Grief Counseling

Grief counseling can help individuals deal with their feelings of intense grief that follow the loss of a loved one. This article provides some more information about the same.
PsycholoGenie Staff
One of the imminent and unavoidable aspects of life is the feeling of grief. All of us experience it at some point of time. Losing one's pet, the death of a family member or friend, divorce, children leaving home and moving away, loss of one's health, loss of mobility or freedom, losing a cherished friendship, or losing one's possessions or home due to a natural disaster or due to aging are just a few examples. Grief strikes in many forms. Its intensity often depends on the amount of significance that the loss bears to the individual experiencing it.

The Need for Counseling

The way grief is experienced and expressed differs according to the individual. Usually, the individual has intense feelings of helplessness and withdraws from his/her family and friends. Some people experience anger and feel like taking action. In fact, it can elicit a wide variety of behavioral and emotional responses. However, providing support to the grieving individual is always beneficial for him/her. In the absence of such support, counseling can help in dealing with the devastating effects of grief. It can also help in the event of an interruption in the grieving process due to some reason, such as the necessity of practical matters of survival, or having to be the strong one in the family, which results in this feeling being suppressed and resurfacing later on.

This counseling becomes particularly necessary when the affected person is so completely overwhelmed and debilitated by their grief that their natural coping capabilities are lost. They are unable to function normally or carry out their daily routine.

How it Works

Grief counseling works by helping the concerned individuals work their way through their memories, thoughts, and feelings about the loved one they have lost. While pain and anguish can be felt by different people for different reasons, like the loss of a relationship, ideals, goals, and so on, counseling is usually meant for providing support and a means of adjustment after the loss of a loved one.

It assists people in acknowledging the normal aspects of the process of mourning or grieving, coming to terms with the pain of the loss, having a sense of being supported through the natural anxiety of the changes that take place in one's life due to that loss, as well as develop methods of seeking self-care and support.

This therapy can help in facilitating the concerned individual in expressing their emotions as well as thoughts about their loss, such as feelings of numbness, confusion, isolation, relief, guilt, loneliness, anger, anxiety, and sadness. It helps the individual accept the loss and adjust to the changes in life, along with dealing with the changes that occur within oneself as well as in the outside world.

It also helps the grieving individual to creatively work out the challenges that come with the loss. People often experience traumatic feelings of disorganization, tiredness, trouble in concentrating on anything, disruption in sleep as well as vivid dreams, appetite changes, and many more things. The counseling addresses these issues also, ultimately helping the individual to move on with their life.

It is always better to seek help in situations that cannot be controlled. Going for counseling is better than trying to face grief alone. Help in any form is always beneficial.