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Bereavement and Loss Counselling

Grief is a positive emotion. It enables us to heal from the inevitable sadness and losses of life. However we all grieve differently. Some feel devastatingly pained by it, they can talk of nothing else and appear to be stuck and unable to move on. Others believe that they need to suffer in silence. Current losses may have triggered off old unexpressed grief from childhood. The feeling about the lost person may not have been straightforward. A difficult relationship may result in a confusion about grief. Grief is also complicated when the person has not died, for example a divorcee or broken family relationships.

The stages of bereavement:

  • Shock – experienced as a sense of numbness, withdrawal, inability to express emotions. (‘It hasn’t really hit me yet’, ‘ I’m just going around in a daze’.)
  • Denial – acting as though no loss had occurred. Hallucinations (hearing their loved one’s voice)
  • Depression – despair, pain, crying moaning, wanting to give up.
  • Guilt – Wished they had done something differently.
  • Anxiety – panic about the implications of the loss.
  • Anger – feeling victimised and trying to find someone or something to blame.
  • Acceptance – letting go, saying good-bye, appreciating, forgiving – and moving on with hope.

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