If you are suffering after an important loss, we are here to support you. 

 

The first thing to be aware of is that grief and depression often look similar, and frequently go hand in hand.

 

Your experience of grief may manifest as a physical, social, or emotional reaction. You might be having strong feelings of anger, guilt, anxiety, or despair. We are here to help you make sense of your feelings, and find ways to grieve your loss meaningfully and patiently, while also supporting you in getting back to your normal self, and your life.

The feelings of grief and loss are not limited to the experience of death. Grief from loss can occur from a breakup, a divorce, rehoming of a pet, or of a physical or mental ability, job, or home.

 

The experience of loss often involves a lot of change, and change can be uncomfortable and scary. One of our goals is to help you adapt to these changes and redefine what your life will look like going forward.  

Change can prompt feelings and reactions that you didn’t know you were capable of. We will provide a safe place for you to discuss these feelings and validate that there is no “wrong way” to grieve. We will also provide you with resources and practical tools to help you cope with the overall impact of the loss in your life and the uncomfortable feelings of depression, anxiety, anger etc.

The step-by-step approach we will take together:

In the beginning of our work together we will be assessing your overall functioning. We will likely discuss what life was like before your loss, and identify what areas of your life have been directly and indirectly impacted as a result.

The next step is to make a plan for treatment together. Grief and depression can often interfere with your ability to meet your basic needs (physiological and safety), which can have a negative ripple effect on your relationships with others, as well as on your self-confidence. We begin by creating a plan based on how severely your symptoms are impacting your daily life. We begin by addressing basic needs and building goals around meeting those needs.

Our goals for your therapy with us:

  1. Restore healthy functioning in thoughts, perceptions and beliefs

  2. Restore healthy functioning in ability and behavior

To meet these goals, we may assign homework to attempt between sessions, and then act as an accountability resource for this homework. This homework will likely include using coping skills we have discussed in session together. We often provide you with a few options for homework assignments, and let you to choose the one that seems both doable and  still somewhat challenging.

In session together, we will discuss how the loss or depression has affected your thoughts and perceptions about yourself, the world and how can function in it. We will work to challenge thoughts and perceptions that may have been negatively skewed by your experience. Examples of these may be:

“The whole world is unsafe.”

“Everyone is out to get me.”

“I will never feel normal/like myself again.”

“I’m not worthy of….”

“I need this (unhealthy habit) to escape how I feel every day.”

As we go along, we will continue to acknowledge and celebrate your successes as well as re-evaluate what parts of treatment are helpful, and what parts of treatment need fine tuning to better meet your needs.  Together we will get you back to living the life you deserve.