Everyone will experience grief and loss at some time in their life. Grief occurs in response to any type of loss, bereavement however is specifically in relation to the loss of a loved one. Types of loss include:
- Loss of a job
- Loss of a friendship
- Loss of health
- Loss of a loved one
- Loss of financial stability
- Death of a pet
When someone experiences grief or bereavement it is normal to have feelings of loss. However if this continues longer than the natural healing process you may need some support to process these feelings. How someone copes with loss can be affected by a number of factors including past experiences of loss, social support, beliefs and the significance of the loss. Loss can lead to a range of emotions including anger, denial and sadness. Therapy can support you to process the loss and finds new ways to cope.
Everyone manages grief in their own way. Some people are able to process the loss after 6 months and move forward. For others the feelings of grief can go on longer. Grief can be complicated by how much the person was dependent on the departed. A person never fully gets over their grief but most people can function normally after a year. If symptoms last longer than this then the person may be suffering from 'complicated grief'.
Signs and symptoms of bereavement
Common symptoms associated with grief and loss are:
- Sadness and crying
- Anger or bitterness
- Confusion about one's role in life
- Difficulty accepting the loss
- Feeling numb
- Feeling that life is unfulfilling
What type of therapy can help?
Therapy can help by supporting the person to make sense of the loss and allow their most painful feelings to be expressed. Acceptance and Commitment therapy helps people to make room for the difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions. It helps people to reconnect with what's is important to them and rebuild their lives one step at a time.
Therapies that can help with grief and loss include:
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