depressionWhen we think about grief and grieving, we usually think of the death of a loved one or perhaps if we are experiencing a chronic illness for which there is no cure. However, grief can surface for other reasons, also. A type of grieving takes place when we lose a dream or ideal that we embraced for many years. Loss of dreams or ideals can have a devastating effect on our sense of well-being. We may remain in denial about the loss of these dreams, and as a result may feel disconnected to our self or discontent.

The grieving process is one of letting go. I often meet with clients who feel stuck in their anger, disappointment, or resentment. Perhaps they feel that their life has not taken them where they wanted to go. Sometimes they may feel anger or sadness that their partner isn’t able to give them the ideal relationship that they had dreamed he/she would. Another example is feeling disappointment that their parent(s) couldn’t give them the type of love and support that they craved. These scenarios often cannot change to a great extent. We can’t change our parents or it may be too late in our life to fulfill a dream we had when we were young. What do we do when we feel stuck in it? Most of the time, we just try to push it away, but then it tends to resurface at inopportune times and we feel blind-sided by our emotions.

Just like grieving the death of a loved one, when we grieve our ideals and dreams, we have to tap into the deep-rooted sadness and anger that we tend to try to push away. You may be wondering why we need to go there. Many of my clients tell me that they avoid feeling these deep emotions because they are afraid of getting stuck in them. The funny thing is, we tend to get stuck in our emotions when we DON’T go there. We are working so hard to avoid feeling the tough emotions that they tend to simmer and pop up at odd times. By going into them and giving ourselves permission to really feel them, we can begin to accept our experience and feel relief. By tapping into the emotion and trying to understand it earnestly, we begin to understand what we need to move beyond our loss.

Ready to see how counselling can help you? Contact us to book a session:

Numina Counselling
Phone: (403)819-5676
Adress: #224, 1919 Sirocco Drive SW, Calgary, AB

Ask your extended health benefits provider if you have coverage for treatment by a Registered Psychologist.


Petra Spletzer, Ph.D. is a Registered Psychologist who has worked with both adults and children in her clinical practice for over a decade. She specializes in treating general depression, anxiety, stress, and relationship issues, and prenatal and postpartum depression.

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