Sunday, November 9, 2014

Impact of Grief and Loss

⋄ Family members and partners often grieve in different ways, often misunderstanding each other's reactions or needs.

⋄ Some clients are hesitant in showing feelings of sadness when their partner has had a "good day" or vice versa.

⋄ Some partners may not want to talk about the loss but still feel comfortable when the other needs to do so.

⋄ Crying is another area where partners may differ.
o It is an acceptable and healthy expression of grief, but many men find it difficult to do so due to society implication about men who cry.
o Men often feel the need and are encouraged by others to be strong.

⋄ Grieving is emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting and does not leave much energy for anything else.

⋄ Good communication is essential so that misunderstandings and intense emotions do not lead to conflicts.

⋄ Because going through grief is such a stressful process it can be a crucible for differentiation, or if not handled properly, a detrimental challenge in the relationship.

⋄ As a counselor, it is important to help spouses recognize their coping differences and how not to be blaming or resentful.

⋄ Psychoeducational sessions on the differences in grieving in different genders and cultures as well as personality types may be helpful.

⋄ Husbands and wives may react differently to intimacy as well.
o One partner may need and seek this closeness and the assurance that not everything has changed
o Another partner may take the suggestion of intimacy as an affront, not understanding how anyone could think of intimacy at such a time.
o Help couples to see that these reactions are normal.
o Normalize and assure couple that with time and patience, they may be able to reestablish intimacy when it is right for both of them.