​Introduction to bereavement and loss counselling: signs that you need help

It would be wrong to claim that only a few people experience loss in their lives. Most people around us have experienced the same and grief is the reaction resulting from this feeling.

Symptoms of grief, loss and bereavement

Grief and bereavement comprise a deep feeling of anger and sadness. The entire process of adopting the loss can be traumatic for a person. However, the intensity of this dramatic transition varies from person to person. In short, different people experience different symptoms and there is no wrong and right way to feel it. Some symptoms may include:-

  • Numbness and shock:-  this is the first reaction to the loss, people often talk about being in the daze
  • Lots of crying and overwhelming sadness
  • Exhaustion or tiredness
  • Anger:- for the person  that you have lost or the reason why you have lost the important person of your life
  • Guilt: - For saying something that you should say or not being able to stop loving your dear one after his/her death.

All these feelings are not there all the time, but in some cases, these powerful feelings may appear unexpectedly.

If your loss is overwhelming and you are unable to perform daily activities, then it is leaving a significant impact on your mental health. Then without any further delay, you should reach out to a professional psychologist or therapist or counsellor to help you overcome this feeling.

What do you understand by Grief Counseling?

Grief counselling is a professional therapy that is designed to support a person through various stages and range of emotions that one experience after a loss. There are five stages of grief

  • Denial
  • Outburst of anger
  • Bargaining
  • Deep pain and depression
  • Acceptance of the truth

When a person is grieving, then he/she might go through at least two of the above-mentioned five stages. However, it is a well-known truth that there is no common pathway to grief. Every person experiences it differently. Your grief signs and reactions comprise:-

  • State of shock
  • Denial and Disbelief
  • Distress
  • Anxiety
  • Outrage
  • Sadness
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of hunger

With the help of professional bereavement and loss counselling, you will be able to address some of the reactions to process the new reality. Some people take time of 6 months but for some others, it may take up a year or longer duration.

What are the techniques used in Grief counselling?

The main aim of bereavement or grief counselling can be explained in better ways through the below-listed steps:-

  • It helps people to accept the reality of loss
  • Help to work through the grief or pain
  • Making an adjustment in life without decreased
  • Help in maintaining a connection with your loved one that you have lost while you are looking for ways to move on in life.

Therapists or psychologists use techniques like psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy to help you through the grieving process.

Effective techniques used in grief counseling include:-

  • Guiding you to talk about the loss you go through, who the person was mean to you, circumstances associated with the death
  • Asking you to describe what you are feeling on the emotional front.
  • Developing coping strategies to deal with tough days like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays
  • Developing new  relationships
  • Building new identity

If you are grieving then you need to take care of yourselves. Pay ample attention to any mental, physical, emotional, or social stressors or signs. Instead of ignoring them, let your therapist know about it as soon as possible.