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Psychotherapy and Grief

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

I once had a teacher who told me that life itself is a grieving process. It has been reviewed by many authors in psychotherapy that most of the clinical psychopathologies that exists are related in some way to a pathological grief.

But what makes a grieving process pathological?

People sometimes ask me in sessions how to make the pain go away when they are in a grieving process. I think this can be an essential question: I strongly believe that the most healthy way of dealing with this pain is precisely the opposite: make the pain stay with us in order not to avoid it, but to express it, feel it and validate it. Only by doing this, we can really understand how this loss has affected us and even change us. Only then we can elaborate and process what happened depending on how this loss mean to us, the relationship and emotional dependence with what we loss, the degree of ambivalent feelings towards it and the sense of hope or dispair that results from the process.

To work our own morning process is to start elaborating the difficult tasks of accepting the reality that this loss left. The denial, as part of the grieving process, can be more or less intense. I think that the more we denial (not only the external but also our internal reality) the more difficulties we will have to overcome our loss.

That is why is so important to develop ways to work on our emotions and pain. To experience the emotional suffering (such as denial, anger, sadness, depression), manage to adapt to an environment in wich what we loss is no longer there and be able to emotionally relocate our loss in order to continue with our lives are task that are crucial to care for our mental health and sometimes can even lead us into growing experiences that can deeply change us.

Psychotherapy offers you the possibility of creating a secure, profound and intimate space where you can start working your losses. I witnessed so many times that when we don't do this, the experience of loss amplifies in your life until you can even loss yourself in it... Your own light can be turned off.

In my "Sharing in Psychodrama" section, you will find some others reflections about this topic in the video "CEP3: Sobre nuestros duelos y pérdidas" you can always turn on the English subtitles in configuration: subtitles: English.

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