Therapy for Grief
Grief and loss counselling is a supportive therapy that can help you to process feelings of loss. This therapy can be helpful whether your grief and loss are recent or whether you are experiencing complicated grief, where painful emotions are so long lasting and severe you are having trouble recovering from the loss and resuming your own life.
Benefits of Grief Counselling
Your counsellor is not the expert on your grief, but someone who is skilled in assisting you to find meaning and healing in your experience. A grief counsellor can help you express your thoughts and emotions about your loss by creating a safe space to talk freely and explore your feelings. It may take time for you to fully express your emotions, but through the use of different approaches and techniques, grief counselling can help you to address the pain that is holding you back from life.
There are many events or situations that can give rise to feelings of grief, though sometimes we may not be aware that these are the source of our painful feelings.
Causes of grief can include loss of:
Relationship - due to bereavement, separation, or divorce.
Pregnancy - through miscarriage, termination or infertility.
Health - as a result of illness.
Occupation/career - due to termination, or retirement.
Community/belonging - after relocation, or migration.
Difficulty adjusting to loss can create a cycle that perpetuates your grief. For example, grief and loss may be exacerbated by withdrawal, increasing feelings of loneliness and alienation. If you feel like other people don’t understand or expect you to move on, this may leave you feeling confused and hurt, leading to increasing feelings of isolation. Forming a therapeutic relationship with the right grief counsellor can start the process of reconnecting with yourself and others.
Losing a loved one can make us feel unable to cope or make sense of our changing world and identity. For some people, the grieving process may result in intense, all-encompassing, feelings, which can make it difficult to think about anything else.
Others may try to push down or mask such intense feelings in an effort to move on, however this may delay or prevent the healing process. This emotional pain may also be experienced as physical symptoms, such as tiredness or agitation, palpitations, “heartache”, “butterflies”, headaches, nausea or loss of appetite.
While we can sometimes go through the grief process, accept our loss, and move on, at other times we may:
Become stuck in an ongoing, painful experience;
Be consumed with sadness or guilt;
Feel unable to imagine life without a loved one;
Feel unable to move forward after an unfortunate or tragic event.
Various techniques and treatments can be used to help with grief. Strategies that are suitable to your unique personality and situation or experience can help you in various ways, such as:
Rediscovering a sense of meaning and purpose
Finding forgiveness for your self and others
Connecting with feelings of peace and acceptance
Engaging more with life
Talk therapy supports people to work through their pain after a devastating loss, to find healing and growth.
When you are ready to tallk, grief counselling can help you to bring to the surface what has been causing the emotional pain and despair, so that it can be effectively processed and released.