Grief and Illness

Grief and Loss

Bereavement and loss are an unavoidable and inevitable part of life. At some stage we must each face the heartache of losing someone or something we care deeply about. At times the pain can seem so huge that we may feel like we can never recover from it.  

Each person has their own methods for coming to terms with bereavement and grief. However, for those who are unable to process very difficult emotions such losses can leave us with emotional scars and potentially long-term emotional difficulties.

Shock, numbness, anger and sadness form a natural part of the grieving process but rarely follow a logical or progressive path. It is very normal to flit back and forth between each of these emotions and sometimes to experience more than one at the same time which can feel very disorientating and confusing.

Sometimes people make themselves ‘busy’ as way of coping and displacing the feelings which accompany a painful loss. Others become depressed and find it hard to communicate with those who are closest to them. Still others find they experience a range of less talked about feelings which include relief, guilt or a flat ‘nothingness’.

Counselling and psychotherapy can be a helpful method for coming to terms with loss. This may be the death of a loved one, redundancy or moving home. Bereavement counselling can help you through the grieving process by offering a space to explore your feelings in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment. I will support you in dealing with painful and confusing emotions as well as to accept loss, make appropriate life adjustments and develop productive and personalised coping mechanisms.

Illness

For people suffering from life-limiting or chronic illness the world can often feel like an isolating and hostile place. In the UK, millions of individuals are challenged each year with debilitating and long term illness for which there may not be a cure.

If you are one of these millions then you may have found that over time there has been a huge impact to your social, recreational and occupational functioning in ways which a healthy person finds difficult to understand. Relationships are often strained as the impact on your family can often be as great (though different) to your own.

In addition to what sometimes feels like an overwhelming emotional roller-coaster, you may also find that as time goes on you are grieving for the loss of parts of your functioning self which you may never be able to reclaim. Coping with the ongoing effects of illness requires a constant reorganising and redefinition of self, based on the changed daily reality of your illness.

Counselling and psychotherapy has proven instrumental in helping very ill individuals manage their symptoms and overcome the psychological and emotional problems which surround their condition. In particular, feelings of stress, anger, fear, frustration and powerlessness can all worsen symptoms for the majority of illnesses and lead to a vicious cycle of misery and poor health.

Therapy can help break these cycles by tackling these complex and powerful emotions and developing effective coping strategies to change the way you think, feel and behave. As we work together to identify your thoughts and behaviours that lead to your unhappiness, you can begin to increase your sense of control over your condition and manage your symptoms more effectively.