Deutsch: Verlust / Español: Pérdida / Português: Perda / Français: Perte / Italiano: Perdita /

Loss means to be separated from and deprived of a valued person, object, status, or relationship; may involve death or other types of endings or terminations; primary losses involve the ending of a basic attachment; secondary losses are those that follow from a primary loss.


In psychology, "loss" refers to the experience of being deprived of something significant, valuable, or meaningful. This can include the loss of a loved one through death, the loss of a relationship through separation or divorce, the loss of a job or financial security, or the loss of health or physical ability. Loss often triggers a range of emotional responses, including grief, sadness, anger, and confusion. It can disrupt an individual's sense of identity, purpose, and security, leading to feelings of emptiness and vulnerability. Psychologists recognize that loss is a universal human experience and that individuals may cope with it in various ways, influenced by cultural, social, and personal factors.

Application Areas

  • Bereavement counseling
  • Grief therapy
  • Trauma counseling
  • Divorce counseling
  • Career counseling
  • Chronic illness management

Treatment and Risks

  • Grief counseling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Support groups
  • Risks include prolonged grief, depression, anxiety, and complicated grief disorder.


  • Mourning the death of a family member or friend
  • Coping with the end of a romantic relationship
  • Adjusting to retirement and the loss of a career
  • Coming to terms with a chronic illness or disability
  • Dealing with the loss of a pet

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Bereavement
  • Sorrow
  • Grief
  • Deprivation
  • Suffering


Articles with 'Loss' in the title

  • Ambiguous loss: Ambiguous loss refers to a Condition in which death is uncertain because there is no verification of death, as when a soldier is missing in action and there is no body, or when a per son is physically present but unable to participate in an . . .
  • Coping with Loss: Coping with Loss: Coping with loss involves the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral processes that individuals use to manage the stress and pain associated with losing someone or something important
  • Gain-loss effect: Gain-loss effect refers to the finding that we like people the most if we feel we have gained in their estimation of us (ie. if they initially disliked us but now like us) and that we dislike people the most if we feel we have lost their fa . . .
  • Loss continuum: Loss continuum: Loss continuum refers to a theory of person–environment interactions based on the notion that social participation declines as personal losses increase
  • Loss-oriented processes: Loss-oriented processes is one of the two (2) complementary sets of coping processes in mourning that is concerned primarily in coping with "restoration"
  • Memory loss: Memory loss which is also referred to as Amnesia is an abnormal degree of forgetfulness and/or inability to recall past events. Memory loss, depending on the cause, may have either a sudden or gradual onset, and it may be permanent or tempo . . .
  • Noise-induced hearing loss: Noise-induced hearing loss refers to the damage caused by exposing the hair cells to excessively loud sounds. It is a form of sensorineural hearing loss that occurs when loud noises cause degeneration of the hair cells
  • Process loss: Process loss is defined as any aspect of group interaction that inhibits good problem solving. Likewise, Process loss is reduction in performance effectiveness or efficiency caused by actions, operations, or dynamics that prevent the group . . .
  • Traumatic losses: Traumatic losses refer to losses and deaths that include objective elements such as suddenness and lack of anticipation- violence, mutilation, and destruction- preventability or randomness- multiple deaths- and the mourner's personal encoun . . .


In psychology, "loss" refers to the experience of being deprived of something significant, valuable, or meaningful, which can trigger a range of emotional responses. It is a universal human experience that can disrupt individuals' sense of identity, purpose, and security. Psychologists apply various interventions and treatments to help individuals cope with loss, including counseling, therapy, and support groups. Understanding the complexities of loss is crucial for facilitating healing and promoting psychological well-being.


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