When we lose someone or something we tend to experience significant pain and suffering. As a therapist, I encounter people dealing with grief and loss on many levels. Whether that loss is related to the death of a loved one, our health due to an illness, a miscarriage, a loss of a home or job, loss of a pet, a relocation resulting in lost friendships or loss of a relationship due to suicide – they can impact us by creating feelings of alienation and isolation. As a result, people may react and suffer serious consequences without an appropriate intervention.
Or, the grief one experiences may be related to a sense of abandonment from not experiencing an emotional attachment to a parent due to neglect or abuse or lack of affirmation as a child.
The loss may be related to an abortion. Incidentally, it is noteworthy to remember that both males and females are dramatically influenced by this pain.
The effects of pornography also cause significant damage and may effect the marital relationship in a way that is irreparable causing divorce and the dissolution of the marriage.
There are also a range of the more subtle losses one experiences throughout their lifetime. Those associated with aging that for many of us will be confronted. The loss of strength, memory, mobility and independence.
All of these losses leave wounds causing confusion, sadness, uncertainty, self-doubt, shame, guilt and at times even despair. Some have described these wounds as “missing pieces”. Ultimately, we are left with how, what or even more importantly, who can deliver the first aid and fill this void one needs to feel whole again?
Within the therapeutic relationship, there is a plethora of strategies a Catholic therapist can incorporate when addressing these issues along with a multitude of therapeutic models one might choose from when interacting with a client/patient. Additionally, there are various techniques a clinician may adopt when working with an individual with substantial loss.
However, what is most important is to tap into the existing resource we have as Catholics, that being our faith and the Sacraments and recognizing the power of the Divine Healer. The Good News will affirm us. One only needs to reflect upon the Stations of the Cross to understand how Jesus alone is the One in His human condition that understands all that we experience in the way of pain, suffering, loneliness, betrayal and loss. And, in His Divinity, He alone is the One that will renew our spirits as we are comforted and healed with His Divine Mercy and unconditional love. Herein lies the hope for recovery and healing.
help us to always remember that even when we feel grief over loss,
console us with the truth that we never lost you.
Give us the grace, wisdom, strength and courage
to use our losses to be the person you created us to be.
- Hope for Recovery for those Experiencing Grief & Loss - November 13, 2019
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