Learning to Manage

by Melanie Rathgeber, MC, MA, RCC

I just recently completed some training with a specialist in complex grief and loss. It reminded me that there are many types of loss (for example, loss of choices, loss of routines, loss of independence), and that some sort of loss often underlies the issues that people discuss in counselling.

Since the course, I’ve been reflecting on why counselling can be so helpful for loss. The theme that keeps coming up for me is that no matter what the loss is, there are ways that we can learn to manage it.

I like this phrase, “learning to manage”, as opposed to “learning to cope”. Learning to manage means we can start to gain more control. We can choose how we talk about the changes we are going through.¬†We can build strategies that help us control how we act in relation to our new reality. Over time, we may even be able to choose how we feel about the changes. None of this is easy and the path will look different for every person, but it is possible to learn how to manage the impact of the loss.

I always tell clients about the importance of hope, and that counselling is likely to work if they begin to feel more hopeful. When it comes to dealing with changes and loss, I emphasize to clients that there are ways to manage the impact loss has on us. Clients have told me that as soon as they begin to manage in small ways, they are hopeful they can learn to manage in bigger ways.

Melanie offers individual counselling sessions at Rocky Point Wellness Clinic on Mondays and Fridays. Click here to learn more about Melanie.