Loss is central to human experience from the cradle to the grave and is a common underlying issue for many people seeking therapeutic help.
There are many ways in which experiences of loss can impact on us throughout our lives:
loss of relationship through bereavement, separation/divorce;
loss of a sense of identity or self definition following a major life change such as retirement/redundancy;
loss that comes from a transition like an unwelcome relocation or home move;
loss of safety and security that comes with a normal developmental transition such as leaving home for the first time;
loss of innocence and/or confidence and much more after experiencing an unwanted or traumatic experience and
loss of a much loved pet and the bereavement this can leave.
loss as an experience of lost opportunities in one's life, relationships that could have been, for things unsaid, of unfulfilled potential.
loss of a better life one could've lived of the person we might have been, regrets we are aware of.
The sense of loss that is related to life's developmental transitions and the emotional challenges these present are part of life's maturational process. Although these transitions can be difficult in themselves and may require therapeutic help they can be a gradual, normal process that evolves over time allowing for a manageable adaptation.
The loss of anyone we love and are closely attached to will of course involve profound grieving. Whilst each individuals experience and life situation will be unique the mourner may experience one or more of the known phases of grief such as: shock, denial, searching, anger and eventual acceptance. This process can last a long time, sometimes years, and can be hard to move on from. Furthermore for various reasons some people find they don't feel able to share their private thoughts and feelings with those around them. In these circumstances counselling and psychotherapy can offer much-needed support and a safe place to share the whole range of one's experience of loss.