Losing A Child: Family Therapy Can Help

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There is nothing more tragic for parents than to lose a child. It is always sad to hear an untimely death. They should have grown up to be someone. They should have gone to college or have gotten married. Unfortunately, they never will because of their unexpected passing.

 

Nobody wants to hear this kind of story, because not a single person, especially parents, would want to imagine losing a child. However, whenever we see stories like this on the internet, do we think of the people left behind – the parents who will probably forever feel empty or the siblings who will be living in the shadow of the memories of the sibling they lost?

 

The effect of death in the family can make a significant impact on the lives of the people left behind. Their lives will begin by learning how they are going to cope up. Family dysfunction may arise as parents may overlook their other children because of the sadness and guilt they are feeling inside. In effect, their other children may feel they are loved less and may seek attention from other people, or worse, may acquire an addiction to pacify the emptiness inside them.

 

When this situation happens, it is a sign that your family badly and urgently needs help from people who have knowledge and experience in dealing with this kind of family issue. “You must work with a therapist to change the way you think, feel, and act. It requires education, understanding, and participation,” says Madhukar Trivedi, MD.

 

What Family Therapy Can Help With:

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Anger Management

Losing a family member is devastating, and it can make us angry at everyone including another member of the family, the doctors, or sometimes God. Family counseling helps in anger management by dealing with the cause of the anger, in this case, the loss of a loved one. Counseling teaches each family member acceptance and guidance to face life positively. “Acceptance is essential for satisfying relationships,” says Darlene Lancer, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

 

Relationship Enrichment

Family counseling aims to point out the importance of communication in grieving and recovering. It is vital to open up to other family members to at least give comfort and hope. Parents may suffer the most, but that doesn’t mean siblings are affected less. They too will undergo adjustment and will require much support from their parents.

 

Anxiety And Stress Management

Family counseling is also beneficial when it comes to dealing with anxiety and depression correlated with different circumstances including the passing of a loved one. “The first step in making anxiety work for you rather than against you is to recognize it when it shows up.  So much of our behavior is driven by anxiety, yet we rarely notice or name it,” says Julian P Humphreys Ph.D., PCC. There is also stress which is one of the leading causes of certain medical health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and hypertension which are all fatal.

 

Parenting

It may be too painful to grieve over a child and watch the other go through the agonizing pain of having to live without his or her sibling that he or she once shared life with. Even so, they have to be strong to protect and support the emotions of their other children. As sad as it sounds, they are still parents less one child.

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Counseling is an excellent support for a family who has lost a member. It is something that cripples everyone that’s why the help of someone from the outside, the therapist, is vital in reassuring a positive outlook despite the tragic loss. Family therapy is essential in making sure that each family member finds the will to continue to live affirmatively.