Experiencing a painful loss is one of the most emotionally challenging events in life. There are many different and normal reactions to grief; the problem comes when these reactions do not get better with time or become overwhelming. Signs it may be time to seek help include increased social isolation, prolonged emotional numbness, fear of forming new relationships, and/or inability to continue the necessities of everyday life. Sometimes grief may turn into serious depression, evidenced by feelings of hopelessness or even thoughts of self-harm. If you are having an acute crisis, please call 911.
How can therapy help?
An experienced therapist will use a variety of methods to help the bereaved come to peace with their loss and move forward. Talk therapy can help manage emotional symptoms of grief, as well as assist the patient in identifying and coping with any guilt or feelings around unresolved issues with the deceased. If the person experiencing grief has associated trauma or is experiencing PTSD symptoms, other techniques like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) have proven to be useful in the healing process.