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As human beings, grieving is part of life, albeit one that we do not always tend to talk about. We grieve after any kind of loss, whether that be the death of a loved one, loss of health or loss of a relationship. It is totally natural and normal to experience a multitude of things following a loss.
Am I grieving?
Grief and loss are highly personal and individual. People will all experience grief, loss and bereavements differently depending on the support available, their own coping resources, their culture and the extent of the loss. However, some of the common signs of grief include:
- Sadness, for example you may cry a lot.
- Guilt e.g. regretting things we have said and done or didn’t say or do. After a death, you may even feel as though you should have somehow prevented it even if there was nothing that you could have done.
- Anger, at yourself, the situation, the person who has died or left or become ill, the doctors etc
- Shock and disbelief.
- Fear, panic, feeling insecure
- Physical Symptoms including fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, sleeping problems and headaches.
When is grief a problem?
The grieving process cannot be hurried and is individual for everyone. For some people, the healing process can occur within weeks, for others it can run into months or years. There is no ‘right or wrong’ way to feel during these times. However, grief can become problematic for some people when they feel as though they are not able to move forward in life, when they no longer experience any kind of enjoyment or if they do not have enough support available. In addition, sometime people can experience multiple losses at once or within a short space of time, which can make coping much harder.
If you feel that the pain is so constant and severe that it prevents you from resuming your life, are blaming yourself then accessing extra support or therapy could be beneficial.
What helps with grief and loss?
There is no magic solution to overcoming the grieving process. Avoiding it, burying how we feel and keeping busy are all understandable ways of coping but might not help in the long-term. Getting support, talking about how you feel and facing the emotions can all be beneficial in helping to come to terms with what has happened. There is no specific therapy that would be ‘better’ than the others for loss and grief but we can tailor therapy according to what feels right for you.