All kinds of loss are extremely
common as people get older, with
the loss of a spouse being the
largest category in bereavement.
The most painful bereavement
someone can experience is the loss
of a child. The loss of a partner
can be more difficult to recover
from in a younger person.
The grief from the loss of a loved
one most people eventually recover
from but protracted grief over a
period of years can be complicated
by clinical depression and
benefits from CBT therapeutic
In some clients it is the failure
to grieve which is at the root of
their low mood, and going through
the stages of grieving can be of
great help in coming to terms with
CBT for Bereavement
In the first session clients are
given psychological tests to
measure the symptoms of anxiety,
depression, attitudes, and core
beliefs as well as a
semi-structured interview to gain
an understanding of the clients
history and presenting problems.
A problem list is collaboratively
drawn up to target those areas the
client wants to change as a result
of the therapy. An individualised
programme is collaboratively drawn
up with the client and forms the
blueprint for the CBT counselling.
The conceptual framework of the
therapist goes through six
1. Coming to terms with reality of
2. Working with the emotional
pain, anger, guilt and suffering
attributed to the loss.
3. A readjustment of life without
the significant person, in the
4. Taking the emotional investment
that the client had placed in
their significant 'other' and
rebuilding connections and
relationship with others.
5. Building 'living memories'
which recognise the quality,
importance and irreplaceable
impact of the person in their
loss, and building awareness of
the impact and meaning this has
for the person now.
6. Spiritual Implications