When you lose something of importance to you, whether it’s through death of a loved one, a relationship, a job or even your health – the feelings of grief can be overwhelming. For many people experiencing grief – there is a feeling that you will never get over it.
Grief manifests itself in a number of ways and stages. Psychologist Elizabeth Kubler Ross identified these stages as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are not necessarily linear. You can swing between them alternatively or even simultaneously.
Grief is a very complex emotion because not only does it include sadness, anger and loss – for many people it also involves regret and guilt. “Why didn’t I…?”, “I wish I had…”, “I should have…” are very common responses to grief, making it even harder.
Many people experiencing grief can find it difficult to talk about. Others really want to talk about it but find that they don’t have appropriate resources or feel like they don’t want to burden their friends or family. The reality is that friends and family often quite simply don’t know how to deal with grief and you find them shutting you down or changing the subject to try to “cheer you up”. Either way, research shows that NOT talking – is not helpful to recovering from grief.
Talking to someone who really listens and understands your emotional responses to grief is a very effective way to get to that final stage of acceptance. You may feel like you will never get there – but engaging in professional counseling will certainly assist you to manage your emotions and help get you back on your feet.
At Relieve Psychology – our grief and loss counselors are experienced talking you through the pain you are feeling. They can also provide you with coping ideas and strategies to get you feeling better more quickly. If you are experiencing grief or loss and it’s affecting your day to day functioning – it’s time to get some help.
All consultations are confidential and you will be treated with care, empathy and respect.
To make an appointment call (03) 8394 3891 and get some relief!
You’re not on your own.
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Grief and Loss Counselling 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.
Thoughts during grief can vary from “there’s nothing I can do about it” to “it’s my fault, I could have done more” or from “she had a good life” to “it wasn’t her time.” They can be troubling or soothing, and people in grief can bounce between different thoughts as they make sense of their loss. Grieving behaviors run from crying to laughter, and from sharing feelings to engaging silently in activities like cleaning, writing, or exercising. Some people find comfort in the company of others, particularly with those who may be similarly affected by the loss, and others may prefer to be alone with their feelings.
The different feelings, thoughts, and behaviors people express during grief can be categorized into two main styles: instrumental and intuitive. Most people display a blend of these two styles of grieving:
Instrumental grieving involves focusing primarily on problem-solving tasks while controlling or minimizing emotional expression.
Intuitive grieving is based on a heightened emotional experience that leads to sharing feelings, exploring the lost relationship, considering mortality, and identifying meaning in life.
There is no right or wrong way to experience grief, though some thoughts and behaviors after a loss can be more helpful or safe than others.