The many faces of grief.

There are many types of losses in life and everyone responds to these  uniquely.

In keeping with this there is little agreement amongst researchers about what is a “normal” length of time to feel the effects of grief.  Whilst many people manage the difficulties associated with bereavement without turning to psychotherapy, for others it can provide support at a very difficult and painful time.

Psychotherapy does not to try and “fix” people’s grief, rather it provides the time and space to process the meaning of a person’s loss which in itself can provide much needed relief.

Read one person’s perspective on what he regards as important when trying to help someone who is bereaved.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2016/apr/14/we-cannot-fix-peoples-grief-only-sit-with-them-in-their-darkness

 

“It is never too late to become the person you might have been”

The above quote comes from the writer George Elliot.

Waddell in her book Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the growth of the personality writes about how “development at whatever age is founded in the capacity to go on engaging with the meaning of experience with imagination, courage and integrity.”

The latter part of life can bring several challenges including adjusting to retirement, changes in physical health, caring for relatives and partners, loss and bereavement and much more.

For some people they may not have a clear set of symptoms or problems, rather a sense that they are no longer sure who they are and where they want to go in life.  What we might refer to as an existential crisis.  Whilst this can seem unsettling it is also an opportunity for personal development.

There are many ways in which clinical psychologists and psychotherapists can help with a variety of challenges that older adults face.   This ranges from working with problems at a symptomatic level (e.g. helping someone deal with panic attacks) to more reflective longer term pieces of work, providing the time and space to reflect on issues of role and identity.

Here is an article written by the American Psychological Society on how psychologists can help in various ways:

http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/resources/guides/psychology-and-aging.aspx

 

 

 

 

Why are men less likely to seek psychological therapy and counselling?

Recent research from the American Psychological Association  might shed some light on this.

The study collated results of over 70 studies involving more than 19,000 men spanning an 11 year period.  Men’s reluctance to seek therapy in comparison to women appeared linked with a pressure to conform to male stereotypes to be stoical, competitive and “tough”.  Such so called masculine traits were also linked with depression and substance misuse.

An article in the guardian asked several British men who had experienced emotional difficulties for their views in light of this research.

One stated  “It can be very hard to admit vulnerability…the traits of manliness leave so little space for other elements of our humanity. Traits that society may portray as more “feminine”, such as compassion, understanding and care, at essential and great sources of strength.”

Another man noted “It’s important to realise that this is not a mindset that suddenly appears.  Rather it is instilled in men from a young age”.

See the full article here https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/24/as-boys-we-are-told-to-be-brave-men-on-masculinity-and-mental-health