A Boutique Clinic for Emotional Health & Wellbeing
Bereavement means to be deprived of someone by death. It is often accompanied by grief feelings such as sadness and emotional pain. Losing someone we love has a huge impact on our lives. We can also experience grief for the end of an important relationship, a certain life stage such as motherhood, or even for the loss of health. Although grieving is common with bereavement, everyone grieves differently and if the grief is not fully allowed and processed then it can lead to other feelings like anger, or prolonged unexplainable sadness and depression.
Losing someone close to us is one of the most difficult things we can ever go through. If we were close to them then part of the grief is about the loss of a great source of support, love and comfort. Sometimes grief feelings can be mixed up with others that might seem less acceptable such as anger. This could be the case if you had a conflicted relationship with your loved one and were unable to resolve this before they died. Sudden and unexpected deaths can be particularly hard as shock will intensify the grief reaction. An individual might feel the need to look after and protect other loved ones who are also suffering and as a result neglect themselves and their own feelings. This can lead to feeling disconnected, angry, depressed or turning to work, exercise, alcohol or substances to numb the grief. As a result it might not be until many years later that the grief is processed. Prolonged grief refers to a reaction that lasts for over a year and that impacts social relations and the ability to function fully.
The well-known stages of grief as identified by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler – Ross in her 1969 book titled ‘On Death and Dying’ are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
Talking therapies such as counselling or psychotherapy can help you move through the different stages of grief. The practitioner offers support and comfort at a time when one is feeling alone and vulnerable. This is particularly the case if the loved one was a great source of support.
Grief symptoms can become prolonged and complex if you have a history of depression or other mental health issues or have experienced several deaths or trauma around the same time. In this case a psychiatric assessment would lead to a treatment plan that addresses the root of the issue. This might include medication, counselling or psychotherapy, or a combination.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can assist you to cope better with grief symptoms on a day-to-day basis. Your practitioner will help you to come to terms with the reality of your loss and together you will process linked emotions such as pain, anger, guilt. You will then focus on your daily life and explore how you can reinforce other aspects of your life to provide you with some of the positive experiences you connect with the person you lost.
We invite you to call in on 0207 118 0407 and speak to a warm and non-judgemental therapist with years of experience working with bereavement. The act of being listened to and not judged is the first step in taking control of your situation and starting to feel better.