessness.
While in therapy, clients learn how to set up coping mechanisms to manage the stress associated with the loss, and to manage symptoms using relaxation or meditation techniques. After a few sessions, clients will also learn the difference between trauma and grief so they are aware of their ability to associate between the two in the future.
If you'd like to talk to someone about grief and loss, please contact us.