Life can feel like it has been turned upside when we lose someone or something meaningful to us. Once we lose someone–or something–precious, it is as if a line has been drawn in the sand. There is our life before the loss and our life after it. We can feel utterly lost as questions upon questions inevitability arise around identity, purpose, next steps, roles, relationships, faith/spirituality, and so on. Emotions may flood in and overwhelm us, or numbness may paralyze us. Activities that were once appealing may lose their allure, or we might intentionally inundate ourselves with busyness in order to distract. We may feel isolated, misunderstood, or invalidated. We might have a hard time moving forward, and we may doubt whether we even want to. We long for familiarity and certainty. More than anything, we hurt.
Our reactions are as complicated as we ourselves are, and often depend on a number of factors, including the type of loss(es); our personality/temperament; our relationship to the person or situation that we lost; the amount or quality of support we receive from others; if our loss is validated or understood by others; if the loss was anticipated or unexpected; if we have had pre-existing mental health or physical health diagnoses, and many other factors. Thus, although we are all tied in the universality and inevitability of grief and loss, the types of loss we encounter and how we experience it can be very individualized.
Grieving takes time and everyone’s timeframe is different. We can also alternate between “being okay” to feeling a sudden surge of grief as time progresses. Therapy can help when you feel stuck or emotions are too overwhelming, as well as when the death or loss was especially traumatic.
At Bucks Support Services, we will support you in your grieving process through individual, couples, family, and/or group therapy. Therapy initially involves identifying your particular loss(es), the impact that these losses have had on you, and individualized goals to help you create or maintain a meaningful life as you journey on your unique grieving process. Each therapist will collaboratively create a unique treatment plan that aligns with your needs and goals.
Therapeutic approaches may include:
• Acknowledging the reality of the loss
• Processing the pain of the grief
• Finding meaning in the loss
• Establishing new roles and activities
• Enhancing self-care
• Clarifying values
• Engaging in activities related to your values and interests
• Acceptance and Commitment, as well as Cognitive Behavioral skills training to work through
limiting thoughts and emotions