Grief and Loss

Grief is a natural response to loss of a person, place or object which an individual has developed a significant attachment to. Whilst grief is traditionally thought of occurring with the loss of a loved one it can also occur after a wider range of events.

Common events which lead to grief include:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Loss of a pet
  • The loss of sense or safety or predictability in a person’s world
  • Loss of employment
  • Physical incapacity

Grief can influence the physical, emotional, behavioural, cognitive and spiritual aspects of an individual’s life. Grief can be an overwhelming feeling that can feel like it is taking over your entire life. Every person will respond differently to grief.

Some of the common ways which grief can present include:

  • Sadness
  • Confusion
  • Helplessness
  • Shock and disbelief
  • Denial
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Fear
  • Changes to sleeping patterns
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Preoccupied thoughts about the loss
  • Anxiety about the future

Some people who experience grief might find it helpful to talk openly about their experience and their feelings, others might prefer time alone to process what has happened. In most cases, after experiencing a loss, grief does lessen over time as an individual learns to cope with their loss, however can still be significantly felt a long time after the loss has occurred. You may still experience feelings of grief, months or years after the loss was experienced. These feelings might be consistent, or you may go long periods without having felt grief.

There is no right or wrong way to experience grief. There are no standard time-frames in which you might expect grief to resolve, each person will learn to cope with their loss differently.

Getting help

If you have suffered from a loss and are finding you are having some difficulties in coping, seeing a psychologist can help you to adjust to this change and work towards living a meaningful life after loss. A psychologist can help you by listening to your story, understanding you and your loss and what this has meant for you and can help you to find ways to cope through the grieving period.

If you would like support to cope with your loss and feelings of grief you can contact us at Strategic Psychology via phone, email or drop in to our office to arrange to meet with one of our trained psychologists for a confidential discussion.

No referral is needed to make an appointment. However, you can arrange for an appointment with your GP to discuss your mental health and the support which can be available through Medicare to access treatment services. If you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan, your GP can provide this to you to bring along to your session which will allow you to access a rebate through Medicare.

wooden bridge leading to empty path representing grief