Loss is an inevitable part of life and can happen to anyone anytime. This does not necessarily mean the death of a loved one. But, as per the American Psychological Association, it can also involve separation, abortion, miscarriage, being laid off, or one's declining health. Any kind of loss, however, can leave indelible marks on the person who suffers it. And so, it is normal to experience grief as a reaction to your loss. Everyone is affected by grief differently. You could feel sad, angry, and perplexed as you go through the process. It is also normal to exhibit symptoms of depression due to grief, feeling guilty, experiencing sadness, regret, anger, and confusion.
Thus, it is obvious that the grieving process is complex and can perplex the individual who experiences various emotions over a short time. This complicated feeling doesn't progress through a set of predetermined stages smoothly and predictably. In truth, it's a process that unfolds differently for each person. Therefore, seeking professional help to deal with these complicated emotions is crucial. And with the help of a licensed grief therapist, you can manage your feelings effectively and make practical decisions as you go through the process.
However, being vulnerable before a mental health professional in an unknown environment could be intimidating. Sharing your experience while stepping out of your comfort zone can be a daunting task. Thus, with the availability of teleconsultations, you can receive mental healthcare in the privacy and security of your home. Online grief counseling allows you to receive healthcare at your convenience. It also provides multiple ways to connect with a certified therapist and book appointments per your schedule. To get the perks of telehealth, all you need is a reliable internet connection and a smart device; and online consultations may become just what you need to address this challenging stage.
Grief is more than just the feelings you experience. Instead, it's a process you must go through to recover fully. And thus, grief counseling can provide a means to deal with such events in a healthy way. It helps people comprehend and manage their feelings and finally find a means to move on.
However, to manage the situation effectively, it is essential to connect with a skilled and trained professional. Processing a loss needs guided intervention which can only be performed by someone equipped and trained to help you through this sensitive phase of life.
And with therapy, you can address this situation most efficiently. This is because it allows you to examine your emotions and memories in a judgment-free environment. There is no loss too great or too minor to warrant support. Remember that you do not have to endure your grief alone.
The grieving person may feel that their reaction to the situation is abnormal. However, it is essential to remember that everything is a part of a process, and it is absolutely okay to feel what they are feeling. For this reason, it is essential to emphasize the Kubler-Ross model, which depicts the five stages of grief. Yet, it is also important to know that Dr. Kubler-Ross herself notes that these stages are not linear, and all five stages do not necessarily occur for everyone. But, these stages are the most widely accepted as they equip us to navigate through the flurry of feelings in a knowledgeable manner.
Denial: Denial is the stage that helps us in surviving the loss. The shock might make you feel like life has no meaning and is too overwhelming for you to bear. Consequently, you go numb. In this stage, due to the shock, you may wonder how it will be possible for you to go on to the next stage and adapt to whatever life has to offer. Because life, as you knew it, has now changed forever. Thus, you prefer to create your own reality rather than take life at face value. For example, if you receive the news of the death of a loved one, you may cling to the false hope that they may have identified the wrong person. Or, if you experience a miscarriage, you may believe that the doctors must have made a mistake in testing you.
However, it is crucial to note that there is nothing wrong with denying reality. In fact, denial can be seen as nature's way of saying to us that there is only so much you can handle. Denial helps pace the overwhelming emotions and the grief that one feels. It also allows you time to deal with the situation at your own pace, as you keep denying it while you are not ready for acceptance. Once the shock starts to fade and you start coming out of denial, the real healing process begins. At this point, the repressed feelings start to surface.
Anger: You could feel as though you are no longer grounded in reality when you go through a loss. You may feel abandoned or isolated due to your circumstances. There is nothing substantial you can grab onto now that your life has fallen apart. Therefore, consider anger as a force that keeps you grounded in reality, as it can be directed towards what you perceive. The fact you can blame others re-establishes your connection with the world. Thus, it is an important step in the healing process and something to hold onto.
During this stage, you may become sarcastic, irritable, aggressive, and uncontrollable and resent yourself or those around you. For example, in case of the death of a loved one, your anger could be directed towards family members who you feel didn't do enough to save the deceased. Or, in case of losing your job, you may start resenting a particular ex-colleague or a friend who didn't support you enough. Religious people may also direct their anger toward God, thinking, "How could God let this happen to me?"
Research supports that it is crucial to express genuine anger. It is believed that even though it may seem like you are stuck in a never-ending cycle of being angry at everyone and with everything, it will eventually pass. The more intensely you feel it, the quicker it will pass and the faster you will heal. It is unhealthy to hold back your anger because it is a natural emotion and, in some cases, even a required one.
Bargaining: To bargain with the pain of loss, we try to create false hopes through negotiations. Some may make promises to God or other higher beings like, "If my wife lives longer, I'll never fight with her," or "If I could be healed of cancer, I'd help the needy more." To prevent the pain of breaking up, people may also bargain with their partners, pleading with them to give the relationship another chance as they promise to change. The person is so desperate to prevent grief that they are willing to make a significant life change just to restore normality or prevent a life upheaval.
As guilt often comes along with bargaining, they are stuck in a cycle of wondering, "What if I had known sooner that I would be diagnosed with cancer" and "If only I had stopped her from leaving in such a hurry the other day, she could have been saved." Such statements about the incident, particularly to those suffering, could keep repeating in one's thoughts.
Acceptance: Your emotions may start to stabilize at this point. You return to the present. You accept the "new" reality that what you lost cannot be recovered. And eventually, you will learn to be okay with that. Undoubtedly, this is a period of adjustment and readjustment. We might even attempt to resume our previous way of life in certain aspects, but eventually, we realize it won't be possible. To function, acceptance at this stage also requires that we reimagine life and assign new responsibilities to ourselves and those around us.
Although what has been lost cannot be replaced, acceptance allows us to forge deeper bonds with those around us and form new friendships. Instead of avoiding our needs and feelings, we confront them, learn from them, and transform into new, more resilient people. But none of this is feasible until we give the process enough time.
This approach can provide one with several benefits. These include:
The different techniques employed by grief therapists provide various approaches to dealing with loss. Some of the common interventions include:
MBCT was designed to assist patients who frequently experience episodes of profound sadness or depression to avoid relapsing. Patients with major depressive disorder who have gone through at least three depressive episodes have found it helpful. However, this treatment approach can also treat the following conditions:
Additionally, this approach has been demonstrated to reduce depressive symptoms in some persons who simultaneously have physical health issues, such as:
Apart from this, research in fibromyalgia-affected women demonstrates how well it works to lessen the effects of this persistent illness.
This treatment is an eight-week group intervention program. After the fifth week, there is one day-long lesson in addition to the weekly, two-hour course that takes place over those eight weeks. And as already established, it can treat a variety of conditions. So, if you're looking for a qualified MBCT therapist, you are at the right place.
At DocVita, we can help you connect with various specialists who can help you with your specific condition. All you have to do is visit our page, browse through a comprehensive list of experts, and book your first therapy session today!