Dealing with Transitions

Transitions are periods in our lives where we undergo change, passing from one life experience to another. Throughout our lives, we are continuously experiencing change; physiological changes, changes in our environment, developmental changes in our children, changes in our relationships, emotional changes, etc. We may not always be aware of this constant state of change. When major life transitions occur, however, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Some children and adults even struggle with transitioning from one activity to another. Transitions are often difficult because we worry about what comes next and struggle with managing our expectations and fears. Typical academic transitions that are challenging for our children include: “moving up” from preschool to kindergarten, elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college, and graduating college. These transitions can be challenging for parents as well, particularly their child’s transition into adolescence and then adulthood.

The best strategy for successfully navigating life’s transitions is to be proactive, not reactive. Consider the following suggestions:

  1. Name it: Our most powerful tool to manage and understand our expectations, fears, and concerns is language. By discussing these issues we can clarify the issues of concern.
  2. Problem solve it: Once we clarify our concerns, we can then begin to develop a game plan to address them. If, for example, our elementary student is worried about lockers in middle school, visiting the school and practicing opening the lock can ease anxiety.
  3. Celebrate it: We have far fewer rituals in our culture than we once had. Rituals provide us with an opportunity to celebrate life transitions and honor those who are going through them.
  4. Monitor it: As the transition unfolds, we want to continue to process, problem solve, and celebrate the changes in our lives.

While many of us are fearful of change, it is not only a part of life, but also a bridge that allows us to realize our dreams and aspirations. By being proactive and embracing change, we can increase the likelihood that it will lead to positive outcomes.

Grief & Loss Counseling for Seniors

Are You Or Someone You Know Experiencing Difficulties Due To Grief And Loss?

Are you, or someone you know, experiencing overwhelming feelings of grief due to the loss of a spouse, life partner or close relation? Is your anxiety and sadness controlling you? Does it seem as if the pain and heartache will never go away? Are you given to fits of crying? Do the added burdens of getting through life’s day-to-day routines seem too much to handle? Is insomnia, shortness of breath, panic attacks or other physical ailments or feelings of isolation and numbness compounding your sense of loss? Does life suddenly seem to be without definition or purpose?

If you’re like most seniors, the experience of grief and loss, although a natural part of life, too often creates a sense of helplessness, depression, and disengagement. In a culture that expects you to “get over it” and move on, you might feel like you’re left with little choice but to further disconnect from a world that doesn’t understand the depth of your loss, and limits its time and expression.

A New Normal

What’s important to know is that what you’re feeling is normal. And furthermore it is entirely appropriate to seek and address aspects of your grief, which many times friends and family have a hard time relating to. While you might feel—what’s the point? Identifying and sharing your feelings can be extremely helpful. The time and the methods needed to heal oneself and discover the “new normal” are different for everyone, and that’s when a well-trained professional, as research proves, can support and guide you through your journey of reassessment, reestablishment and renewal.

Therapy Can Provide The Tools For Acceptance And Transformation

Therapy can help. With the loss of a loved one you may feel it is impossible to bury your grief, but with a good therapist you can begin acquiring the necessary tools to come to terms with where you are right now in your life, and begin to reignite a sense of identity and renewed purpose. Grief need not be stagnant. A well-trained BPS therapist, who knows there is no timetable for the grieving process, will lend support and guidance each step of the way.

At BPS we understand that your grief is a singular and personal experience. You are where you are supposed to be at present, and a qualified BPS therapist will meet you wherever that may be—and help guide you towards a place of acceptance and transformation.

But, you still may have questions or fears…

I’ve thought about therapy, but wouldn’t that be like rubbing salt in the wound?

While it’s true therapy doesn’t turn back the hands of time, identifying and sharing feelings of loss with a professional trained in grief and loss issues does help to shift the experience so that it can become integrated into your life, instead of being the cause of confusion and disconnectedness. To achieve a sense of balance and wholeness is entirely possible, and that’s why at BPS we will work to put you in touch with a therapist especially qualified to deal with your needs; someone who is right for you.

I know I’m having a hard time getting over it, but isn’t this how I’m supposed to feel? Don’t most people just stay strong, bear it, and get through life?

Depression is not part of the ageing process. It is unnecessary and treatable. An enriched and fulfilling life is possible. While many people like you are afraid to “stir up the pot” of emotions, most if not all find that unexpressed grief never really goes away. The presence of a trained and trusted professional with whom you can explore and experience your feelings of anger, frustration and despondency can and does help. Therapy also has the added potential benefit of dealing with some of the more physical aspects of the grieving process, such as sleep and memory issues.

I can’t seem to control my emotions. I feel anxious and panicky one moment, and then frustrated or angry the next.

Isolation, anger, depression, confusion, are all part of the grieving process, but a good therapist can help you to identify and resolve the multiplicity of (sometimes undefined) issues that often accompany loss. Issues having to do with mobility, finance, diminishing support systems, etc., that all too often do not receive adequate attention but need to be dealt with as well. A well-trained therapist can identify and assist you with the many aspects of loss, helping you come to terms with them and begin to reclaim a full and healthy life.

To increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory which will help you to determine what your specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

Check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise working with issues of grief and loss.

 

Grief Counseling for Teens

Is Your Teen Suffering From Grief?

Has someone close to your teen passed away or has he or she experienced another significant loss, such as the death of a pet, a major move or a parent’s divorce? Is your teen experiencing heightened irritability, easily triggered, engaging in risky behaviors or seem angry at everyone and everything most of the time? Alternatively, is your teen isolating him or herself, shutting you and friends and family out, insisting that everything is fine? Have you noticed a change in eating or sleeping patterns? Does your teen seem to have trouble concentrating or appear foggy? Is he or she suddenly struggling in school or with friends? Are you struggling yourself, trying to figure out what you can do to help your child cope with the loss?  Do you wish that there was something – anything –  you could do to help your teen open up and feel better?

Watching your child in pain – whether it’s expressed outwardly or internally – and not knowing what to do can make you feel helpless and sad. It can be painful to have your child totally shut you out. You know your child is hurting and your protective instincts make you want to do whatever you can to take his or her pain away.

Suffering a loss can be challenging at any age, but it can be particularly tricky during the teenage years. This is a time when your teen is charged with the difficult tasks of figuring out who he or she is and how to be in the world. Working on personal identity issues and trying to navigate a constantly bigger and broader social environment can be really hard. Add to that trying to understand and process a significant loss with a still developing brain and you can almost expect that your teen is going to behave in some unusual ways. Some teens act explosively as their anger and sadness need to be released somehow. Others, concerned with how they are perceived by peers (a big issue for most teens), may tell the world that they are fine even though they may feel broken inside.

Many Teens Experience Grief and Loss

Experiencing losses and the grief that follows is a fundamental part of the human experience. People die, move, and split up. Losses affect everyone – over and over again. During times of significant loss, it’s important that people – especially teens – feel supported and have an outlet to express feelings of sadness, anger and uncertainty. The adolescent years are tricky, too, because your teen – even if you have a solid and open relationship with him or her – is likely rebelling some and putting space between you both as he or she seeks independence. While your teen may not be able to open up to you or even to friends right now – which is very normal because of age-appropriate independence and social issues –  a therapist, a non-threatening, non-judgmental and trained adult, can provide needed support and guidance.

Therapy Can Be Very Effective In Helping Teens Process A Loss

We heal in relationships. In order to fully heal, your teenager needs to talk – express his or her pain verbally. And, doing so in an energetic exchange, with another, is vital. Your teen is likely not talking to you, to school counselors or even to friends. Therapy can provide a safe space for your teen to cry, yell and talk openly about feelings that he or she may find difficult to share with others in normal, daily life.

Your highly trained, experienced and teen-focused BPS therapist can help your adolescent understand, process, and heal from the loss. In therapy, your child will have the space and time to talk about the loss – what he or she misses, fears and uncertainties about moving forward, and the painful feelings the loss created. Everyone – even your teen – wants to move on from the pain associated with a loss and heal. But, until it’s processed, grief can serve as an anchor. In therapy, your teen can learn that it’s okay – even necessary – to feel and express pain and related emotions. Rather than shut down or act explosively, your teen can learn healthy ways to process grief and move forward.

Your teen’s BPS therapist has deep experience in grief counseling for teens, and can help set the groundwork for future, emotional health. Right now, your teen is learning coping skills – healthy or unhealthy – that he or she will carry throughout life. Learning how to process complex emotions in healthy ways now can build emotional intelligence and create a depth and understanding for grief and loss, which your teen can draw from as he or she experiences future challenging emotions that are an inevitable part of life. Like the building blocks that your teen is assembling in his or her academic environment, the right therapist can help your teen construct a solid emotional foundation. The outcome of this early emotional investment can be priceless. With help, your teen can not only experience relief associated with his or her loss, but also use this experience to become a healthier, happier and more emotionally mature adult.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

Time heals all wounds, right? In time, I’m sure that my child will work through his or her pain.

Like a physical wound, in time, your teen’s emotional wound can heal. However, how it is treated can impact the size of the scar. Therapy can help lessen the magnitude of the scar and the emotional pain identified with a significant loss. There is a big difference in the emotional outcome between shutting down and ignoring the source of pain and delving into that pain and processing it completely. If pain isn’t understood and processed, it can affect your teen’s long-term ability to communicate feelings of grief and loss and may even impact his or her capacity to fully connect with others in intimate and open ways. It can compromise quality of life. Alternatively, when pain is processed with another, in a relationship – like the one that your BPS therapist can provide – the capacity for healing and long-term emotional health can be remarkably enhanced.

My teenager won’t talk about anything associated with the loss.

The therapist/client relationship is different than any other we encounter in life. Once your child feels comfortable in a relationship that he or she identifies as confidental and non-judgemental, the amount of disclosure about complex thoughts and feelings shared can be extraordinarily surprising. While your teen may not be talking to you or to even friends – which is a very normal part of the teenage experience due to independence and social issues – your teen can experience great comfort in talking to someone outside of his or her normal life. The important issue here is finding the right therapist – someone who has experience working with teens on grief and loss issues and who your teen feels comfortable with.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with teenagers and grief and loss issues or who their teen couldn’t relate with – which won’t work. At BPS, we’ll conduct a increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory and match your teen with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat these issues and whose personality is a good match for your teenager’s. Once you find that good match, the capacity to talk openly and heal and grow can be tremendous.

Although my child is acting a little off, he or she mostly seems okay. I’m worried that therapy will shine too much light on the problem and make my child feel worse.

Sometimes dealing with intense feelings – whether in therapy or otherwise – can make your child feel worse. But, in time and with proper support, your teen can feel better. Understanding and expressing pain is a critical component of healing. In doing so, your teen can not only feel better sooner, but also increase his or her tolerance for discomfort. Learning these emotional skills now can help your teen process future intense emotions in more appropriate and healthier ways. Although things may feel a bit bumpy at first, in time and with the right therapist, your teen can work through feelings of sadness, anger and uncertainty in a healthy and effective way.

To increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory which will help you to determine what your child’s specific issues are, if additional psychological testing is warranted, and ensure a good match between you, your teenager and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

Check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with teenagers and grief and loss issues.

Grief & Loss Counseling for Young Adults

Has A Significant Loss Caused You Overwhelming Feelings of Grief?

Are you dealing with an overwhelming grief – a painful sadness that shows up when you slow down and keeps you up at night? In addition to sleep issues, are you experiencing changes in eating patterns, heightened anxiety, irritability or lethargy? Are you easily triggered, worried that you’re emotionally unstable or engaging in risky or self-medicating behaviors? Are you struggling to get through your days, finding it hard to concentrate, complete tasks or engage in activities that you once enjoyed? Do you feel isolated in your grief? Have you becomes fearful about the future as you try to make sense of your loss and your life now? Do you wish you could find a way to move past regrets and sadness, and know that you’re going to be okay?

While most people associate feelings of grief and loss with the death of a loved one, many other significant losses – such as parents getting divorced, breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the death of a pet, or a major move – can trigger a deep sadness. Losses force many people to question their identity as they try to make sense of who they are now that someone or something that added meaning to their lives is gone. And, it’s very common for young adults to feel isolated in grief. Grief is often a very lonely, confusing, and painful experience.

Many Young Adults Experience Grief

Feeling overwhelming grief after a significant loss is more common that you may think. Many young adults struggle with a painful sadness, however, because grief can be so overwhelming and isolating, the grief feelings are often not talked about. During the young adults years, people are also just starting to “come into themselves” – shaping who they will and want to be as adults. Significant losses can challenge the emergent sense of self and make many young adults wonder who they are now and seriously question what they’re doing with their life. It’s common to experience fear about the future and feel that there is no relief in sight. While grief affects everyone at various times and in varying forms, sometimes processing and healing from a loss can seem impossible. If you’re really struggling to move forward, therapy can be an extremely effective, safe, and supportive place to heal.

Therapy Can Help You Process And Heal From A Significant Loss

Therapy can be so helpful for young adults struggling with grief, and it can have a profoundly positive impact on your wellbeing in a relatively short period of time. Your BPS therapist can help you make sense of your experience and offer you support as you work through these painful feelings. Your therapist can also help you understand that what you’re experiencing is normal and that you are not alone.

We are often not given enough time to grieve in our culture. We are told to allot a certain amount of time to grieve and then it’s back to life as usual. Unfortunately, most of us need more than a few weeks or even a few months to process our loss and reduce our grief. Thankfully, therapy knows no time frame. Your therapist will give you a safe place to talk about your loss, really experience and understand your feelings and integrate your experience into who you are now and want to be in the future. Your therapist can also give you concrete tools to address the physical aspects of grief and help ensure that you’re using healthy methods to cope with these difficult feelings.

Even if you feel truly miserable right now, grieving gets easier. Although your feelings may never completely go away, it is possible to find a new normal and genuinely feel better. And, talking through painful emotions in therapy can make moving through the grieving process much easier.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

I think that therapy could be helpful, but I’m concerned about costs.

This is your life and wellbeing. Processing your grief in healthy ways can prevent a host of long-term problems from occurring. Investing in your self through therapy now may also prevent you from developing unhealthy coping mechanisms or self-medicating behaviors, which many people turn to in an attempt to numb painful feelings. Unprocessed grief can also affect relationships and work or school performance or have a negative impact on your sense of self and your direction for the future.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with young adults struggling with grief and loss or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat young adults suffering from grief and whose personality is a good match for you. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine feeling and functioning better on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

I’m afraid that therapy will shine a light on all that is making me feel bad and I’ll feel even worse.

Talking can stir up a lot of emotions. However, pushing emotions aside won’t make them go away. Intense, unprocessed feelings will likely show up in another way, in another form – oftentimes through unhealthy coping mechanisms or destructive behaviors.

You may be surprised to learn that talking through your feelings and your experience with a trained therapist can make you feel much better. You can learn practical, concrete tools to manage difficult emotions and get through your day-to-day tasks with more ease. And, your BPS therapist will be there to support and guide you as you process your grief and integrate your loss into your life in healthy ways. Although you may never feel the way you did before you experienced this loss, with help you can develop a new normal and feel more equipped to deal with emotional challenges and feelings of sadness and loss in the future.

Therapy won’t help. It can’t bring what I lost back.

While it’s true that therapy cannot bring a loved one back or fully repair a loss, therapy can provide a safe space for you to remember and understand what it was that you lost and how to move on with your life. Your BPS therapist can help you process your feelings, learn to live with your loss, and reconnect to a sense of meaning in your life. Your therapist can support your healthy grieving process, help you move forward in a positive, integrated way, and help you find a new place of normalcy.

To increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory which will help you to determine what your specific issues are and ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

Check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and with a therapist who has expertise working with young adults with grief and loss issues.

 

Grief Counseling for Children

Is Your Child Suffering From Grief?

Has your child recently experienced a loss, such as the death of a loved one or pet, a divorce or a move? Is your child withdrawing or does he or she seem less interested in activities they once enjoyed? Has your child been acting aggressively – picking fights with friends or siblings? Is he or she suddenly hyperactive, experiencing difficulties with concentration or suffering from sleep disturbances? Are you struggling to figure out how to help your child? Do you wonder how long it will take him or her to process their loss or if what they’re experiencing is normal? Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them – unsure of what you can say or do to help? And, if you’ve also been impacted by the same loss, are you struggling to process your own grief while supporting your child through theirs?

It can be a painful process to watch your child lose something or someone that was very important to them. As a parent, it’s natural to want to take away your child’s pain, and it can be a sad and frustrating experience when you don’t know how to. It can also be tricky to figure out how impacted your child is by a loss. Children – like most adults – can experience difficulties identifying and expressing emotions. They oftentimes blame their feelings of grief on something less painful, act out or withdraw.

Many Children Experience Grief and Loss

Experiencing feelings associated with grief and loss at a young age is much more common than you may think. Even if others – including yourself – were affected by the same loss and processed it quickly, your child may take much longer to work through it. Grief can also manifest itself differently in children and in each individual child. What’s important is that they’re given time and support while they process their pain and learn that their feelings are okay.

Therapy Can Be Very Effective In Helping Children Process A Loss

While there is no quick fix to dealing with a loss, therapy can be an extremely effective way to help your child process grief in a healthy and supported way. Experience shows us that the sooner you get your child into therapy, the better the outcome – although it is never too late to seek help for your grieving child.

Processing a loss can be a lot like riding a rollercoaster – for both your child and his or her family. It can be full of ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns. Your BPS therapist is an expert in grief counseling for children, and can help your child and you navigate the stages of grief and the associated emotions as they unfold.

As a parent, you’ll get the support and education you need so you can be prepared to support your child now and in the future should feelings related to the loss arise again. You’ll learn about the grieving process. You’ll learn what you can do to help your child work through intense feelings. You’ll figure out how to show your child that he or she is not carrying the weight of their grief alone.

In time, your child can recover from the intense emotions that accompany a loss. With the help and support of the right therapist, good communication, patience, love and understanding, your child can work through their sadness and shift back into their typical, child-like way of being.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

Time heals all wounds, right? In time, I’m sure that my child will work through their pain. I did, and I didn’t need therapy.

You may be right. In time, your child may be able to work through his or her grief without any outside help. It really depends on the child and how large the loss was relative to that child. To you – or another child – the loss may have been easily processed. But to another, it may still feel like a really big deal. Every individual processes events and feelings differently, and some can really benefit from the extra support that the right therapist can provide. And, it’s important to note that for a big loss – or what is perceived by your child as a big loss – or for a highly sensitive child, getting help early can be critical. Even a few sessions can help. A BPS therapist can provide support and help the experience feel more manageable and much less daunting for both you and your child.

Although my child is acting a little off, he or she mostly seems okay. I’m worried that therapy will shine too much light on the problem and make my child feel worse.

This is a valid concern and one that you should talk with your BPS therapist about. Your therapist is an expert in treating children with grief and loss issues, but YOU are the expert on your child. The right therapist will listen to, respect and appreciate your concerns. Together, you can figure out the best way to support your child through a painful experience – which they very well may be suppressing or blaming the feelings associated with the loss on other, less painful things. The goal is to help them feel supported, lessen their burden and to meet them where they are emotionally. And, oftentimes, working with an expert can provide some immediate relief for you, too. Your therapist will help both you and your child navigate a tricky and painful time. With the right approach, education and tools, sadness can be lifted and life can get back to feeling normal.

I think that therapy could be helpful. We need to do something. I’m just not sure that we can afford it right now.

This is your child’s life and wellbeing. Addressing the emotions and behaviors associated with your child’s grief and loss may prevent a host of problems from occurring as he or she enters new developmental stages, such as adolescence. Working with a therapist on processing a loss and the emotions it creates now can help your child feel better faster. It can also prevent your child from developing negative residual feelings and behaviors.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with children struggling with grief and loss issues or who they or their child couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced in working with children struggling with grief and loss and whose personality is a good match for you and your child. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your child, yourself and your family may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine everyone in your home feeling and functioning better on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

To increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory which will help you to determine what your child’s specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you, your child and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

Check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with children and grief and loss issues.

jennifer-keyBPS therapist Jennifer Key, LCSW helped create the content for this page. Jenny has been working with children, parents and families on grief and loss issues since 1999. She practices traditional therapy methods, such as psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral techniques, but has also found that many children experience significant, positive change while interacting with animals. Jenny’s practice includes equine and animal therapies.

Loss & Grief Counseling for Adults

Has A Loss Left You Empty, Aching or Broken?

Have you recently lost someone close to you? Have you gone through a significant life transition, such as a divorce, job loss, motherhood or a major move? Does your heart ache for what once was? Has this most recent loss brought up unresolved feelings from a past experience? Have you experienced insomnia, weight fluctuations, numbness, dizziness, aches and pains or prolonged crying spells? Have you used substances or other potentially self-harming behaviors to cope? Does the idea of accepting your loss and moving forward seem impossible?

Most people associate grief and loss with the passing of a loved one. While processing a death can come with extreme feelings of grief and confusion, other losses can also create those feelings. Whether it’s a person, relationship, job or even your sense of self – which can happen after having a new baby or making a big move – loss can cause you to feel guilty, angry, hopeless, overwhelmed or isolated. You may experience what feels like uncontrollable emotions or go completely numb and withdraw.

What You’re Experiencing Is Very Normal

Grief and loss are very common parts of the human experience. It is rare for someone to journey through life without losing someone or something very important. It’s also not uncommon for someone to decide to try therapy to work on another issue, only to realize that the underlying cause of their pain is an unprocessed loss and the emotions that loss created. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t offer the long-term support that many people need to heal from a major loss. We are given – or give ourselves – a short time in which we are expected to heal and then it’s back to normal routines. The good news is whether you have recently experienced a loss or are still struggling to work through one from months or even years ago, therapy has been proven to be very effective. A good therapist can provide the support and gentle guidance needed to heal from loss and rediscover your sense of self and purpose.

Therapy Can Bring You Back and Help You Move Forward

Humans have an enormous capacity to heal. We intrinsically move toward health and have an innate desire to feel good. But, grief takes time to process, and sometimes what we need most is someone to witness us in a vulnerable and sad state in order to let it go. A BPS therapist who is well-qualified and experienced in grief counseling can offer you the space and support needed to uncover the root emotions connected to your loss. With help, you can better understand your grief and develop skills that will help you heal.

A BPS therapist will meet you where you are emotionally. He or she will help you determine what stage of grief you are experiencing and gently help you move on to the next. Sometimes people can get stuck in one of the stages of grief that precede acceptance – denial, anger, bargaining or depression. Healing is an individualized process and you may not go through the above stages in the “classic” order, and that’s normal and okay. What’s important, though, is that you get help identifying where you are in the grieving process. A BPS therapist will help you work through those difficult emotions and help you determine what you need to heal as you move toward acceptance.

In therapy, you can come to a place of acceptance. You can get back to who you were or, perhaps even better, understand who you are ready to be now. Once you accept and embrace the loss you suffered, it can become a special and significant part of who you’ll be moving forward. Rather than continuing to feel debilitated by your loss, you can integrate it into your life and live in a much fuller and more beautiful way.

But, you still may have questions or fears…

I’ve tried therapy and other ways to cope. I’m starting to believe that nothing will work.

Working through grief and loss takes time. Sadly, in our culture, we generally do not take the time or seek the support needed to fully process a loss. And, for some that support may not exist. Experience shows us that therapy can be a very effective way to heal from a loss and feel better. Sometimes simply talking about the loss and the emotions it has created can provide significant relief.

It’s also important that you find the right therapist – one who is highly qualified and has experience working with clients on grief and loss issues, as well as one you find easy to connect with. Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to help clients through grief and loss or who they couldn’t relate with – which won’t work and is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory and match you with a therapist who is trained to work with grief and loss issues and whose personality is a good match with yours. Once you find that good match, it is entirely possible for you to work through these difficult emotions and restore balance and harmony in yourself and within your life.

I’m afraid of what I might learn about myself or the emotions that could come up in therapy. I’ve learned skills to cope and I’m afraid that therapy will make me feel worse.

The right therapist can provide you with the support and resources you need in order to work through whatever emotions or self-discoveries you uncover. And, you’ll likely learn tools and skills to manage your emotions in healthier ways than you’re using now. Not addressing the pain associated with your loss allows it to continue to live inside of you – whether you’re doing this consciously or not. Pain can run our lives, making everything less joyous and more challenging. Uncovering and working through this pain offers us more choices. It expands our capacity to feel joy and empowers us to live the lives we want to be living.

I’ve been feeling guilty and ashamed about my thoughts. I’m afraid of what anyone – even a therapist – would think about me if I shared my true feelings.

A lot of us experience thoughts and make choices that don’t feel good. But, everything that you’re experiencing right now is okay and a natural part of the grieving process. A BPS therapist isn’t there to judge you. Rather, it’s the therapist’s role to provide you with a safe and supportive space to share any and everything as you process your loss. It’s also helpful to realize that we’re almost always our own worst critics. In therapy you’ll learn how to quiet that inner critic as you move into a healthier and happier way of life.

To increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory which will help you to determine what your specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

Check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise working with issues of grief and loss.