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The Psychology of Depression, Bereavement, Grieving & Loss

We run occasional short intensive courses for continuing professional development for therapists, counsellors, coaches, health and caring professionals who work in the field of well-being. This is a review by a graduate of one of these courses that was also run as a module on the Advanced Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy & Counselling: 


e.g. 10) MODULE 2: The Psychology of Depression, Bereavement, Grieving & Loss – providing Effective Therapy with CBT & clinical Hypnotherapy


A poignant sentence in the course notes for me was, ‘bereavement refers to any event that includes loss, this was an ‘Aha!’ moment as I learnt you experience feelings, actions and behaviours of grief with loss and not just death.  I had never thought of grief in that way although I had felt it.

Dr. Kubler – Ross who raised awareness of the grief process and described the emotional states of a person’s struggle to avoid change and Hopson’s seven stages cycle made a huge impact for me.

I found two other pictures of cycles which I do use with my clients to give them another way of understanding their loss. I found that helping clients to identify that the process of grief as a natural and individual cycle is a starting point to therapy. I also include some information on the five stages of grief which they can take away to read and refer too. (I have included this as Appendix 1 for your perusal)

This module was also informative in helping me to offer a  supporting role for clients and their partners, family, carers and anyone who has been touched by grief and loss by referring to and understanding the following module notes on:

  • Listening with compassion guidelines

  • Offering practical assistance

  • Provide ongoing support

  • Watching for warning signs

  • Suicide

  • Related sources of information for supporting a grieving person

  • What you may experience

  • What helps


The information discussed in the module was extensive and informative. I received a great insight into this subject and I am alarmed by the use of drugs given to clients (adults and children) to treat what some medical professionals term as a ‘Biological disease’, and their reluctance of using or referring more patients to therapeutic and self help remedies. Clients I have seen for depression are confused and exhausted by having created depression symptoms.

Personally I like using the CBT techniques and have complied an ABC checklist for clients to help them to start the process in identifying their thoughts, actions, behaviours and the consequences for themselves.

Used with the many tools and assertiveness techniques I have found this to be very beneficial to change. Supported with hypnosis the clients have choices to find an effective way out of depression and gain so much more freedom from depression.

I have purchased the CBT and managing depression with CBT for dummies books and continuously refer to them for additional help. I am looking forward to completing the CBT diploma with Transformations in 2015.

Utilising the further learning of a person centred approach for congruence, positive regard and empathy made me an even better listener. Recognising that the relationship with memories can be fostered and shared in a more beneficial way was great learning for me. Trauma as described in the manual made me aware that suffers was already survivors.

 Having different options as highlighted in this module of therapeutic treatments raised my knowledge and gave me further tools in my tool box for dealing with grief, trauma and depression. I have been asked to lecture at a diversification in the workplace group in the Dubai Financial City on a regular basis. I have already given a presentation on stress and relaxation and self hypnosis and plan to do the next one on The Psychology of Depression, Bereavement, and Grieving & Loss.

At present, a lengthy case I have worked on alongside with the medical profession and family members of a girl since April 2013 , who was suffering with alcohol abuse, suicidal attempts, self harm, depression, anorexia, personality disorder, negative family issues, being sectioned twice, abortions and physical abusive relationships is in the process of making changes in herself. Using CBT techniques, Eriksonian language, relaxation, breathing techniques, Mandala drawings and other tools during this time with her she is taking greater control of her life in a beneficial way  and is progressing well without now the help of medical and family intervention and finding a different future for herself to follow.  She has stopped drinking for two months and has embarked on a cooking course. She is studying in Dorset away from her old environment and is producing outstanding results with food and is talking about opening a small bistro with a small menu. Her family relationship is improving and she is achieving a constant healthy weight.

 I also found Phil’s presentation on death to be incredibly informative. I purchased additional books to gain a better understanding of death and rebirth and the spiritual understandings of life, as this is of great interest to me. The ‘bardo experience’ in ‘The Tibetan book of the Dead describes the six realms of existence and within our psychological states. I haven’t finished it yet but have really enjoyed learning a different prospective of knowledge than I previously had. I particularly like the sentence that nobody is going to save us, everything is left to the individual, the commitment to who we are. This Phil highlighted in his presentation and I interpreted it as ‘Free Will’.

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