Coping with Grief and Loss
Over the years, I have helped many clients with various forms of grief.
Grief is physical and emotional. It causes us to feel:
Anger, Sadness, Depression, Fatigue, Sleep Issues, Disconnection from our usual hobbies & work, Difficulty Concentrating, Changes in our Appetite or Low Motivation.
First. we experience a loss...then the grief process 'cocoons us', and seems to hide us from the world, and take us away from everything we previously felt passionate about.
Grief can be from:
Loss of loved one or friend, Loss of career, Loss of independence, Change of home, Children moving out (empty nest syndrome) and more.
How can counselling help?
When I have sat with clients who have lost a child, a partner, a career, I do full assessment to determine how they are coping in all areas. I then normalize all the emotions, and give client tasks to help them grieve...depending on how their grief process is going.
The Grief Process can become complicated as seen in the following three examples:
Chronic Grief: Client has a lot of grief, making the process more overwhelming. The first grief is not fully grieved, when another loss/grief comes along.
Denied or Delayed Grief: Client cannot grieve, as they are top busy helping others, or distracted by career/family. Client needs a chance to process this grief. This denied/suppressed grief is often a contributing factor in addiction, as client has trouble processing his/her emotions, and the grief is too challenging to face. Avoidance, and escapism to the addiction, is often common.
Trauma Grief: Client experiences a loss that is not only hugely impactful, but also traumatic. Client may have found been with a loved one when they died, whether it be a car crash, SIDS/SUDC, or suicide. The trauma causes a build up of emotion in the lumbic system, triggering PTSD, and aftten avoidance/social phobia or aqoraphobia. In this situation, I have found brainspotting to be incredible at re-connecting clients to life again. Clients who experience this type of loss, often look 'frozen' on the outside, and some can no longer work. Once the brainspotting, and therapy for grief is initiated, client can re-join the human race again. This form of grief therapy is the most rewarding, as watching a client frozen by trauma loss is deeply upsetting.