Relationship loss can be very traumatic hence EMDR (a NICE approved treatment for trauma) can be very effective.
Hypnotherapy can be employed to boost self-esteem and NLP can be used to challenge limiting beliefs.
It can also be advantageous to teach assertiveness and to introduce more positive coping behaviours.
The second most intense life stress, after death, is divorce or loss of a love relationship. Most of us beyond 14 or 16 have felt the intense pain and anguish of being rejected by a lover. Many writers have dealt with marital problems and the long, distressful process of divorce. Kessler (1975) described seven stages of divorce / relationship loss:
Stage 1: Disillusionment
After the bliss of falling in love (with the ideal person for you), a new idea sneaks into your mind: your lover has some faults. You may begin "psychologising," e.g. "he is very self-centered," "she is nagging like my mother," "he flirts with women to hide his sexual fears," "she gets a lot more involved with the children than she does with me," etc. If these feelings grow in either person, without being resolved, the relationship is in trouble.
Stage 2: Erosion
The disappointments and fault-finding reduce the love and attraction. They may not know what is wrong or what to say. If the relationship is becoming a little strained, this is the best time to have a good, straight talk or to seek marriage counseling. If no changes are made, a lot of destructive interactions may take place: put each other down, compete for attention, spend money carelessly, find new interests, watch each other critically, avoid each other, stop "confiding" or having sex.
Stage 3: Detachment
Each disappointment hurts. "Love dies a thousand deaths." Lovers pull away to avoid hurts and sadness. If the isolation continues, it becomes more and more difficult to return to being lovers. Sometimes only one person is in the detachment stage; that is enough to kill the relationship. In this stage, the couple share and talk little, imply that "I don't care" even though they're hurting, and begin to think of other possible partners. They can't decide to leave or not. Often anger sets in--anger makes it easier to decide to separate.
Stage 4: Physical separation
Separating is a sure sign the relationship has failed. Before, you might say, "we aren't getting along; we're fighting a lot," but now the relationship is gone--lost. There are many reactions to separation: often it is a painful, crushing void, sometimes if you have wanted out for a long time it is a relief, usually there is loneliness, fear, and feelings of failure. There are many adjustments to make--new place to live, new routine, new people, etc.
Stage 5: Mourning and letting go
We mourn the loss of a partner, even one who has caused us pain. It is the loss of a dream, if nothing else. We rid ourselves of the "ghosts" of our past love, give up hope of reconciliation, and realize the ex-lover is gone forever. Usually there is a mix of intense emotions: sadness, anger, guilt, fear, hope. Often we spend hours reliving the old relationship--how awful he/she was, how it should have been, whose fault it was, etc. The person needs to "work through" these old emotions. Eventually, he/she will decide to get on with his/her life.
Stage 6: A new life.
The focus shifts from the past to the future. Sometimes there is even an obsession with a new interest or life-style--new clothes and looks, drinking, seducing and partying, or complete involvement with work and planning a new career or volunteering to help in some social-political movement. Some are eager to find love again, others hate the opposite sex, others are scared of emotional involvement. In some ways it's like being a teenager again.
Stage 7: Healthy adjustment
With luck, one emerges from a broken relationship wiser, tougher, stronger, and mellower. You have found some good friends and made reasonable plans for the future. You are no longer so worried you can't sleep at nights and, although life is hard, you are ready to move on to something better.
Research: Eisenburger, N & Lieberman, M (2004) Why rejection hurts: A common neural alarm system for physical and social pain. Trends in Cognitive Science Vol 8 (7): 294-300
Numerous languages characterize 'social pain', the feelings resulting from social estrangement, with words typically reserved for describing physical pain ('broken heart', 'broken bones') and perhaps for good reason. It has been suggested that, in mammalian species, the social-attachment system borrowed the computations of the pain system to prevent the potentially harmful consequences of social separation.
Mounting evidence from the animal lesion and human neuroimaging literatures suggests that physical and social pain overlap in their underlying neural circuitry and computational processes. We review evidence suggesting that the anterior cingulate cortex plays a key role in the physical-social pain overlap. We also suggest that the physical-social pain circuitry might share components of a broader neural alarm system.