Bereavement and loss can leave you devastated -- Why is it that we find this “natural”experience that we all have so difficult to cope with? Bereavement counselling can help you to understand and work through this. How we are affected by grief is completely individual as is the way in which we cope. The reasons why coping is difficult are many, but listed below are some of the more common:
- The intensity of the grieving (your normal coping mechanisms get overwhelmed)
- The duration of the grief period is excessive (you don’t seem to be recovering and the upset doesn’t end, leaving you feeling helpless/hopeless)
- An unexpected/very strong grief reaction happens some years later “out of the blue” (Triggers and changes of your situation allow your grief to come out)
Grief and bereavement counselling are very common reasons for seeking therapy because they help you to cope with major loss. There are many different reasons people seek help.
Common Reasons for Seeking Help with Loss
- Miscarriage and abortion
- Death of a much loved pet
- Loss of job status, redundancy
- Divorce or relationship break-up.
- Loss of possessions
- Changes of self-identity due to sexual abuse, assault, menopause, injury, health deterioration
- Death of a loved one
Everyone’s experience of loss or grief is unique. The symptoms can occur for several months and can even affect you suddenly some years afterwards. Typically the experience may initially include: numbness, shock and confusion as one tries to accept the reality of the situation. You may also have feelings of relief, anger, guilt, sleeplessness, change of appetite, social withdrawal, loss of motivation and irritability.
“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses.”Colette
The power of this wave of emotion as it engulfs you can at times feel overwhelming, and you may well find yourself having difficulty coping. Some people report feeling isolated as though no-one could possibly understand their experience.
How Can Therapy for Loss or Bereavement Counselling Help?
Although there are no easy answers in grief counselling, it is normal to move through a process of grieving and end in acceptance. During this process, maintaining contact with people is important in your recovery and you should do this as soon as you feel able –even though this is often very hard. At Reflexions, we can help if you have suffered loss and are experiencing emotional upset and finding it hard to cope.
In short, therapy can help you to
- Understand your feelings of grief
- Develop coping strategies to cope with your loss
- Gain support through your grief reactions and acceptance of loss
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
What is the Next Step?
The grieving process associated can sometimes be a lengthy and tough journey and therapy can support you through this emotional period either in the short or long-term. At Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy we will be able to help you to move forwards. Contact us and we will take it from there. It’s very straight forward, just give us a call or email.
Or phone: 0191 5805080
There are a wide range of on-line resources and books available to support you in your loss. A small selection are listed below:
National charity supporting the bereaved. Link to the links page which has a wide range of resources.
How we Grieve: Relearning the World by Thomas Attig
Attig recounts real-life tales to present the challenges facing dealing with loss.
Overcoming Grief by Sue Morris
A Cognitive Behavioural self-help book giving you practical steps to help you cope with your grief.
Miscarriage: Women Sharing from the Heart, by Marie Allen & Shelley Marks
A compilation of over 100 stories of women talking about their experiences. Advice for partners, family and professionals