ABSTRACT

This book is about counseling those dealing with loss. Everyone suffers losses throughout life. That is inevitable. On the one hand, it can be painful or sad; on the other hand, it can be a relief, creating space. In each case, loss brings about change, be it large or small. At the same time, change itself also brings about loss. After loss, there is always something that is different from how it was before. Each loss has an impact and needs an answer. The way in which someone finds that answer is very personal. This depends on the circumstances and on how great the impact of the loss is, but it also depends on the way in which a person has learned to deal with loss and on the solace and sustenance that person can find. Sometimes it is impossible to find an answer that fits. Sometimes someone does not realize that something has changed, that an answer is needed, or does not even realize that a loss has been suffered. All kinds of symptoms can then appear and can lead to depression or burnout (Leader, 2008). And it goes beyond that. If no appropriate response to loss is found, personal growth stagnates. For example, these people then often experience conflicts, tension, a lack of inner strength, loss of focus in their work, and so on. These are questions clients ask when they go to see a counselor—questions that conceal underlying loss. It is a loss that requires an appropriate response, so that room is made for grieving and finding meaning.