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Embracing Change: Navigating the Depths of Loss and Moving Forward

Most people will experience a number of losses during their lifetime. There are many types of loss—loss that comes through the death of a loved one, loss of a relationship, or the loss of functioning that can result from an injury, accident, or even chronic pain. Loss is inevitable. Changing your job, being laid off, or even being promoted at work can result in a number of losses.

For psychologists and psychotherapists, any one of these events can result in a number of losses – a loss of confidence or self-worth, a loss of relationships, and a loss of activities that you once enjoyed. Even the end of an unsatisfying relationship, which may bring a degree of relief, can be a profound loss by virtue of the time that you spent with that person, the activities and possessions that you shared, or the friendships that you had in common, none of which may not survive the end of that relationship.

Loss is something that few people ever learn how to talk about, even though it will be something you deal with throughout your life. Most losses have far-reaching effects which you may not fully realize or even understand.

Dealing with loss, no matter what kind of loss or how seemingly big (or small) that loss is, will be difficult and will take time. However, most people do learn how to adapt to and manage their loss and eventually adapt. There is no timeline on how long it takes to grieve or adapt to a loss.

Processing a loss, no matter how big or small, often starts with (a) learning how to express the wide range of feelings that often accompany a loss, everything from sadness and fear to anger and relief, (b) understanding what psychological needs and roles have been affected, and (c) identifying the hurdles that may keep you from expressing your feelings (e.g., worrying that you are burdening others, believing that you are weak and should have moved on, or feeling ashamed for enjoying something while you are mourning).

Psychologists and psychotherapists with specialized training can help you understand and overcome your loss in a manner that is compassionate and helpful. We have interventions that were specifically designed to help you deal with different types of loss—losses that come with the death of a loved one, losses that come with any kind of transition or injury, and losses that arise from a breakup, a relationship that is no longer fulfilling or just growing apart.



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