Grief and Loss 2018-10-04T21:39:36+00:00

Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss are the most painful, intense, brutal, overwhelming, devastating, and often frightening of all of our experiences.

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Demian Brown Toronto Psychotherapist

About the Program

What is grief?

What are the symptoms of grief?

What is Prolonged Grief Disorder or Complicated Grief?

Are grief and PTSD the same thing?

How can counselling or therapy help with grief and loss?

Best understood as the process of responding to loss, grief includes emotional, physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, existential, spiritual, and philosophical changes. Since the losses causing grief take many of us by surprise such as following that unexpected 2:00 am call or the ominous knock at the door in the night, many feel violated by grief itself, not just by the bad news that preceded it. Even worse, our instinctive attempts to side-step grief, such as ignoring it, or drinking, don’t work. Time passing is healing but not enough since grief can sometimes be postponed, but never avoided.

Everyone experiences grief differently, and grief varies in the same individual, too, in response to different losses. Manifestations include shock, sorrow, anxiety, anger, guilt, relief, confusion, numbness, loneliness, trouble concentrating, fatigue, insomnia, nightmares or other vivid dreams, crying, drinking, social withdrawal, appetite changes, and more.

Grief counselling facilitates the process of resolution in the natural reactions to loss. Coping with the loss and with grief itself can be achieved through grief therapy and grief counselling that provides interpersonal support and tools for understanding. Coping skills can be learned, and the harm that grief can do to your employment, family relationships, and more, can be reduced.


as distinct from grief counselling, involves the use of clinical tools for complicated grief reactions or for grief related to extreme trauma. Counseling involves helping people move through uncomplicated or normal grief to health and resolution. Conversely, grief therapy is a kind of psychotherapy that can help with more extreme situations.

sometimes known as Prolonged Grief Disorder, is a pathological reaction to loss with long-term symptoms of physical, social and psychological dysfunction. In complicated grief, feelings of loss become incapacitating and stay that way for an uncharacteristic duration.
While all grief is traumatic, some experiences of grief literally become or coexist with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that the loss created. Some people suffer multiple losses at once, which instantly removes much of their life’s structure when those who are now gone comprised their support system. For example, a child’s parents both die in a fire, or a couple find out their daughter and grandchildren have all been killed by their son in law in a murder-suicide. In other situations the grief is complicated by confusion and a profound inability to reconcile events both rationally and spiritually- for example, learning that your spouse is the perpetrator, not the victim, of a horrific crime. It is very confusing to the psyche to process losing a partner under such twisted circumstances.

the person lost is yet to be proven deceased or it is unknown whether they are dead or alive. Some people endure the kidnapping of a child without resolution; others must say goodbye to an abusive parent whom they love. Grief counselling and grief therapy can both be highly effective.
There is no way to avoid grief. But its impact can be minimized with understanding, support, and counselling.

General Greif Therapy In Toronto- Contacts at this organization
For students at University of Toronto- psychotherapy for grief


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“While in session I think, analyze, feel and assess out-loud with confidence as we go along allowing you to see my skills, my motives and judgements.”