After the Storm, There Is the Calm: An Analysis of the Bereavement Process

After the Storm, There Is the Calm: An Analysis of the Bereavement Process

After the Storm, There Is the Calm: An Analysis of the Bereavement Process

After the Storm, There Is the Calm: An Analysis of the Bereavement Process

Excerpt

Most families can and do cope with bereavement without any professional intervention. However, over the past twenty years, health professionals have reported that referrals of psychological symptoms and physical complaints related to a loss are becoming more commonplace. Additionally, it is no longer atypical for individuals to seek the services of professionals while acutely grieving a recent loss. In my practice ten to fifteen percent of new clients receive bereavement counselling in any given year, and this number is likely to increase with the rising rates of homicide and suicide.

Many bereaved clients do not associate their present behaviours and concerns with their loss and therefore are unaware that they need grief counselling. One of my early cases was of a woman in her late thirties who had undergone exploratory surgery on her stomach three times. The doctors could find no physical cause for her symptoms. This woman's father had died of cancer of the stomach over a decade ago. After the third operation her general practitioner referred her for psychological counselling.

Other examples include the case of a young man in his early thirties, who had not practised setting any goals in his adult life because he believed he did not have a right to be happy. He had dropped out of college, had a history of short‐ lived relation-ships and marriages, and generally had poor interpersonal skills. In addition to other significant losses in . . .

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