The Journey Of Coping With Loss

Woman sitting at the end of a dock looking off into the distance

Loss is a part of life. Friends move away. Loved ones pass on. Pets die. We will leave schools, change jobs, or perhaps experience a broken marriage. All of these events are difficult to deal with. At times, they can be devastating. 

Coping with a loss is a process – a journey. Like any journey, it begins with taking that first step. Then you take another. Before you know it, you are on your way toward healing. Let’s talk about the journey of coping with loss.

What Are Some Helpful Hints For Managing Loss In Life?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” plan that will help everyone cope with loss in the same way. Here are several helpful hints that can soften the blow of loss and promote the healing of emotional pain.

  • Face your loss instead of ignoring or denying it. Avoid self-medication with alcohol and other drugs or escaping through oversleeping, excessive internet use, or other maladaptive habits. These habits leave you vulnerable to addiction or depression.
  • Share your pain with other people. Sharing with others is crucial. Talking about our feelings helps us process loss and allows us to come to terms with it more quickly than if we keep our feelings bottled up. 
  • Remind yourself of what you still have and all that is good and meaningful in your life. Take an inventory of your blessings and the various parts of your life for which you can feel genuine gratitude. This step helps you to refocus your mind on what you have rather than dwelling on what you have lost.
  • Keep busy with enjoyable activities. Not only will this assist you in moving toward acceptance of the loss, but it will also help to ward off deepening sadness due to the process called “behavioral activation,” which has been shown to treat depression effectively.

Can Therapy Help Me Cope With My Loss?

Having a few sessions with a qualified therapist can be very helpful in coming to terms and making peace with loss without the risk of unhealthy overthinking or taxing your family and friends.

Here are some ways therapy can help you cope with loss:

  • Talk Therapy. One of the primary goals of therapy is to address the problem or problems that are overwhelming to a person. 
  • Your therapist can help you understand the stages of grief:
    • shock and denial
    • pain and guilt
    • anger and bargaining
    • depression
    • the upward turn
    • reconstruction and working through
    • acceptance and hope
  • Seeking therapy after a loss can help you overcome anxiety and depression by processing your experience at your own pace. Your mental health expert may utilize a different approach to help patients tackle grief, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) are two methods they may use. 

Here at John Nichols Psychotherapy, I’m here to help you with depression and any other challenges you face. I offer therapy for individuals, couples, and teens. If you’re ready to do the work, I’m prepared to help you get where you want to go.   

Book a consultation today!

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