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Grief Counseling

Counseling for Grief

Many events in life can bring us the feeling of loss and grief: from the death of a loved one to an end of a relationship. These events can create an emotional experience that is intense and painful. However, there is hope. Grief counseling can be especially helpful in supporting you through these difficult experiences. Our expert therapists offer in-person and online grief counseling to help those struggling with loss and grief.

What Causes Grief?

Loss and grief are not limited to death. People can experience grief from many types of life experiences. Some situations which often lead people to seek Grief Counseling include:

  • Loss of a relationship
  • Divorce
  • Financial hardship
  • Change in lifestyle
  • Impaired health and aging
  • Shift in roles or career
  • Loss of a beloved pet

We offer affordable online and in-person grief counseling services.

Contact us today if you’re looking for help coping with grief. Our team will match you with a counselor that is right for you. Let us know if you have any specific preferences, including gender, payment type, approach to services, or other criteria.

Grief is a uniquely personal experience

There is no “appropriate” period of time for one to grieve. Grief lasts for as long as it lasts. Still, becoming stuck in this cycle can cause significant problems like depression, withdrawal from others, and addiction. For many, it can seem like you are trapped in the pain of of your loss with no way out. Understanding your own experience of grief can help you find some comfort and clarity in a very trying time.

Stages of Grief

Generally speaking, the experience of mourning a loss involves different stages of processing. Ideally though, these stages will lead to acceptance of the loss. Following the time when the tragedy struck, a person may find themselves experiencing some form of the following. They may refuse to believe what has happened. They could be drowning in anger and guilt. Or they may be trying, in some way, to bargain away the loss.

All of these experiences can come in waves, and last for minutes or days or longer. They can come and go and also come back again. There isn’t a linear progression when processing grief. Ultimately, the griever arrives at a state of acceptance. From there, they can begin the process of moving on. Without guidance or someone to talk to, this process can feel never-ending.

Descriptions of Grief

Though all grief is painful, there are different descriptions of grief that are categorized by the mourner’s ability to function in the weeks and months after the loss. How the type of loss is accepted in one’s social group or society at large also affects these descriptions.

Uncomplicated Grief

Uncomplicated grief describes losses that are processed with some temporary changes in thoughts or behavior. Though the survivor may experience fatigue, changes in appetite, or feelings of anger, this type of grief can often be managed after a brief period of mourning, allowing the person to continue attending to other parts of his or her life outside of the loss.

Complicated Grief

Complicated grief is used to describe grief that does not easily subside over time, and may even intensify as time goes on. This type of grief can be caused by a loss that is traumatic or disenfranchised, which can increase feelings of shame or isolation including: loss of a child or unborn child, death of a same-sex spouse, or death by suicide or an act of violence. If you are experiencing intense sadness, inability to focus, or feelings of guilt that impact your ability to function, you may be experiencing complicated grief.

Grief is a process where the pain is never absent. With the help of grief counseling, we remember the event that caused the grief, but we learn to tolerate the sadness that accompanies the memory. Time eventually brings understanding and healing. Though it can feel isolating to feel grief, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.

How do grief counseling techniques work? 

Like the experience itself, the treatment of grief is unique and deeply personal to each individual. Depending on the cause of grief and the client’s preferences, sessions can focus on moving through stages of grief towards acceptance, or simply utilizing the space to experience and discuss the loss you are experiencing with a supportive professional. In either case, grief counseling often focuses on stabilizing any distress that a person is experiencing as a result of the loss and teaching positive coping skills before moving on to processing the pain of one’s loss.

Individual Sessions 

Many people prefer to address their grief in individual sessions to have a more private and personal experience. It can be especially helpful to seek individual grief counseling when experiencing a complicated loss, as you may experience difficulty getting the support or understanding from loved ones that you may be looking for.

During individual grief therapy, clients talk about their loss and are given the support and tools to experience the pain of what they are going through without judgement or pressure to “move on.” The therapy space is often used for mourning and developing healthy coping skills to honor and tend to grief throughout its many stages.

In U.S. culture, grief is often stigmatized and treated as an experience that should be time-limited or only experienced in relation to specific types of loss. Therapy provides a safe space for grief to be discussed without time limitations or expectations, expressed discomfort from others, or judgement. If you or a loved one are struggling with grief, our therapists are here to help.

Grief counseling group therapy session

Group therapy is an alternative type of treatment that brings together people with similar losses to process their emotions and find comfort in knowing they are not alone. Many people experience a sense of relief when they know others are going through similar circumstances, and are able to find ways to cope with their grief. Group counseling is a wonderful intervention that creates a sense of community and belonging during a time that can feel extremely lonely or isolating.

Group counseling can also be a helpful alternative for children experiencing grief, as it allows them to relate to others who are experiencing loss at their age, which can be important for a child’s sense of belonging and self-acceptance. Contrary to some beliefs, children experience grief similarly to adults, and process loss best when given clear, direct explanations of what happened related to the loss. Though children may be spared difficult details surrounding a loss or death, it can be comforting for them to learn what their family or friends are experiencing from a trusted adult, rather then feeling the sadness of themselves and others with no knowledge of why things around them have changed.

We offer affordable online and in-person grief counseling services.

Contact us today if you’re looking for help coping with grief. Our team will match you with a counselor that is right for you. Let us know if you have any specific preferences, including gender, payment type, approach to services, or other criteria.

READ MORE

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With Us in Spirit: Honoring Lost Loved Ones

Complicated Grief: When the Pain of Loss Won’t Subside

Losing a Pet: Coping with a Powerful Grief