BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS

If you are ready to reach out for help, please contact me.

Hypnotherapy can be an extremely effective for prolonged grief.  It can help you to address unresolved grief.  It can also help you to understand why you feel as you do, and it can enable you to express your feelings appropriately.

Hypnotherapy sessions can give you the time and space to find peace and calm, as well as allowing you to process your grief at a rate and speed that is right for you.  I can help you reach a stage where it’s possible for you to focus on the love you shared, rather than on the sadness of your grief and where your memories can be enjoyed without the attached pain. 

Coping with the loss of someone or something that means a lot to us is one of life’s biggest challenges.  Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming, and we can experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock to anger, disbelief, guilt and profound sadness.  The pain of grief can also disrupt our physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight.  These are all normal reactions to significant loss.  While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can ease our sadness and help us to come to terms with the loss, find new meaning and move on with our life.

The Grieving Process

Theorists will often say that the process of grief takes about two years.  For some people, two years may be too long, and for others, two years will be no where near long enough.

In Victorian times, women were expected to dress only in black, and men were expected to wear a black armband.  Curtains were kept closed and grief was tolerated.  Today, the story is quite different.  For a funeral, people may or may not wear black, and at other times, anything is acceptable.  Compassionate leave usually lasts between three and five days, after which a person who has just experienced probably the most difficult time of their life is expected to go back to work and carry on as they did before they were bereaved.

Remember: ‘Don’t cry!’ is a cruel injunction for a person who has so few options for expressing the intense feelings of grief.  Crying is essential, but it can provoke and sometimes scare those who witness it.  Our underlying feelings about crying might be: 

If you cry, I might cry.If you cry, I might have to acknowledge my own pain.
If you cry, I might feel self-conscious about my own difficulty in crying.If you cry, I might have to face the unpleasantness in my own life.
If you cry, I might not be able to maintain my strength, composure, etc.If you cry, I might start crying for all the pain in my own life, and I might never stop.
So, if you cry, I might have to run away or shut you up, just to save myself.

The different facets of grief

While grief is a universal experience that everyone encounters at some point in their lives, each person’s grief is unique to them and also to each and every loss they experience.  However, their are some commonalities to the experiences of grief.

Acute grief:  is experienced shortly after the loss and can be intense and all-encompassing.  it can involve an intense yearning to be reunited with their loved one.  It can involve significant emotional pain, and it can involve a multitude of physical reactions that many people may never have experienced before (such as heart palpitations, butterflies in the stomach, dizziness or fogginess or feeling of unreality).  Frequently distracting thoughts of their loved one, trouble focusing their attention and forgetfulness are also common.  

These are all normal adaptive reactions within the context of grief.

 Integrated grief: is the enduring residual form of grief, in which the reality and meaning of the death are gradually understood and the client is able to move forward once again with pleasurable and satisfying activities and relationships.  Integrated grief absolutely doesn’t mean that their loved one has been forgotten, that they miss them any less, or that they stop feeling sadness when they think about them.  It simply means that the loss becomes integrated into the person’s autobiographical memory system.  This means that thoughts and memories of their loved one are no longer as preoccupying or disabling.  The person finds a way to stay connected to their loved one without their physical presence.  However, it’s important to remember that even when a person’s grief has been integrated, there will be times when acute grief re-emerges.  This can happen at the time of significant events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, another loss or at a particularly stressful time.  

This is common and doesn’t reflect a failure or malfunction of the grieving process.

Complicated grief:  is a lasting form of grief with complicating features that can hinder the restructuring process necessary for integrated grief.  The term ‘complicated’ is used because grief is thought to be a natural healing process and like with other healing processes, there can be complications that mean it is not completed as intended.  Complicated grief is very similar to acute grief, however, it can go on for years without the intensity of the experience decreasing.