Grief & Trauma Counselling

Grief is most simply defined as the reaction to loss – whatever that reaction happens to be (Judith Murray, Understanding Loss 2016: 8).

Grief is most simply defined as the reaction to loss – whatever that reaction happens to be (Judith Murray, Understanding Loss 2016: 8).

Loss has always been part of change. Hence loss is an integral part of understanding all adverse life events. Grief, as a reaction to loss, can manifest itself in many ways in a person: physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually. Mourning in the situation of bereavement, and grieving in other losses, represent the internal process of moving from a state of distress and disorganization to one of being able to live in a changed world with some sense of a valued quality of life (J. Murray,  2016: 11,12).

People differ in the way that they handle their grief. Counselling can assist a person going through the journey of grief associated with whatever loss they have experienced.

Trauma refers to the body or the mind being overwhelmed by traumatic events…..There are different severities of psychological trauma, some symptoms are mild and may go away with time, while others can be more severe (such as PTSD) and will require professional treatment. There are three common elements with trauma. It was unexpected, the person was unprepared and there was nothing the person could do to prevent it from happening.  There are a number of causes of trauma such as: abuse, accidents, brain injury, catastrophic events, physical injury, terminal illness, violence among other causes. Common symptoms of psychological trauma include: flashbacks, insomnia, anxiety, stress, anger, depression, hyper-vigilance, loss of self-esteem, self-medication and emotional detachment.

Counselling gives you the best chance to overcome any issues and move on with your life. It is important for you to seek help if any of the following apply to you:

You are unable to function in day-to-day life, you are unable to form or maintain relationships, you are self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol, you are experiencing severe flashbacks, you feel emotionally numb, you are suffering from an anxiety/stress disorder due to trauma.

This is general advice to trauma sufferers:

Don’t isolate yourself, ask for help, participate in social activities, volunteer to help others, stick to a daily routine, acknowledge feelings as they occur, look after yourself, avoid alcohol and drugs, and learn relaxation techniques (Counselling Directory on Trauma from the UK) .