Therapy for Loss and Grief
At some point in our lives, we will almost surely have to cope with loss, such as when we experience the death of someone close to us or the breakup of an important relationship. A healthy part of the grieving process will involve the experience and expression of emotions related to the loss.
Therapy can often help individuals who may become ‘stuck’ in those feelings or overwhelmed by their complexity. Our psychologists will work with clients to understand their unique situations related to grief and loss. This may involve exploring the meaning of important relationship losses in the context of the client’s own life history and present circumstances. It may also involve understanding the various ways that grief presents itself. For example, we may not only grieve for what was, but also what may no longer be possible. In addition, if we lose someone to death, must not only cope with the relational loss, but sometimes also the reminder of our own mortality (and that of others close to us), along with the feelings and reactions that coincide.
Though grief is natural, many of us can get lost in the grieving process. Our psychologists work with clients and their unique situations to find a path for navigating through grief in a healthy way and to overcome challenges that may leave people emotionally stuck.
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working through Grief (Martha Hickman)
This book has been around for a little while and is one of the more popular books in coping with grief and loss. The author validates and normalizes many of the thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to bereavement and loss. The grieving process is recognized as a healthy part of life. The daily meditations and bite-size reading chunks make it easy to pick up and put down as needed. Healing After Loss is about 95% secular, though potential readers should know that it can at times have some Christian overtones. That said, atheist and non-Christian readers should be able to draw plenty of helpful material from it.
On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss (Kubler-Ross & Kessler)
The authors argue that while the grieving process is a natural reaction to an important loss, it may be difficult, particularly in this day and age, to know how to best navigate that process. If we do not find a healthy way to cope with loss, our grief may end up getting repressed, only to resurface years later. They suggest that coping with loss will often involve a progression through five stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The authors present thoughtful and layperson-friendly suggestions that can prevent a person from getting stuck in the grieving process.