Grief and loss counselors adapt to coronavirus threat

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When we think grief and loss counseling, we typically associate it with the loss of a loved one.

However in these changing times, therapists are adapting to the coronavirus threat.

At the Austin Center for Grief and Loss, the 12 staff therapists have expanded their services to include anxiety and depression.

“People may not have classic clinical anxiety and depression, and probably what they’re most likely experiencing, with the adjustment issues, or even maybe moving into acute stress, as a result of the many changes,” said Clinical Director Scott Van Camp.

Van Camp said are feelings many are struggling with now in particular, and having to process while rarely leaving home.

Though the center’s therapists work entirely from home now, they’re used to treating this kind of pain.

“People are experiencing anxiety, trauma, depression, loss,” said Executive Director Kim Nugent-Anderson. “They’re all kinds of losses. There’s loss of connection with people, loss of jobs, loss of certainty about the future, loss of connections with friends and family. There’s a lot of deep suffering going on out there.”

Van Camp says the same five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – and a new sixth stage – finding meaning – apply here too.

“There are things that people can do to maintain a sense of hope and a sense of normalcy in their everyday lives,” Van Camp said.

That can include something as simple as creating structure in your day, getting outside, and talking with friends and loved ones safely.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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