Grief can result from any type of significant loss, whether it is a person, pet, relationship, job, health, or something else that is important to you. Grief is a natural reaction to such losses, and emotions such as shock, guilt, sadness, and anger are normal. Some of the symptoms that might occur are fatigue, a change in appetite, feeling disorganized, and having difficulty concentrating. The grieving process is a necessary occurrence, as it allows a person to express emotions and thoughts about the loss and to face the changes that have occurred.
In my work counselling clients who are grieving, I help them to develop coping strategies to manage the pain and emotions that they are experiencing. When grief is expressed in a healthy manner, healing can occur and moving forward becomes a realistic goal.
Each person grieves in his or her own way. When counselling those who are grieving, I assist people to allow the process to unfold as it naturally should, and to express emotions in a meaningful way. Experience of the grieving process takes time and patience. In treating clients and helping them through this process, I work with each person in whichever way suits them best.
The five stages of grief developed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1969) include the following:
Although these stages appear in order, not everyone goes through each stage. A person may go back and forth amongst the stages, or skip certain stages altogether. As such, the process for every person is unique and individual.