Grief Counseling

Have you experienced the death of a loved one? 

Or experienced another type of significant loss?

Perhaps you find yourself in a transition that has left you struggling.

Do you find yourself overcome with sadness?

Unable to concentrate?

Concerned your feelings will never go away?

 

Regardless of whether or not your loss was recent or long ago, your suffering and grief are real and deserve to be processed. 

 

Understanding Grief and its Effects

 

Transitions and loss are an inevitable part of life, and grief is our natural response and part of our healing process.  Grief comes in many forms and is unique to each individual.  There are no timetables with grief and grief is non-linear.  Grief takes time, patience, and grace, and what helps one person cope with his/her grief may not be helpful to someone else. Often people think that grief is only experienced after someone dies, and while the grief one experiences after a death loss is extremely significant, people experience grief for a number of reasons including:

 

  • death loss

  • a move

  • a lifestyle change 

  • the loss of a job

  • the end of a relationship- romantic or not

  • a health diagnosis

  • the birth of a baby

  • a natural disaster

  • pet loss

  • aging

  • the loss of trust

  • a new job

  • financial distress

  • empty nest

  • the loss of a dream

  • leaving home

  • graduation

  • the anticipation of a death, among others.

Grief often affects our whole being, and adapting to a loss is a journey that takes as long as it takes. Grief is a matter of learning to accept and live with the loss, rather than get over the loss.  There are many reactions people may experience after a loss including: physical, cognitive, spiritual, behavioral, and emotional. While reactions and durations vary, following are some examples. ...

Physical Reactions to Grief May Include- 

  • Changes in appetite- over/under eating

  • Physical ailments- digestive issues, headaches, tension, blood pressure changes, among others

  • Sleep disturbance- over/under sleeping, difficulty falling/staying asleep, nightmares, among others 

 

Cognitive Reactions to Grief May Include-

  • Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, shortened attention span

  • Loss-centered thinking

  • Magical thinking (I made this happen)

  • Daydreaming

 

Spiritual Reactions to Grief May Include-

Regardless of one’s belief system, a person may find him/herself:

  • questioning or challenging belief system

  • strengthening/weakening belief system in light of the loss

 

Behavioral Reactions to Grief May Include-

  • Irritability 

  • Passive/aggressive behavior

  • Self-doubt

  • Self destructive behaviors- use of drugs or alcohol, sexual promiscuity, challenging fate, etc.

  • Hyperactivity as a way to express anxiety/stress

 

Emotional Reactions to Grief May Include-

  • Fear of places, social settings, decision making, etc.

  • Self guilt and blame- should have/would have/could have

  • Hopelessness/helplessness

  • Anger

  • Withdrawal

 

Grief is a highly personal, deeply emotional experience.  You can’t go around it.  You have to go through it. And sometimes that requires help. I can attest to the necessity of having to go through the pain of grief myself in order to come out on the other side.

 

Grief Counseling Can Help You Feel Better

 

Feelings commonly associated with grief include: sadness, anger, shock, denial, and fear, to name a few. The feelings felt following a loss are often powerful and overwhelming, and often isolating. While in the midst of grieving you may wonder if you’ll ever live a life beyond the pain again.  The road to resolving grief may be long, but you do not need to suffer alone. 

 

Regardless of the type of loss and resulting grief, it is essential to find healthy and positive coping mechanisms to resolve the loss. Because there are so many changes a person goes through following a loss, grief counseling can be extremely beneficial. Grief counseling is an effective way to learn to cope with the changes and stressors related to the loss, and learn techniques to navigate ones symptoms.  It allows a person to explore his/her thoughts, feelings, and memories, as well as address and adjust to the loss(es) and pain in a safe and supportive environment.

 

 If any of the above rings true for you, I would be honored to companion with you on your grief journey.

 'The best way out is through.' -R. Frost