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  • Writer's pictureLeslie

How can grief counseling help me?

Our society has left us woefully unprepared to grieve. Even though death is inevitable for all of us, we rarely talk about it. And when someone does die, we often feel uncomfortable when someone cries, and uncertain about what to say. As a result, we feel lost. We tend to bottle up all of our thoughts and feelings, and then they come out in unexpected and sometimes destructive ways. Grief counseling can’t make the grief go away, but it can help you grieve more effectively. Here’s a few ways that grief counseling can help:

is grief counseling helpful

“When we bottle up or ignore our emotions, we’re missing an opportunity for growth and healing.”

  • Learn how to manage big emotions - Difficult emotions such as sadness, anger, fear etc. are often bottled up until the most minor thing sets us off and then we explode. But when we bottle up or ignore our emotions, we’re missing an opportunity for growth and healing. The key is to learn how to manage emotions in a way that feels safe. This is where coping skills come into play. Grief counseling can be a place to learn and practice coping skills so that when waves of emotion overcome you, you’re able to keep your head above water.

  • Tell your story - After a major loss we need to tell stories - stories of our loved one, stories of what happened, stories about how difficult it is to go on without them. Stories help us make sense of our loss, our grief, and our survival. And sometimes we need to tell the same story over and over until we find the meaning we are looking for. Friends and family may not know how to listen or grow tired of listening. Grief counseling is a place to talk about your loved one and tell your story with someone who will actively listen and strive to provide comfort.

“The only way out of intense grieving is working through it.”

  • Grapple with big questions - A major loss can make us question our faith, identity, and even our reality. You may be wondering, Why did this happen? How can there be so much pain and suffering in the world? How can I stay connected with my loved one if they are not physically here? It can be difficult to lean on just friends and family during this time. They might be dealing with their own grief, have different beliefs from you, or just don’t understand the depth of what you are going through. Grief counseling can be a place to explore these existential questions with a person who will not impose their beliefs on you.

  • Learn about the grieving process - Clients often say, “It’s been a year since I lost my loved one. Shouldn’t I be back to normal?” The intense grieving process after a major loss often takes 2 to 3 years, but grief is never truly over because you’ll always miss your loved one. And you will likely not “return to normal” because major losses change people. However, research shows the grieving process does get easier, and people do find a new normal. It can be helpful for a grief counselor to share these and other hard truths based on knowledge, experience, and research in the field.

Grieving is hard work. The only way out of intense grieving is working through it. Having a grief counselor as a companion during this difficult time can make the process easier. Together we can work on building coping skills, answering difficult questions, and finding ways to stay connected with your loved one. Not only can you get through this difficult time, but you can also deal with it effectively to help you heal. You don’t have to walk through grief alone. Schedule a free consultation today to start a journey toward healing.


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