Grief and Bereavement

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Corporate TrainingCounselling & Psychotherapy

‘’Grief Counselling & Bereavement’’

Almost everyone will experience bereavement at some time in his or her life, and the associated grief will be different for each individual and each loss.

Lecturer: Mr. Chris McNally Word Count: 2000
Submission Date: 24th May 2010

Introduction
In the beginning of this assignment I will firstly endeavour to explain the varying presenting issues of clients experiencing grief. I will illustrate how these issues should be tackled and I hope to compare and contrast the varying approaches counsellors feel to be the most effective in counselling such clients. Throughout my essay I will include many references to respected psychiatrists and too many case studies. I aim to give the reader a clear, concise understanding of bereavement and the disadvantages and advantages involved in counselling bereaved clients. The definition of grief is ‘’the normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death), social (such as divorce), or occupational (such as a job)’’. Bereavement: ‘’The period after a loss during which grief is experienced and mourning occurs. The time spent in a period of bereavement depends on how attached the person was to the person who died, and how much time was spent anticipating the loss’’.

Presenting Issues
Bereavement and the associated grief will be different for each individual. The different stages in the grieving process include denial, anger, bargaining, finally letting go of the relationship and acceptance. Grief can cause many reactions in a person’s physical and mental state. The client may experience feelings of being emotionally drained, weight loss can occur, depression, helplessness, guilt and a complete lack of interest in your job, appearance and general day to day running of things. Denial is the first stage in which the client denies the reality of the situation, instead choosing to believe that it actually did not happen. The client experiences shock, numbness and complete denial of any feelings. Certain Behaviours also manifest such as the client becoming depressed, immobilization, and not displaying and emotions. Anger develops as the client begins to battle with the acceptance that the relationship is now over. Many feelings such as guilt and ambivalence are experienced. The client’s mood fluctuates and he/she may lash out at the people around them. The client panics and fear begins to set in that the relationship they once had has now ended. Krupp said: ‘’At times mourners seem to be under the influence of reality and behave as though they fully accept that the deceased is gone; at other times they behave irrationally, under the sway of the fantasy of eventual reunion. Anger directed at the lost love object, the self, others believed to have caused the loss, and even at benevolent well wishers who remind the mourner of the reality of the loss is a ubiquitous feature’’. (Krupp et al., 1986, p.345) Bargaining occurs when the client begins to fight with the reality of the situation, the feeling of ‘’has this really happened’’ and ‘’why did this happen’’ plays on the client’s mind. The client is reluctant to let go, and bargains with reality. The client fears the future and feels they cannot move on without the person they have now lost. The client begins to finally let go of the relationship, the acceptance of reality now can affect the client’s mental state, this intern causes the client to become depressed and experience feelings of loneliness. Acceptance of the bereavement helps the client to move on with their lives, they now have the freedom to experience the emotional pain, they feel more ready to start new things develop new friendships and relationships.

Normal Grieving and ineffective grieving
Normal grief can be found in clients that have successfully accepted the reality of the death and have effectively moved on with their lives. The...
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