Counseling for Loss
Loss isn’t an emotional experience reserved for only the death of a friend or family member. There are many powerful losses we may experience throughout our lifetimes: loss of employment, loss of a marriage or relationship, loss of social connection (ex: moving to a new town), loss of property (ex: house fire or flooding), loss of a beloved pet and much more. Counseling for loss can be a great comfort and help as you move through this period. Some losses hit us harder than others. Each of us is different and experiencing a loss intensely that those around us don’t experience to the same degree does not make us weak, fragile or wrong – it makes us different. Like grief, every loss experience is personal and unique. And the recovery journey through it will be too.
Many of us also base our identity on our profession. When we meet someone, the first question we are often asked is, “What do you do?” It can be painful or embarrassing to admit to being unemployed. You might be surprised how many people hide the fact their unemployed from even their closest friends.
It can be especially difficult to share our loss and reach out to our friends and family for support if we are embarrassed by the loss, don’t feel others will understand how strongly we may feel or if our support system is not readily available anymore. For some of us the sadness and depressed feelings are the stronger aspect of our experience. For others, there is an anxiety or frustration that dominates this period. Either way is normal. Your experience is personal and unique to you. It does not have to fit into someone else’s idea of how a loss should be experienced.
Losing your home, career or relationship can very be frustrating. It also leaves you feeling very vulnerable. Feeling exposed, especially when it was not our decision to be so, makes many people anxious. Anxiety in turn, negatively impact sleep, which in turn impacts mood and memory, which creates more stress and anxiety…and so on…and so on. It becomes a cyclic and self-feeding problem.
Stress levels can go up with many types of losses and our preoccupation (not to mention reduced quality of sleep) can make our focus and memory a bit more difficult as well. Family and other relationships are usually impacted, adding more stress to the problem. Some of us take our frustrations out on the people who are closest to us – the ones “safest” to be emotional with. Why? Because is easier to be grumpy and grouchy with a partner or kids. But of course, this doesn’t work out so well, either.
Whether your unique and personal loss has you feeling depressed or anxious or both, counseling may be the right support for you at this time. Talking with someone who is trained and experienced in this area and who will preserve your confidentiality and dignity can make a big difference. If you’ve experienced a loss and you are ready to talk to someone who can help – please call.
Call Now (713) 489-3329
Ben Carrettin is Nationally Board Certified, a Licensed Professional Counselor and has worked in the arena of addiction/emotional health and the corporate world for many years. He is also a lay chaplain with advanced training in pastoral care and cross-cultural communication.