Grief and loss can have profound effects on our life. Overnight it can seem that our life has been turned up-side down. We can feel trapped in our sadness while the world around us looks unchanged. This can lead to feeling that other’s do not understand. We may not even understand ourselves anymore. Our emotions and behaviour may appear very erratic. There can also be unhelpful advice on how to cope and “move on”, further accentuating feelings of isolation and despair.
Grief and loss can result from an infinite array of circumstances. Some circumstances we may have had time to try and prepare for while others can be sudden. Sometimes we are surprised that we feel a sense of loss over something we chose to change for example, a career or ending a friendship.
The most widely discussed forms of grief and loss are bereavement and relationship and/or family breakdown. These experiences result in profound changes in someone’s life. These changes can be difficult to cope with and accept.
Sometimes grief and loss is cumulative, such that multiple significant losses over one’s life create a compounded grief response. Alternatively, we can experience multiple losses over a short period of time leaving us feeling shocked, overwhelmed and unable to process the losses as individual events. During these times we may not have a chance to grieve. Dealing with life circumstances, financial strain and family disarray are just a few reasons for why we may unknowing delay dealing with our grief. Delayed grieving can result in signs of grief leaking through into our lives in unwanted and unpredictable ways, this can occur months or years after the initial loss. Another sign of complicated grief is an inability to access feelings and clear memories about the lost person or object of loss.
Grief is very different to depression. However, they can co-occur especially if the circumstances of the loss are traumatic and/or one lacks sufficient social support, and is overwhelmed dealing with the repercussions of the loss. It is also common to experience anxiety, panic, and anger while grieving.
Counselling can provide assistance with all the scenarios mentioned above. Counselling can support you in dealing with overwhelming emotions, find a way to understand the loss, integrate it into your life, and restructure and promote a sense of a future.
We prioritise the use of effective psychological therapies in the context of a quality therapeutic relationship. The relationship between you and the therapist involves being supported in an alliance focused on your healing and growth. The therapeutic relationship allows for the direct experience of a healthy relationship that promotes self-inquiry and exploration in a non-judgmental manner. The therapeutic relationship promotes self-understanding and relationship skills such as healthy boundary setting, assertion, self-esteem, and the capacity to give and receive care, while addressing the specific issues you wish to resolve. At Integrative Psychology we provide counseling services for a wide range of issues including but not limited to:
Couples counselling can address a range of relationship issues to determine whether to stay and repair and enhance a relationship or separate amicably. Specific examples of issues addressed in couples counselling include:
Family counselling (otherwise known as Family Therapy) involves a number of family members together attending counselling to address a range of issues, which can often be long standing. Family therapy can be directed at assisting a family to clarify and better manage relationships amongst family members as well as assisting families in dealing with major changes or distressing circumstances or events, such as grief and loss or mental or physical illness. Dealing with past family based trauma can also be a focus. As with all therapies a counsellor is there to assist the individual, couple or family to gain their own clarity about a situation and develop better ways of managing that situation. The counsellor is not there to guide the individual or family members toward values or beliefs personally held by the counsellor. Counselling is non-judgemental and respectful at all times. At Integrative Psychology our therapists are trained in a variety of approaches to assist with a range of relationships.
Group therapy can be a very effective way of overcoming feelings of isolation and hopelessness while facilitating change in a relatively short duration of time. Group therapy can differ according to length, size of group and criteria for inclusion. Groups may also differ in the degree of group participation required; generally therapeutic groups require greater group participation than psycho-education seminars and workshops. If you have any concerns about group participation please discuss these with the nominated contact person for the group you are considering, prior to registering for that group program. Group programs available at Integrative Psychology: