More Grief Psychology: Loss, Change and Control

Again, from Psychologist Sue Morris’ “The psychology of grief — applying cognitive and behaviour therapy principles”:

Loss, change and control

Loss, change and control are three of the major psychological components of grief. When somebody dies we naturally focus on ‘who’ died. But with any death comes the loss of so many other things. These other losses can range from practical roles such as the financial advisor or social director, to the person who represented the hopes and dreams for the future. Helping bereaved people identify what they have lost is an important step, as each loss needs to be addressed as a part of the grieving process. Change is an inevitable consequence of loss, and how much change individuals have to navigate tends to correlate with how much their lives overlapped with their loved one. Learning to adapt to these changes takes time and effort as it requires the bereaved to try new things. Finally, the concept of control plays a central role in the cognitive interpretation of grief. When somebody dies the bereaved have little or no control over the circumstances surrounding the death. They can feel overwhelmed by their grief and unsure about what to do to help themselves at a time when they feel especially vulnerable and alone.

What role did the loved one you are grieving play in your life?  How is this affecting the way you are grieving?

About Rebecca Hensler

Rebecca Hensler founded Grief Beyond Belief in 2011, following the death of her infant son Jude. She runs Grief Beyond Belief from her home and continues to write and speak on the topics of grief without faith and secular grief support.

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