We all tend to handle grief differently, although there are some common feelings and challenges in the grieving process that have been identified through extensive research. While we each have unique emotional experiences, there are common feelings including sadness, anger, shock, guilt, outrage and disbelief. Talking to and getting support from family and friends are very helpful parts of the healing process. As social beings we have tools for resiliency and healing, which often occurs naturally over time when there’s support and a comfortable environment in which to recover.
When grief is complicated by trauma, multiple losses, and barriers to mourning – time to grieve and/ or a lack of support – the healing process may become prolonged or stalled. Therapy can help you feel less alone and more empowered when you’re faced with changes and losses. And therapy can help you find new balance and meaning in your life.
After exposure to death, a life threatening situation, serious injury, or violence, most of us tend to experience some emotional turmoil, fear, nervousness, rumination about what happened, and sleep disturbance. Over time these symptoms tend to diminish and we get back to regular activities with our full capacity to function. When these symptoms don’t resolve, however, they can get in the way of health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur.
Sometimes PTSD can set in after repeated or prolonged threats, such as ongoing abuse or traumatic exposure through wartime. It may also effect those in occupations where life threatening or violent events are common.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Exposure Therapy, and tools for relaxation are some of the effective approaches that are commonly used. We’ll draw on these tools to help you find a sense of safety, greater control, and coping skills for getting you back to your healthy sense of self.
Talking about the traumatic event can be re-traumatizing. We’ll focus more on how you’re coping today rather than dredging up painful memories.