Grief Counseling and the Experience of LossUnderstand your own unique grief process, develop coping strategies.
Grief Counseling at LifePaths Counseling Center
Although it is an inevitable part of life, grieving when someone important to you has died can be a very difficult time. A few ideas are listed below that can be helpful whether you are considering counseling to help you through this process, looking for information to help yourself, or seeking information to help someone who is grieving. For what it is worth, the more grief hurts, then apparently the more the person meant to you in your life. Sometimes, reminding ourselves to be grateful for that can help. And this stands true even if you aren’t grieving a person, but something else important in your life.
First of all, there are many types of loss.
When you hear the word “grief” your initial thought is probably that of grief in response to the death of a loved one. However, people may experience grief in response to other losses such as divorce, becoming disabled, or losing a job.
Each of us has our own unique way of responding to a loss. Some talk it out and some process things internally. Some people cry, some never do. There are no rules and no matter what a person shows on the outside, there can be intense and conflicting emotions on the inside.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself while grieving is to be accepting of your own unique grief process.
Sometimes when a loss affects you and others in your life, you can find that the different responses people have can clash. For instance, if you need to process things internally but your sister tends to want to talk about your shared loss, it may become difficult for the two of you to support each other. Understanding this, and finding a way to work around it together can help you both.
Another important thing to do for yourself is to know the best forms of support you have in your life. The most common are talking with friends or family members, doing healthy activities that help you feel positive, or practicing your faith through prayer, scripture study, or church activities.
There is no specific timeline to grief. Sometimes you may hear from others that you should “move on” or that you should have gotten over it by now. Not only do each of us have our own way of responding to a loss, each person has their own amount of time needed as well.
Ultimately, the losses we experience change us forever. The process of grieving allows a person to come to terms with how he or she has changed. When the loss is of a loved one, it allows you to come to terms with the changed relationship to that person.
You may be helped by a book by Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, she is the author of Transcending Loss, a book about grief.
We have a client handout we created with some ideas from her book about what grievers cannot do, and what they can do. (ask us for this, we’ll send it to you)