Therapy for grief and loss
“Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us everyday”
In the course of our lives, we can experience many different kinds of losses, may it be through the death of a loved one, a a brake-up, moving to a new country or losing a job.
Grief is the experience after a loss in terms of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Here I will be talking more specially about loss through death.
The experience following the loss of a loved one and will depend on different factors external or internal, such as circumstances/rituals around after the death, the person’s own psychological make-up (attachment style and history of losses) as well as current support system and coping strategies.
Bowlby’s attachement theory, explained our human tendency to create solid emotional bonds for safety reasons and also our strong emotional responses when these bonds are broken. These could be intense sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, loneliness or feeling numb. Physical symptoms such as eating problems, sleep disturbance, dreams/nightmares, fatigue are also often present.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has described 5 stages after the death of a loved one: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
The experience of loosing someone dear to our heart will forever leave it’s mark on us, but in time we can accept it and even find that it has changed our life in a meaningful way.
Therapy is especially indicated when the bereavement process seems “stuck” in a particular phase and remains overwhelmed by intense emotions and to move on in life.