Discuss the psychological and physical effects of loss and grief. How might an ethical therapist incorporate this knowledge into his/her work?
Loss and grief affect each individual differently, the variety of emotions that a person can experience whilst in grief is enormous. Loss of the relationship, guilt and anger over the absence of a relationship, loss of a role model or leader affects people as they try to make sense of and accept what has happened and continue their lives without the loved one. This essay endeavours to explore the psychological and physical effects of grief and how knowledge of these influences the work of a therapist. It will also explore the theories surrounding attachment and loss to bring an understanding of
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There are a number of reasons why this might happen: 1. Ambivalent relationships with unexpressed hostility can lead to an inability to grieve due to the feelings of anger and guilt that the bereaved person may feel. Death of a person with which the bereaved shared an abusive relationship can open old wounds. 2. Past complicated grief reactions predispose a person to a subsequent complicated grief reaction. 3. The personality may not be able to tolerate extreme emotional distress and may close off to their feelings, leading to an inability to deal with their grief. 4. Social factors that make it difficult to obtain support. Lazare (1979) proposed three situations in which this might happen. If the loss is ‘socially unspeakable’; an example being suicide, the loss is socially negated; such as abortion and the absence of a support network. 5. The circumstances of the loss make it difficult for grief to be worked through; no remains of the deceased, multiple losses or uncertain loss.
Complicated grief can present itself in four different ways. The chronic grief reaction is one that is excessive in duration and is stuck in a stage of the grief process, never reaching a conclusion. In therapy, the client would need to ascertain where in the process they are stuck before they can resolve and move forwards.
The delayed grief reaction is one of suppression. The loss is emotionally experienced at the time