How Does Grief Counseling Work?

by Jul 6, 2023309 comments

Losing a loved one is hard. The age-old saying, “time heals all wounds” might feel more like a broken promise than a comforting thought. Many assume that life goes back to normal after some period of time — and to a degree, it does. But “back to normal” doesn’t necessarily mean “the same as it was before.” Your version of normal may look a little different now.

Grief can be an incredibly isolating experience, and grief counseling might sound like a fruitless endeavor. After all, it won’t bring your loved one back. However, grief counseling is more than just talking about your feelings. It’s about giving you the tools you need to navigate difficult times in your life, even beyond this moment.

Let’s learn more about how grief counseling works.

What Is Grief Counseling?

Grief counseling is a type of therapy that can help you work through the emotions and different stages of grief after experiencing a loss. While there are similar stages that many people go through when they’re grieving, there isn’t a right or wrong way to go through the grieving process.

The five stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not every person will go through all five stages of grief. Some people may only go through one or two out of the five stages. Each person will experience grief in their own unique way.

How Grief Counseling Works

Because there isn’t a right or wrong way to navigate the grieving process, there are many different techniques that a therapist can use depending on the type of loss, where you’re at in the grieving process, and your personal preferences. These are just a few of the different techniques that a therapist may apply during a session with you.

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): The combination of acceptance and a commitment to action and change through mindfulness.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): A form of therapy that works to reframe and replace negative thought patterns with more positive ways of thinking.
  • Complicated grief treatment (CGT): A combination of therapy and the use of medication or antidepressants.
  • Talk therapy: Talking about the loss with the help of a therapist.
  • Mindfulness: Deep breathing, journaling, repeating mantras, or practicing yoga or meditation.
  • Ritual: The act of mourning and remembering the individual that was lost through different activities or objects.

The Benefits of Grief Counseling

These are some of the many different benefits of going to grief counseling. Grief comes with a lot of different emotions. It’s common to want to push those feelings deep, down inside of yourself. Working with a therapist can be a way to actually allow yourself to feel and process all of those emotions. A therapist can also work with you to help you better understand the different stages of grief.

Once you have a better understanding, you’ll be able to identify and acknowledge where you are in the process as well as address the loss. Talking about the loss and your loved one can be a great way to start the process of overcoming any guilt that you may feel and start to accept that the loss occurred.

Next Steps

Each and every person in the world will experience grief at some point throughout their lifetime. Even though everyone experiences it, it doesn’t make the grieving process any easier. Even though your grief may be making it feel like you’re alone, you’re not.

Help is available to you when you’re ready to ask for it. Don’t delay in getting the help you need and deserve. Grief counseling won’t replace your memories of your loved one. We’re here to help you remember and honor them. Reach out to us today to set up a therapy appointment.