Grief, Bereavement and Loss
Grief and bereavement are emotional states that are experienced over the course of one’s life and are associated with loss. Most commonly, we think of the loss as the death of a loved one, but loss can take many forms….loss of health, illness, economic status, breakups, death of a beloved pet, loss of self-esteem. There are losses associated with developmental and maturational life stages which are quite expected and normal but meaningful nonetheless. The reality of aging is filled with loss. Understanding the grief and mourning process that accompanies loss is an important aspect of therapy. Grief nearly always entails psychic pain, challenges in coping, irritation, sadness and rumination. Grieving individuals experience an acute sense of vulnerability and often helplessness. In fact, grief often looks a lot like clinical depression. How do we make the distinction? When do we think about intervening with medication? A trained clinician with the experience and knowledge to make these determinations needs to be consulted to answer these questions. There are also a number of different important models of understanding the grief process. Perhaps the best known of these is the work of Kubler Ross. This has several applications but must not be rigidly adhered to, rather understood as a framework for understanding a profound human experience.
Grief Counseling around a loss can be an extremely helpful and valuable form of treatment. Both individual and group therapies have been demonstrated to be enormously helpful to grieving individuals as they prepare to face an imminent loss or cope with a recent loss. If you are struggling with symptoms of persistent grief and are unsure if your experience is becoming a depressive episode, you may want to consider contacting Barry J. Richman MD for an appointment by calling or booking an appointment using the online tool.