How to Support Individuals Experiencing Significant Life Events


When a person is going through a painful life event, it is necessary to have people that can offer him/her support to overcome such a situation. According to Twycross (2003), stressful events have serious effects on one’s life unless they are properly handled. Such a negative experience may lead to depression or other mental problems. In the case study under analysis, George has lost his mother under very agonizing circumstances. To overcome sorrows that are associated with death, he will need physical, social, and psychological support from people surrounding him.

Physical Help

George needs physical help to manage his sorrows. According to Emanuel and Librach (2011), sometimes it may be challenging to identify an approach that is appropriate for a person who is undergoing emotional pain. For George, he may likely feel miserable and have little desire to eat. To him, this may be the only way of making it up to his mother for abandoning her. However, this may only worsen his situation. His wife, friends, and family members can work together to ensure that he takes his meals. Physiotherapy may also be recommended to relieve him of excess pressure (Lugton & McIntyre 2005, p. 42).

Emotional and Psychological Help

During this trying time, George requires a lot of emotional and psychological help to return to a normal life. From the case study, it is apparent that he feels guilty for not being close to his mother when needed. The condition of his mother worsened when he was away from her. He was the only child of his 80-year-old mother. Under normal circumstances, he would be expected to stay close to his aging mother and offer her the necessary care. However, he chose to be miles away. This causes him pain and arouses feelings of guilt about what he failed to do for his mother. He feels that he abandoned his mother at a very important stage in her life. Emotional therapy will be appropriate for him to overcome these feelings. He will also need the help of a psychotherapist to help him in dealing with painful memories of his mother’s death. He was present when his mother was dying, and it turned out to be a shocking experience because she passed away in pain. This is something that may not be easily erased from his mind unless he gets professional help.

Social Help

According to Mitchell (2008), people who are bereaved always need social support from friends and family members to help them manage their stress. George needs social support. When friends and family members come together to help him in these trying moments, his pain will be bearable. What he needs is not sympathy because this will only worsen the situation. He needs people who will distract his mind from the sad memories of his mother. He needs people who can help him recall happy life events that he had with his late mother. This way, he will feel comfortable when thinking about her.


From the discussion above, it is clear that George needs support to overcome painful memories of his mother’s death. The only way of managing this pain is to provide him with physical, emotional, and social support from people close to him.

List of References

Emanuel, L & Librach, S 2011, Palliative care: Core skills and clinical competencies, Saunders, Philadelphia.

Lugton, J & McIntyre, R 2005, Palliative care: The nursing role, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.

Mitchell, G 2008, Palliative care: A patient-centered approach, Radcliffe, Oxford.

Twycross, R 2003, Introducing palliative care, Radcliffe Medical Press, Oxford.

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