Coming to terms with grief or loss and handling life’s changes
Coping with losing a loved one is one of life’s great difficulties. When we speak of grieving and loss we often think of death. However, there are many other kinds of loss, such as divorce, illness or the loss of a job.
It is often not recognised that change of any kind – even positive change – involves some level of loss. Getting promoted or married are changes that we think of as positive, yet these also involve elements of loss, for example a loss of independence or a loss of a certain role.
When we experience loss or change we may experience a range of emotions such as confusion, sadness, fear, guilt or hopelessness. These feelings will vary in intensity according to the size or extent of each situation.
Should I consider counselling?
Often unsupported or traumatic change can make us feel disoriented, stressed, sad, angry, worried or anxious.
Sometimes our feelings, perhaps of despair, guilt or sheer loneliness may overwhelm us and this is when we need to seek help. It doesn’t need to be traumatic loss that drives you to seek counselling, if you generally feel that you aren’t coping well then counselling should be a consideration.
How can counselling help?
Grief involves a series of stages including denial or disbelief, fear, anger, depression and finally acceptance. These stages may overlap or come in a totally unpredictable order. I offer patient and supportive counselling that helps you to work through these stages of grief in a time and manner that works best for you.
There are some clear advantages to counselling rather than dealing with these difficulties alone:
- When grieving or experiencing issues with loss or change, a person often feels more able to be open about their pain, fear and anger with a counsellor than with family and friends.
- It can be easier to admit certain thoughts or anxieties to a counsellor that you might be afraid to say to anyone else for fear of hurting people’s feelings.
Through focused sessions I can help you to realise that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and over time will gradually move your mindset forward, one small step at a time.
How do we deal with grief and loss?
There is no one right way. Often, time helps but it does not guarantee complete healing as the cliché suggests. Some choose to face grief head on, but completely hiding from grief tends to be an option that often leads to difficulties.
Grieving allows us to recover from deaths and losses; it is what allows us to recover from trauma. Experiencing grief and mourning is the healing process that we as humans must go through in order to regain any sense of normality after loss.
Almost everyone who grieves will suffer from a level of depression at some point. What’s important is understanding the difference between depression from loss and grief which tends to come and then go in time, compared to a state of utter depression so deep that it takes hold and may require some form of medical intervention.