Bereavement, or grief, is a response to loss. While it is traditionally centred on emotional responses, it also includes physical, cognitive, behavioural and social elements. While bereavement and grief are used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss while grief is the reaction to that loss. Bereavement counselling can help the person going through the bereavement process to deal with the situation and come to an understanding of the situation.
Losses can range from the death of a family member, close friend or a pet to loss of employment, status, order or personal possessions. As such, responses to loss will vary. Traditionally, the 'grief cycle' is a theory which suggests that people go through a series of responses to losses in four predictable stages:
The Priory are here to support you-
If you have experienced loss, you may find that this model is too simplistic. Our highly skilled and sensitive bereavement counsellors and therapists at the Priory believe that there is a huge range of responses to bereavement. These responses are influenced by your personality, as well as family and close support networks, cultural surroundings and religious beliefs.
Complicated grief occurs in response to a sudden shock – such as the unexpected death of a loved one. You may find it difficult to explain and to understand your loss, and as such struggle to come to terms with the reality of the loss. Complicated grief can last for many years and can worsen one or two years after the initial loss, as you become less able to release your grief and it becomes part of your identity. Priory's bereavement support services include a range of treatments and bereavement counselling.
What are the symptoms of bereavement?-
If you are struggling to cope with bereavement, you are more likely to experience stress related illnesses, including one or more of the following psychological and physical symptoms:
- Sleep disorders
- Difficulties in breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Dryness of mouth
You may also experience hallucinatory episodes in the early stages of your grief.
Bereavement Support: How the Priory can help-
Bereavement can affect you in different ways, according to the nature of your loss as well as your age when the loss occurs. At the Priory, our team of bereavement counsellors and therapists will work with you to understand the nature of your loss, so that an effective and personalised treatment plan can be developed for you to assist you in coping with your grief.
The type and length of bereavement support that you will require will depend on your individual circumstances and the severity of your condition. We offer a range of outpatient options as well as a more structured bereavement support approach which can include an inpatient stay at one of the Priory hospitals for the duration of your treatment. This will enable you to take part in a psychological group therapy programme as well as regular sessions with a specialist consultant.