Coping with grief and loss can be very difficult. Bereavement refers specifically to the process of recovering from the death of a loved one, whilst grief is a reaction to any form of loss. Both encompass a range of feelings from deep sadness to anger, and the process of adapting to a significant loss can vary from one person to another, depending on his or her background, beliefs, relationship to what was lost, and other factors.
Grief is associated with feelings of sadness, yearning, guilt, regret, and anger, among others. Some people may experience a sense of meaninglessness, and others can feel a sense of relief. Emotions are often surprising in their strength or mildness, and they can also be confusing, such as when a person misses a painful relationship.
When a person’s grief-related thoughts, behaviours, or feelings are extremely distressing, unrelenting, or incite concern, a qualified mental health professional may be able to help.
Counselling and therapy is an effective way to learn to cope with the stressors associated with the loss and to manage symptoms with techniques such as relaxation. Each experience of grief is unique, complex, and personal, and therapists will tailor therapy to meet the specific needs of each person.
Therapy may include helping a person to: