By Patricia Pan
08 February 2011
Loss and Ending is not only referred to grief and bereavement, It involves in all aspects of the loss of attachments we encounter in life such as relationship, health, wealth, faith, statue and so on. This essay explores the major aspects concerning loss and ending. It explains the two different models of loss and their components, the implications of loss and ending in actual counselling relationship, the different types of the ending of the counselling relationship and their impacts on the client, the counsellor as well as the counselling relationship itself, the importance of the appropriate handling of the ending that respects the client’s autonomy and finally, a reflection of my own personal experience relating to loss and ending.
Two different Models of Loss and their components:
Model one: John Bowlby’s model
First stage: Loss
Second stage: searching. This may involve searching for the person who has died, a new identity for the bereaved person or a new means of survival. Changes of thinking and self-concept take place even if the search is not successful. Third stage: re-finding. Enters a period of action as if what has been lost, or a substitute, has been found. Four stage: Re-loss: Realisation that what has been lost has not been found, denial of consequences of having experienced loss, withdrawal from the reality of the situation, depression and physical illness, feeling of helpless and helpless behaviour, loss of emotion and action, hostility (especially to others in family or those trying to help and befriend), development of grief and atonement feelings perhaps leading to obsessive behaviours. Fifth stage: Awareness. Develop new thinking processes and feelings, which help them to cope with the situation. Learning, awareness and searching become positive and productive. Six stage: Burial. Comes to terms with the loss and experiences endured, feels better able to cope and to help others cope with the situation, better able to maintain, develop and initiate relationships whilst at the same time coping with the situation.
Model two: Leick and Davidsen-Nielsen
Leick and Davidsen-Nielsen, in their book Healing pain conclude that the bereaved person, in order to have the pain healed, has to go through four painful process, ‘ if this work is inhibited, the grief cannot be resolved, and so develops pathologically. Pathological grief can be divided into three different types: delayed grief, avoided grief and chronic grief. (Leick and Davidsen-Nielsen, Healing pain) First task; accepting the loss is reality
It is practical to divide this recognition into two phases. First comes to intellectual realization of the loss, and then the emotion realization, which is on a deeper level and contains the recognition that the loss is irrevocable. ‘ In cases of sudden or violent events a person may receive a shock. They may then react by denying that the event has occurred, may laugh aloud or in some other way distance themselves from the situation. (Leick and Davidsen-Nielsen, Healing pain) Second task: Entering the emotion of grief
The bereaved person is full of despair, fear, feelings of being abandoned, loneliness and perhaps guilt and shame. There may also be violent anger: anger against fate, against God or against the deceased. The person’s soul has been shaken. The main task of grief therapy is to work on letting the bereaved person’s grief released in a safe and supportive environment. Third task: Contact one’s network and acquiring new skills The grief person gets to contact with people, utilising his/her network and in accomplishing practical skills. ‘ If someone succeeds in the third task, there are good chances of personal growth. Fourth task: Reinvesting emotional energy. It is to be able to achieve the final farewell so as to be ready to make other attachments again. It is to be able to reinvest one’s emotional energy in new...