Loss & Grief and the Ways of Coping with Them

People’s reaction to the loss

The loss causes a lot of consequences on a human life. People cope with the loss in many ways. The reaction of people depends on their psychological state, personal abilities and the relationships with the person who has died. There are a lot of other factors that may influence the reaction to the loss such as religion, culture, family traditions and the person’s financial state (Dryden-Edwards, n.d.). There is no particular time for grieving. Some people may cope with it in weeks or months and others may be in mourning for quite a long time. The loss is not only losing the person it may be also the loss of the work or the relationships. Any kind of loss influences a human life. It is difficult to realize that you have to live without the thing or a human being that you have had before.

People who have experienced loss in their lines are usually supported by their relatives and friends. People who have ‘delayed grief’ or ‘pathological mourning’ should be specially treated. These people cannot imagine their life without the lost person and they feel like they have lost their own ‘selves’ (White, p.7). There are also people who like their job and do not realize their life without it and as a result the loss of the work is also experienced in quite a complicated way.

M. White’s ‘saying hullo’ metaphor

According to Freud, the completion of the mourning process presupposes the development of a new reality that does not include that person or thing that has been lost. Factually, the individual suffering loss should adapt to a new life without the subject of mourning (White, p. 7). The main aim of therapists is to work on the acceptance of the loss. Patients should understand that their life goes on and they have to accept the loss and be taught to live without the subject of mourning. Sometimes such working on acceptance continues for several years. Medication does not provide relief in this case. Professionals help the clients through the questions which help the people to get through the loss themselves. M. White calls this therapy the ‘saying hullo’ metaphor. Factually, the process of grief is called a ‘saying goodbye and then saying hullo’ phenomenon (White, p.11). The patients should say goodbye to material reality, expectations and hopes.

The main goals of grief therapy

The main goals of grief therapy are to help the patients to accept the loss talking about it, allow the patients to identify and express their feelings caused by the loss, teach the bereaved to live without the person who has died and make decisions themselves, help the patient to separate from the dead person emotionally and begin a new life, provide support especially focusing on birthdays and anniversaries connected with the dead person, help the bereaved to understand their problems and teach to cope with them themselves (Grief, Loss & Bereavement, 2012). The professionals should find the problems connected with the grief and help to solve them.

The patient may be treated individually or in the group when the bereaved share their experience and help each other to go through the loss. The doctor should develop the ability of the bereaved to talk about their feelings and emotions caused with the loss (Conner, 2009). When the patient is ready to talk about his/her feelings it will be easier for the doctor to reveal the problems that need a medical help. Having established the details of the relationships that the patient had with the person who died, the doctor may find the effective ways to cope with this loss (Grief, Loss & Bereavement, 2012). The patient is helped to realize that the loss is final and to go back to a real life again.

The myths about the grief

There are some myths about grief that should be taken into account by doctors. The most widespread myth is that the pain will be easier to cope with if it is ignored. Nevertheless, ignoring only makes the problem worse. It is necessary to identify the problem and face it to heal it really. The other mistake is that it is necessary “to be strong” in the face of grief and only weak people have ‘delayed grief’ or ‘pathological mourning’. Mourning, grief, depression and tears are the normal reaction to the death of a beloved person. If people cry it does not mean that they are weak and cannot control their emotions. Emotions should not be controlled as far as it is dangerous for human psychic. Showing real feelings people will cope with the grief faster than oppressing these emotions. There are other cases when people who do not cry are considered to be indifferent to the loss. It is not true as far as all people react to the loss in different way. Those people who do not cry may have the pain deeper than those who show their emotions. There is another common mistake that the grief should continue nearly a year. There are no time restrictions. The time of mourning depends on people and their particular reaction to the grief. All these factors should be taken into account by doctors and other people who help people to cope with grief (Smith and Segal, 2012).

There are some pieces of advice for doctors or medical workers who treat people experienced loss. Firstly, you should allow the bereaved to speak out. It is prohibited to hold the feelings; it will be easier for them if they share their sorrow. Secondly, it is necessary to be a good listener to support people through the grieving process. Thirdly, you should be very attentive to the words of consolation pronounced by you. Such words as “it was for the best” or “you’ll forget about it in time” may touch upon the feelings of the bereaved. It is necessary to be patient and make yourself available to talk. This type of therapy is known as ‘talk therapy’ that is very often practiced nowadays and has positive effects. The main treatment methods include listening, discussion and counseling (Grief, Bereavement and Coping with Loss, n.d.). Nevertheless, ‘talk therapy’ should not be abused. If the patient does not want to speak or wants to be alone, you should not be importunate and extract words from the patient. Such behavior does not demonstrate your professionalism. It is necessary to find the golden middle when the patient needs to be listened or listen to.

Types of grief therapy

There are two main ways of treatment namely complicated grief treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. Complicated grief treatment includes three phases: talking, coping and analyzing. The first phase is talking about the problem and identifying the main goals for the future treatment. Further on, the doctor should choose the ways of treatment that help the patient to cope with the loss. The last phase consists of analyzing the current situation and pointing out what has been achieved and what is still necessary to pay attention to. Interpersonal psychotherapy is usually used in the cases of complicated grief. The main focus of this type of treatment is the relationships of the patient with others.

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the relations between individual’s thoughts and his behavior. This therapy helps the patient to control his thoughts and actions. It will be easier for the person to cope with the loss when he may get rid of negative thoughts. This therapy allows the patient to form self-control. There are cases when the loss causes depression which is usually treated with drugs. Some professionals consider depression to be the normal reaction to the grief that should not be treated with drugs (Grief, Bereavement and Coping with Loss, n.d.). The patient should decide themselves whether to use antidepressants in their treatment or not.

From the above said, we may conclude that it is necessary to have a professionalism to help people with complicated grief. There are some methods of treatment such as ‘saying hullo’ therapy, listening therapy, complicated grief treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. Using different methods, the professional may achieve a success helping people to go through their grief.


Conner, M. (2009). Understanding and Dealing with Grief and the Loss of Life. Web.

Dryden-Edwards, R. (n.d.). Grief: Loss of a Loved One. Web.

Grief, Bereavement and Coping with the Loss (n.d.). Web.

Grief, Loss & Bereavement (2012). Web.

Smith, M. and Segal, J. (2012). Coping with Grief and Loss. Web.

White, M. (n.d.) Saying Hullo Again: The Incorporation of the Lost Relationship in the Resolution of Grief. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Loss & Grief and the Ways of Coping with Them'. 25 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Loss & Grief and the Ways of Coping with Them." January 25, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/loss-and-amp-grief-and-the-ways-of-coping-with-them/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Loss & Grief and the Ways of Coping with Them." January 25, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/loss-and-amp-grief-and-the-ways-of-coping-with-them/.


PsychologyWriting. "Loss & Grief and the Ways of Coping with Them." January 25, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/loss-and-amp-grief-and-the-ways-of-coping-with-them/.