Bereavement—Can Counselling Help?
When someone we love dies, a hole is left in our lives. At first we may be kept busy with the practicalities of death – organising a funeral, attending to paperwork – but when all of that is done and dusted we sometimes remain alone to struggle with our grief.
A Natural Process?
People often believe that grieving is a natural process, and that they should be able to deal with it on their own. Up to a point, that’s true; losing friends and relatives to death is something that we all experience, and most people can eventually pick themselves up and carry on. But that doesn’t mean that it’s invariably easy or that we shouldn’t ask for help.
The Emotions of Grief
When we are bereaved we can pass through a series of emotions, including denial, anger, and depression. While this is part of grief’s “natural process”, these emotions can become destructive if we remain in their grip rather than passing through them to acceptance and a future in which we can carry on, while still cherishing the memory of the person we have lost. When that happens, we can become vulnerable to a wide range of psychological and physical disorders, and all of that can have serious repercussions for our relationships with others, our ability to work effectively and well, and so on. To make matters even harder, many people feel that they should try to keep their pain to themselves rather than reaching out for support.
When to Ask for Help
If you are finding it difficult to accept your loss, and struggling to move on from the negative emotions that you are experiencing, you might benefit from therapy. A good therapist will help you to talk through the complex emotions that you are feeling, help you learn how to cope, and ease your transition into a future in which you can continue to grow and move on.
How can Counselling help
When we are treating bereavement different people respond best to different approaches, so it is a very bespoke treatment. However, we often focus on helping people through the seven stages of grief that people typical experience such as anger, disbelief, bargaining, denial, guilt and depression, we help them understand and deal with these emotions. Different people move through these stages at a different rate but the aim of therapy is to help people get to the final stage of acceptance.
For many people what really helps is just being able to tell the story and release their emotions related to the bereavement. This is a sort of desensitising approach used in terms of helping people release the emotions and get to the other side of it and finally feel relief when they get to the final stage of the bereavement process.
We also assess for other symptoms of bereavement such as depression and the eating disorder and look at helping the individual break out of these difficulties as well as helping them with anything else that is in line with their treatment goals and what they wants to get out of treatment.
Be Strong and Know when you Need Support
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, don’t let yourself fall prey to thinking that it is in any way weak to ask for help. In fact, reaching this realisation is the first step towards healing. At Private Therapy Clinic we are highly experienced and sensitive in treating clients coming to terms with grief. We understand what you are going through – and you don’t have to do it alone.
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