Grief & Loss

Grief is the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or some living thing that has died. Although typically focused on the emotional response to loss. Grief encompasses physical, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual, and emotional components.

While grief due to death is familiar to most people, we can grieve a variety of losses throughout our lives including:

  • loss of or change in employment,

  • loss of health or physical ability,

  • loss of relationships,

  • loss of financial security,

  • loss of community due to moving away, and

  • loss of direction due to graduating/incarceration

Because grief is associated with feelings of loss, regaining control feels like an effective solution. With ACT, acceptance does not mean that you are happy with the loss. Acceptance is acknowledging the situation, even though you can't do anything to change it. By changing the way that we view negative thoughts, we can use ACT principles to create a non-judgmental view of our experiences. Allowing us to be completely present in the moment with our emotions of grief. While separating logic from your emotional experience. Allowing us to align with our values and use them to create patterns for future actions.

Given that avoidance can further injure us during times of loss. ACT can be used to help honor our experiences, give voice to our pain, and widen our view to make meaning out of the losses.