Institutions & Clinics Family & Couple Therapy
PDF Print E-mail

Treatment of Loss and Grief

When death strikes, this very painful period necessitates sensitive treatment. Coping depends on a number of factors:

  1. Type of death—sudden or expected.
  2. Type of loss—close relationship, distant relationship, complex relationship, positive memories, lack of memories, place of the deceased in family life.
  3. Life after death—difficulty in replacing the deceased’s roles, changes in interpersonal relations, assistance from the immediate environment, loneliness, difficulty in daily coping, relationships with other family members.
  4. Emotional experiences—sadness, asthma, repression, fear, anger, despair, depression, emptiness, embarrassment.


Most people experience the various stages of grief in some form. Professional therapists may divide them in different ways, but most identify these stages:

  1. Shock and denial
  2. Anger and fear
  3. Depression and loneliness
  4. Confusion
  5. Searching for answers and living in an unrealistic, imaginary world
  6. Acceptance of the change in life, recovery, and reorganization


There is no right way to grieve. Every individual has a personal way of reacting. Some people want to talk incessantly, while others are silent, grieve alone, and do not share feelings with  family. Because different people grieve differently, sometimes one family member might feel that another family member is insensitive.

Processing grief together can reinforce bonds within the family, strengthen the couple and the family as a unit, and ease the grief.

The staff in the health system is exposed to deaths at every stage of life, from the premature baby born before its time to the senior who dies after a full life. We are aware that death is part of life, and that the deceased’s relatives need an attentive ear and a special place to help them complete the difficult journey they are making. Appropriate family intervention eases the burden of coping with this challenge..