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Mourning and Loss

While we often associate grief with the loss of a loved one, other major life events can also cause grief. Major life events include death of a loved one, divorce, moving, major illness or injury, and major financial losses including job loss and financial hardship. Any of these major events can cause an emotional crisis and stress which can manifest as physical issues and affect our long-term wellbeing.

Grief is a natural and inevitable consequence of loss. Grief is the process of letting go and learning to accept and live with the loss. Grief is expressed as mental, social, emotional and physical stress. The wide range of emotions you may feel are a normal part of the grieving process. Uncomplicated grief can last for a year or two.

Emotional reactions may include denial, disbelief, confusion, shock, sadness, longing, anger, despair, guilt, and bargaining. Mental reactions can include difficulty concentrating and making decisions, loss of hope about the future, and confusion. Physical reactions include changes in appetite, sleep, physical problems and illness. Other symptoms of grief may include a sense of emptiness or the absence of meaning in life, problems with trusting, problems accepting the loss (denial), loss of identity. Grief can evolve into depression.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone experiences grief in their own way. It is important to allow yourself to grieve. You can resolve grief with acceptance and discover a renewed sense of meaning and purpose with a lot of emotional support.

What you think and feel after a major life event is grief. Mourning is the outward expression of your grief. It is often expressed as part of a tradition or culture.

What is bereavement?

Bereavement is defined as a normal period of grief and mourning with intense sadness and loneliness at the loss; the loss of a family member, friend, or over the loss of a spouse in divorce. It is a period of mourning and grief and mourning are part of the bereavement process.

What is prolonged grief?

While most of us adapt to our loss, it is estimated that between 2% and 10% of the population have difficulties in the grieving process. Prolonged grief can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

What is complicated grief?

Uncomplicated grief can last for a year or two. Some people get stuck and are unable to resolve their grief. Unresolved grief is called complicated grief, a condition that makes it difficult for the survivor to adapt to the loss.  About 10% of people experience complicated grief.

Your consultation

Before beginning treatment one of our clinical psychologists will conduct a complimentary initial consultation with you. The goal of the initial consultation is to get a better understanding of you, your history with what brings you to therapy, and what your needs are in therapy. We feel the fit between client and psychologist is extremely important, and the consultation is a great start for you to get a feel for Healthymynds and if we are a fit for your needs. Our goal is to work with you in a safe and supportive environment where you can explore your thoughts and feelings and work toward flourishing.

When you and or your family is grieving a loss and having difficulty processing the loss and moving forward with your life, grief counseling can help you move through the grieving process. Contact Healthymynds in Redondo Beach to schedule a complimentary consultation to harness your ability to heal and create a meaningful life after loss.

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