Coping With Personal Loss

Posted November 25th, 2016

5-stages-of-grief

When a loved one dies, it can feel like the end of the world as we know it. The natural response of grieving for our loss is a hard and extremely painful process to go through, and we all have a different and unique response to losing someone close.

Bereavement counselling is there for you when it seems like you’re drowning in sorrow, unable to move forward. That’s when it can be enormously beneficial to work with a trained therapist who can help you through the stages of grieving to enable you to acknowledge and process what has happened. With the benefit of counselling, you will in time allow life to continue with adaptation and change while preserving the memory of the person who passed away.

There are 5 generally recognised stages of grieving that we all go through when learning to cope with personal loss. As you move through the bereavement process, you may experience some or all of these stages and in any order. It is an important part of the healing process to allow yourself to experience and accept all the feelings as they occur.

  1. Shock and Disbelief

The first response to a bereavement is typically one of disbelief and shock, even if the death did not come as a surprise. Numbness is often a natural reaction to an immediate loss – it’s our body’s way to shield us from the intensity of the event, and can be useful when action needs to be taken, for instance to make funeral arrangements. As we slowly acknowledge what has happened, the feelings of shock and denial will diminish.

  1. Guilt and Bargaining

This stage involves an intense preoccupation with what might have been, if only some other course of events had occurred. It’s easy to obsess endlessly about how things could have been better, what could have been done to prevent the worst outcome. That’s why it is important to resolve this stage, so that guilt and remorse don’t get in the way of the long-term healing process.

  1. Anger

Many people will experience anger over their personal loss which may feel unfair and untimely. Strong feelings of anger can be a result of perceived helplessness and powerlessness, either as a result of having somehow been ‘abandoned’ by the deceased or because a higher power was at play.

  1. Depression and Loneliness

Once the full extent of the loss is realised, sadness and loneliness begin to set in. Normal responses may develop into depression as it becomes difficult to ease the pain. Sleeplessness, low mood, appetite disturbances, lack of energy, self-pity, social withdrawal and physical pains are all symptomatic of this stage of grieving.

  1. Acceptance

In the final stages of bereavement, we begin to fully accept that the death has occurred and we are slowly allowing ourselves the ability to manage its effect on us. Healing can begin once the loss becomes integrated into our life experiences and we are able to move forward with our life.

If you feel that it would be helpful to speak to an experienced bereavement counselor to share your personal circumstances, please contact us to arrange an appointment at one of our London clinics.

Cognitive Distortions and Thinking Errors – How Can CBT Help?

Posted November 28th, 2014

Cognitive Distortions cbt

 

When you’re feeling worried or stressed, would you say your thoughts are mostly positive or negative? If you’re like most people, negative thoughts run rampant and you might feel that you have trouble controlling them.

Some people who suffer from anxiety or depression say they wish they could “shut off” their thoughts. Often, it is actually these thoughts rather than the specific incident or situation that is causing the anxiety or depression in the first place. (more…)

Ten Tips for Managing Depression

Posted October 24th, 2014

10 tips for managing depression

If you’re one of the many people who suffer from depression, it might seem like there is no way to stop feeling sad. Depression has a way of taking over your life, crushing your spirit and hampering your motivation.

 

Although these feelings often require professional help to resolve, there are quite a few things you can do on your own to mitigate the negative feelings.

Here are ten tips for managing depression:

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Is psychotherapy more effective than medication in treating depression?

Posted September 22nd, 2014

psychotherapy or medication to treat Depression
 

According to estimates, one in five people will suffer from depression over the course of their lifetime. So, it is unsurprising that many different treatments for the condition exist.

 

There are dozens of medications, a long list of psychotherapy styles and other types of support that can help.

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