Bereavement

Bereavement defined; time that is spent adjusting to the loss.

There is no quick fix, right/wrong way to grieve and certainly no magic formula.

Everyone grieves and deals with bereavement differently.

The main stance that any counsellor should adopt, when guiding a client through the grieving process, is that grief and bereavement is not something one should “get over” or “move on from”. Above all, any gender, religious or cultural stereotypes must be removed. Your therapist or counsellor should, unequivocally, treat every client as a blank-canvass – no exceptions.

Derived from the ancient German phrase meaning “seize by violence”. Many who have experienced death and brought back to life have explained that it feels as if they have been removed by the force from their life.

Here are the four principal stages of bereavement one will go through –

  • Experiencing the pain of grief and loss.

  • Acceptance that the loss did happen.

  • Try to adjust to life without the deceased and start to create a ‘new normal’.

  • Being less negatively consumed by the grief.

The counsellor’s main role is to help guide the client and find ways to cope. To find a ‘new normal’ and help them adjust to life without the deceased by acknowledging and accepting their loss.

A grief and bereavement counsellor should always explore the following four factors and help their client through the grieving process –

  • The relationship the client had with the deceased.

  • Length of time the client knew the death was going to happen (if they were aware).

  • Type of loss the client experienced.

  • Personality and life experiences of the client.

When seeking professional help to enable you to find your ‘new normal’, after the loss of a loved one, ensure you get the support from a counsellor or therapist that will understand and relate to your specific situation.

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