Bereavement Counselling for Grief & Loss
Bereavement is an experience when we lose someone, or something, close to us. Death and loss are an inevitable part of life; shock, numbness, anger and sadness form part of the natural grieving process. However, if left unprocessed, such losses can leave us with emotional scars and long-term difficulties including mental health issues.
At some point in our lives, we have to face the heartache of losing someone, or something, we care deeply about. We may feel a range of emotions and sensations such as shock, emotional numbness, anger, guilt and regret. We may also feel depressed, exhausted and slowed down. The pain of losing something or someone we care so deeply about can seem so monumental that we may feel like we can never recover from the loss. Yet, while we each have our own methods of coming to terms with bereavement and grief, for those who are unable to process these difficult emotions, such losses can leave deep emotional scars and potentially long-term emotional difficulties.
What are the stages of bereavement, grief and loss?
The first usual response to a bereavement is one of shock and disbelief. Denial normally follows, as the bereaving find it difficult to accept the reality of the loss. For example, you might try to tell yourself that life is just the same as it was before, and you may re-enact activities such as making a cup of tea for your partner, that you went through with your loved one before the loss. These feelings of denial may then progress into feelings of anger and even guilt. These emotions can manifest themselves in a variety of different ways and can include blaming others for our loss, becoming easily agitated and having emotional outbursts. Subsequently, a period of depression may follow which can include symptoms such as sleepiness, irritability, changes in appetite, physical pains, loss of motivation and social withdrawal. You may feel that life simply does not have a purpose anymore. Finally, at some point you will move to a position of acceptance whereby you realise that life must go on. Whilst you may still think about the person or object that you have lost, these thoughts may become less intense and less frequent, allowing you to regain your energy and motivation. However, reaching this final stage can take considerable time, and is a process that cannot be hurried.
How can counselling & psychotherapy help with bereavement/grief?
Counselling can be a helpful way of coming to terms with loss. Whether it is the death of a loved one, redundancy or moving home, bereavement counsellors can help you through the grieving process, by helping you to deal with painful and confusing emotions, accept loss, make the relevant adjustments and develop productive and individualised coping mechanisms. Bereavement counsellors can offer you a space to explore your feelings in a confidential and safe environment and can support you, either on a short or long-term basis, through this difficult time.
Bereavement counselling services through Harley Therapy™ London
While the death of a loved is often the most common reason for seeking a bereavement counsellor, there are a number of events and situations in which we may lose something close to us and therefore feel the painful emotions associated with grief. At Harley Therapy London, our counsellors and psychologists have extensive training and experience in supporting individuals through bereavement and can help you come to terms with your loss. Call us to organise a consultation in one of our London clinics, or you can book an appointment online.
- Symptoms of Bereavement and How to Cope
- Bereavement Counselling: Do we really need to grieve?
- Write out your Pain: The Value of Keeping a Diary
- ‘You’ll Get Over It: The Rage of Bereavement’ by Virginia Ironside (1997).
- ‘On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss’ by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler (2005)