Grief and loss

What happens when a loss has been so significant that it marks a before and after in our lives?

Grief, in psychological terms, is the natural process that follows the loss of a loved one or the imminence of our own death. A similar process also occurs for some people when we lose an equally essential element in our lives, such as our life project (separation, infertility …) or our sense of identity (retirement, migration …).

This process is a natural and expected adaptive reaction, so in no case is it desirable to consider it a disease, but its magnitude can affect us in such a way that we may need professional support.

The enormous gap that we suffer in our life when these losses occur, makes it seem that time has stopped and therapeutic work needs to be directed towards supporting the restoration of that vital timeline, as proposed by Carmen Vázquez Bandín, in which both our loss and our life including and starting from it have a place.

To achieve this, the person needs to be accompanied through the different stages of the grieving process, described by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and expanded upon by her colleague David Kessler, founder of These stages are denial (or shock), anger (incl. guilt), bargaining (incl. anxiety), depression, and acceptance; the latter not being equivalent to a return to the state prior to the loss, but rather a first integration of what happened. For this process to occur, these stages are experienced not linearly but, often, in the form of cycles that have to be repeated to achieve a greater assimilation of the new situation.

This accompaniment depends on each person and group therapy is often very supportive, especially since there is no fixed time in which a grieving process “resolve”. The pain of the loss will continue to accompany us in our lives, but we will be able to overcome the suffering and it is possible that we can even find the value and the meaning that this loss has left in our lives, as it happens with post-traumatic growth.

If your pain is directly or indirectly linked to the losses that we as expats face when we leave our home and cultural identity behind, consider migratory grief treatment. You will find a dedicated calendar to plan a first informative contact by following the link on this page.

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within Reach

About me and how my practice offers mental health care to bring a sense of home to nationals and internationals.

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Psychology within Reach
Vuurvlindersingel, 403
3544 DB Utrecht

Phone +31 30 636 8981
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