Neurocove Behavioral Health, LLC

 Specialists in psychological assessment, therapy, and counseling for 

anxiety, depression, and trauma throughout Florida. 

coping with death

Coping with Death

Death is a certainty. Coping with death in an adaptive way it is not.

The one indisputable human universal is death. We all will have to cope with the deaths of people around us and, ultimately, our mortality. We might encounter different situations that force us to learn how to deal with loss and death.

Coping with death: Family Members

The first experience with death we might have often is the loss of a family member, like a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, or another relative. This can get us thinking about death, what it is, and how to cope. Generally, it is important to mourn the person and give ourselves time to grieve. It’s OK to be less affected if we were not as involved with the relative or more affected. There are no rules for mourning. Something that many people find helpful is focusing on the positive memories you have with the person and the things you used to share. Talk about this to your friends or family members and connect with these experiences. Say goodbye in your way and give yourself time to come to terms with the loss.

Coping with death: Parents

Coping with the death of a parent is often the defining loss in our lives. At the same time, it is, unfortunately, a loss many adults have to cope with. In a way, people are on some level aware that they have good chances of outliving their parents, and yet when it happens, it comes as a shock. The loss of a parent who was present and with whom the person had a good relationship can feel like losing one’s balance, feeling suddenly alone. For those who had bad or conflicted relationships, the death can shatter any ideas about reconciliation and often leave the adult child with a sense of guilt and shame over their relationships, even if they recognize it as a toxic one.

Coping with the loss of a parent can be a challenge. Here is what might help you. First, it’s important to give yourself the time and opportunity to grieve. Even if it was coming, even if it is the “natural order of things”, you deserve to grieve and feel as sad as you need to. Seeking social support and people to talk to can be very important, and many people benefit from professional support as well, especially if their grief remains very intense during a long period of time (more than a year).

Grieving time and time again is normal. We might feel better and then suddenly get hit with another wave of emotion, be it anxiety, anger, sadness, or any other feeling. The grief gets better over time but it might never fully go away.

We can manage it better by remembering our parents and the things they gave us, keeping them close to us emotionally, and taking time to experience the emotions we might be feeling. Many find that art, writing, and other practices can help them express and understand their emotions.

Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash

Coping with death: Children

The death of a child, for many, is the most devastating loss a person can have, for many reasons. It goes, in a way, against the natural order of things, it can come too early, leaving many regrets, and strong feelings of guilt and sadness. The loss of a child can weigh on a parent for many years for these and many other reasons.

People who are facing this experience can especially benefit from professional help and support. They might seek out support groups and spaces for parents with similar experiences, as there can be a sense that others do not understand what they are going through. They also need to respect their grieving process and allow themselves time. This loss is not easy to overcome.

Many people find comfort in memorializing their child’s name through a foundation, charity, initiative, or project that is meant to help others or is related to the child in some way, for instance, dedicated to researching their illness or reducing the number of drunk drivers. Meaningful work can help a parent cope with the death, however, it is by no means a requirement or the right way to cope. Here, there is no right way either.

A parent might be especially in need of social and emotional support from their family, friends, and others in their life. Help and opportunities to talk and be understood are very important.

In general, there is no single way of grieving or coping with death. Unfortunately, the best way to cope with a loss is to allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling and live with that. We need to give it time and take good care of ourselves throughout this emotionally exhausting experience. We should not push ourselves to grieve in a certain way or set goals, because the process is unique to everyone. There are no right or wrong ways of doing things unless we are truly hurting ourselves in the process. Then, we might need a little help or support to turn to better coping strategies.

Grief is something that we cannot escape. Living through it might change us but it can also help us become stronger and accept our loss in a way that allows us to keep the good memories of the person that has left us. For many, it can become a part of them but a part that does not only hurt but brings strength and drive to go forward and to be better. Through our contact with others, our emotional experience, our ways of expressing the pain, and our cherished memories, we can find ways to cope with the grief that works better for us.

coping with death
Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

What is the difference between grief, morning, and bereavement?

Often, these terms are used interchangeably, but they actually refer to different things.


Grief is a normal process following the loss of a loved one. Expressing grief is the individual way we react and process the death of loved ones.


Mourning is how grief and loss are demonstrated in public. Mourning can involve religious ceremonies or rituals and may include cultural customs. The traditions of mourning − seeing friends and family and preparing for the viewing, funeral, and burial often give some structure to the grieving process.


Grief and mourning happen during a period of time called bereavement. Bereavement refers to the time when a person experiences sadness after losing a loved one.

coping with death
Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Complicated Grief

Sometimes, grief, morning, and bereavement do not improve with time. If “normal grieving” does not occur, or if the grieving goes on for a long time without any progress, it’s called “complicated grief” or “unresolved grief.” Symptoms of complicated grief might include:

  • Continued disbelief in the death of the loved one, or emotional numbness over the loss
  • Difficulty accepting the death
  • Preoccupation with how their loved one died.
  • Intense sorrow and emotional pain, which may include bitterness or anger
  • Difficulty experiencing good memories about the loved one
  • Blaming oneself for the death
  • Wishing to die to be with the loved one
  • Excessive attempts to avoid reminders of their loss
  • Continuous yearning and longing for the deceased
  • Feeling alone, detached from others, or distrustful of others since the death
  • Feeling as though life is meaningless or empty without the loved one
  • Loss of identity or their purpose in life or feeling as though a part of themselves died with the loved one.

Often, complicated grief requires professional assistance to move past these maladaptive or excessive thoughts and emotions.

Helpful Skills and Strategies for Coping with Death

We generally hope a bereaved person will be able to work through the mourning process naturally. They will accept and make sense of the loss with time and encouragement, work through the pain, and adapt to a life without their loved one present. If a loved one has been lost to you or someone you know, the following tips can help you cope with the loss:

  1. Do not bottle up your emotions or try to “compartmentalize”. Feeling negative, sad, or distressing emotions is normal following the loss of a loved one.
  2. Give yourself time. Do not pressure yourself to resolve your feelings by a certain time limit, and similarly, realize that other people’s expectations or process for grieving or bereavement do not apply to you.
  3. Seek support. Speak about your grief, your feelings, and the experience of the loved one’s life and death. Do not believe that by not sharing your sorrow, you are shielding your family and friends. Ask for what you need from others.
  4. Strive to keep your normal lifestyle. During the first year of bereavement, don’t make any big life changes (for example, traveling, changing jobs, changing important relationships). It will help you to preserve your roots and some sense of protection.
  5. Pay attention to your needs. Eat and exercise regularly. A healthy way to relieve anxiety is through physical exercise. Allow yourself physical pleasures, like hot baths, naps, and favorite foods, that help you renew yourself.
  6. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or the use of other drugs. This can hurt your body as well as amplify or flatten your natural negative emotions.
  7. Forgive yourself for all the things that you have said or done, or that you have not said or not done. In recovery, love, and empathy for yourself and others are important.
  8. Give yourself a break from grief. You must work through it, but you don’t need to focus on grief all the time. Find distractions like going to a movie, dinner, or a ball game; reading a good book; listening to music, or getting a massage or manicure.
  9. Give yourself a break from grief. You must work through it, but you don’t need to focus on grief all the time. Find distractions like going to a movie, dinner, a ball game, reading a good book, listening to music, or getting a massage or manicure.
  10. Find a support group for bereavement or loss. You may find encouragement, guidance, or comfort from those who have experienced similar things in their life which makes you feel less isolated. Online groups could be useful if you can’t locate a community near you.

Therapy for Grief

Several evidence-based interventions can help improve our coping with death associated with the death of a loved one, whether the loss was a parent, child, extended family member, or friend. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help with negative cognitions associated with grief and loss. Similarly, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can help change or relationship with pain, distress, and suffering associated with the loss of a loved one. If you feel you or a loved one feel you need assistance moving past difficult losses, please do not hesitate to call, email, or schedule an appointment with us.


Dr. Benson Munyan is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in both Florida and Arizona. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine and the Director of Neurocove Behavioral Health, LLC. He specializes in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma-related disorders. Dr. Munyan earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He currently holds clinical privileges at both Neurocove Behavioral Health and the Orlando Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System. He has also previously published clinical research and articles in peer-reviewed journals including PLoS One and Clinical Case Studies.
Benson Munyan, Ph.D.
Jessica Candelo LMHC Orlando Therapist

Jessica Candelo, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor


My name is Jessica Candelo, LMHC, but you can call me Jess, if you’d like. I am a Marine Corps veteran and a mom which both play into my experiences and understanding of life. I have experience working with individuals facing anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, insomnia, parenting stress, military related stressors and/or traumas, and addictions. I focus on providing a safe and comfortable environment, paired with evidence-based therapies to suit the needs of my clients and meet their personal goals of recovery and growth. It’s not easy and sometimes we just want to throw in the towel, but that does not have to be the final answer. Together we can work through what you’re experiencing and move toward a place of healing.


I believe that cultivating a healthy and strong therapeutic relationship is very important in the overall process of change. Our first session is geared towards getting to know each other as well as identifying and establishing the needs and focus of the treatment plan moving forward. It is my goal to ensure you feel safe, heard, and understood throughout each session so that a collaborative and well-established treatment plan is enacted.


I try to provide a genuine, light-hearted, and humanistic environment to every session. To be honest, I try to make sure every session feels like a normal conversation by utilizing everyday language and rhetoric; I might even through in some humor where appropriate because laughter can often feel like a breath of fresh air. Overall, I want you to feel like you can voice your needs and concerns without fear of judgement all while finding suitable, potential solutions. Life is hard to navigate at times but I’m here to help.


  • Trauma-Focused
  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Behavior Modification 
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Person-Centered Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing Mindfulness-Based (MBCT)
  • Cognitive Processing (CPT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Rachel Creamer, Ph.D.



My name is Dr. Rachel Creamer. I specialize in providing evidenced-based care to those struggling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and trauma. Seeking therapy takes tremendous courage. You are taking the first step toward positive change. We will work together to help you reach a fulfilling and values-driven life. 


The goal of our first session is to better understand what brings you to therapy and to get to know you better. In the first session we will also talk about your goals for treatment and ways to accomplish these goals. We will also focus on learning skills to help you start making positive changes today. 


Therapy can bring about great positive change. Fostering a safe and compassionate space for clients is the foundation for allowing growth in therapy. Therapy is collaborative. While I am the expert on evidence-based treatment, you are the expert on you. We will work together on reaching your treatment goals and creating a more gratifying life. 


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Couples Therapy (Gottman method)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Nicholas James Psychologist Orlando Florida

Nicholas James, Ph.D.



My name is Nicholas James, Ph.D. I have experience working with individuals facing anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, insomnia, and caregiver strain. I focus on matching evidence-based therapies to the needs of my clients to meet their personal goals of recovery and growth.


I believe that change occurs through personal reflection, cultivating strengths and resources, and incorporating growth into everyday life. It is my goal that each session is collaborative and integrates needs, beliefs, and your background into a person-centered treatment plan.


I try to bring a genuine, humanistic atmosphere to every session. My therapeutic approach is centered in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and incorporates additional evidence-based practices to address unique needs that arise during therapy.


  • Trauma Focused
  • Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Acceptance & Commitment (ACT)
  • Behavior Modification
  • Humanistic
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI) 
  • Mindfulness-Based (MBCT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Benson Munyan Psychologist Orlando Florida

Benson Munyan, PhD, ABPP



My name is Dr. Benson Munyan. I am a board-certified clinical psychologist. I specialize in working with those experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma. If you are reading this, there’s a good chance you’re looking for something. Whatever the origin of your story, you are here. There is no time like the present to change our tomorrow.


From our very first session, skills are introduced, demonstrated, and assigned as practice assignments between meetings. I collaboratively set each session agenda with my clients, ensuring we have time for following up since the last session, troubleshooting any problems with skills or homework, and working on new problems or material.


Let’s be honest. Sometimes, life is hard. And sometimes, it downright sucks. There, I said it. I believe we should be able to use everyday language in therapy, and that participating in therapy as our most genuine selves empowers us to better understand the challenges we’re facing as well as potential solutions.


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Trauma-Focused Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
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