Loss is, unfortunately, something most of us will experience at some point in this life. The typical reaction to loss is grief, but a much stronger form of grief, called bereavement, happens when we lose someone close to us, such as a parent. Bereavement can encompass a lot of feelings ranging from sadness to anger, anxiety or remorse.
The way a person adapts to the death of a parent can vary tremendously, and so is the spectre of emotions they feel. If you find it confusing to cope with these feelings or need someone to talk to, the UK Therapy Guide can assist you in finding a specialised counsellor to help you get through the loss of a loved one.
How do I know I need a therapist?
The loss of a parent can trigger different emotions, as the way we experience grief varies from person to person. Some people may seem strong and stoic, trying to minimise emotional expression and focus on seeking distractions to help them get over these feelings. This is called instrumental grieving. Others experience what is called intuitive grieving, which is based on diving into their feelings, leading to a heightened emotional experience.
There is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a parent, but sometimes we need additional support to help us acknowledge those feelings and move forward.
If you are experiencing any of the following, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a therapist:
- Physical changes, such as loss of appetite, troubled sleep, unexplained illnesses or aches
- Intensified feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
- Avoiding people, places or things that remind you of your parent
- Addictive behaviours such as drinking, gambling or using intoxicating substances
- Trouble adjusting to the fact that your parent is dead
- Constantly seeking places or tokens that remind you of the departed
- Withdrawing from social situations
- A constant reliving of the events
How can therapy help me handle the loss of a parent?
Because grief is such a challenging experience, it may seem easier to avoid these feelings and never confront them. However, by acting like everything is alright, we do nothing but prolong those feelings and never truly allow ourselves to move on and recover. A specialised grief therapist, such as the ones you can find on UK Therapy Guide, can help you work through the process and make peace with the situation.
Counselling can help you identify the emotions connected to your grief, understand how they alter your everyday life and ultimately cope with the loss, so that you can start living independently.
For some people, symptoms of grief last for a very long time, experiencing what experts call complicated grief, which is usually treated using either Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Complicated Grief Treatment.
Ultimately, a professional counsellor will help the client discuss the death of their parent, accept the feelings that come with such events, take care of themselves and celebrate the life of the one they lost, instead of focusing on the loss itself.
If you would like us to put you in touch with a specialised therapist that can help overcome the death of a parent, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will do our utmost best to identify a counsellor that is suited for you.