Bereavement therapy refers to the form of psychotherapy which aims to help a person cope and overcome loss, primarily a loved one, in a healthy way.
since the death of someone we love this is one of the most devastating experiences that we can suffer, and this is one of the biggest challenges that a person faces throughout their life, there are many men and women who need the help of professional psychologists who specialize in this field.
Getting over the death of a loved one is a slow process
Statistics show that every year in Spain around one and a half million people suffer the loss of a loved one. This painful process, which can lead someone to an existential crisis, takes a longer or shorter time for emotional balance to be restored.
Although many people suffer and complete the process, around 10% to 20% they may experience what is called complicated or pathological grief: Six months after death, the individual fails to overcome the grieving process. This disrupts the normal functioning of your life and behavioral, cognitive and affective disorders appear.
Typical feelings experienced by individuals in a duel, And treated by psychologists and psychotherapists specializing in this type of therapy, include sadness, anxiety, anger, loneliness, guilt, isolation or confusion. Likewise, changes at the cognitive, emotional and behavioral levels also include feelings of disorganization and fatigue, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, nightmares, or constant thoughts about the deceased.
The goal of bereavement therapy
The goal of bereavement therapy is to help restore emotional balance to patients through the process of psychological counseling in which feelings, thoughts and memories associated with the loss of a loved one are worked on. While grief can also occur for other types of loss (such as the loss of vital goals, ideals, and relationships), this therapy is usually geared toward a positive adjustment after the death of a loved one.
Grief therapy enables the patient to understand and recognize normal aspects of the grieving process, helps them cope with the pain associated with loss, and to feel supported at such a delicate moment and important changes in their life and to develop strategies to overcome this situation in a healthy way.
In other words, grief therapy facilitates the subject’s emotional expression about the loss, acceptance of this traumatic fact, Adjusting to life after such a painful situation and helping you cope with the changes in yourself and the environment around you after what happened.
Why psychological help is so important
To some extent, it is normal that after the death of a loved one, people suffer from a tremendous sense of emptiness, pain and confusion. however, when these negative reactions last for a long time, it can become something pathological.
In addition, there are certain circumstances in which complications can arise and make the grieving process abnormal. These circumstances may involve the loss of a child or the loss of a loved one as a result of an accident or homicide, for example.
In these cases, more extreme responses to loss may be observed, depending on the individual’s ability to cope with the situation, their personal resilience, and the support system available to them.
Everyone grieve differently. While some fit into this situation and manage to overcome it after a few months, others may feel so unable to move forward that they need specialist help to get back to normal and restore. balance in their daily routine.
How can a psychotherapist specialize in bereavement therapy
Without a doubt, bereavement therapy is also an important challenge for psychologists, who must meet this need with up-to-date training and enable them to acquire the tools to identify, prevent and treat bereavement situations and of loss.
Psychologists and therapists who wish to engage in this type of therapy, they must complete their university studies with a specialized training program in this area.
Bereavement therapy training
In different cities of Spain, training is provided to specialize in bereavement therapy. These courses are intended to offer participants the knowledge and therapeutic tools necessary for bereavement therapy; and helps to make them adopt a correct attitude towards the patient, so important in dealing with this issue.
Students will acquire skills to diagnose and differentiate normal grief from complicated grief and learn psychotherapy intervention techniques for its treatment. Not only that, but they will be able to apply these intervention techniques, thanks to the methodology of the course, which combines theory and practice, and includes, in addition to role play and session visualization, case supervision.
This theoretical and practical training is intended for the assimilation of the studied aspects, and allows students to deepen their experience and analysis of clinical practice. In short, at the end of the course, students will be able to carry out an adequate diagnostic assessment on their own and will be able to design and implement a therapeutic intervention that takes into account the needs of the grieving patient, their personal characteristics and the context in which they are living. which it takes place.