Grieving is a natural human emotion that we all experience at some time in our lives. The death of close family members, partners or friends can cause us to feel great heartache and loss. We also may grieve because of the emptiness we feel after dramatic life changes, such as losing a spouse in a divorce or losing our job in retirement.
The grieving process takes most of us through five stages. At first, we may deny our loss and the painful feelings associated with it. In the second stage, we become angry at what has happened and we ask, “Why me?” In the third stage, we try to bargain for the changes we want to see (“If you take away my pain, I will do this …”). The fourth stage - depression - is characterized by feelings of hopelessness, frustration and self-pity. The final stage is acceptance, when our mourning subsides and we accept our loss.
Moving through the grieving process alone is difficult. Unresolved feelings of grief can begin to affect every aspect of our lives.
Symptoms of grief:
- Painful Feelings - Are you overwhelmed with feelings of anger, sorrow or frustration?
- Depression - Do you have chronic feelings of sadness that won't go away? Have you felt suicidal?
- Relationship Problems - Are you ignoring your personal relationships or isolating yourself?
- Mental Confusion - Are you having trouble thinking clearly?
- Sleeplessness - Are you unable to sleep because of your loss?
- Addiction - Have you turned to drugs or alcohol to ease your pain?
Sometimes family and friends don't know how to help you to cope with your suffering. They may encourage you to “forget” about it and move on, not recognizing the intense emotional pain you are feeling. Grief counseling can offer you support and encouragement in this difficult time in your life.
Benefits of grief counseling:
- Talk about your loss in a compassionate setting.
- Find healthy ways to deal with your pain.
- Move through the grieving process so you can accept your loss.
- Improve your current relationships as you come to terms with your grief.
- Learn to honor the one you've lost in a fitting way.
When you suffer a loss, the anguish you feel is natural and understandable, but sometimes it can be difficult to move beyond your emotional pain. Counseling can help you to find resolution and relief in a caring, encouraging atmosphere. Schedule an appointment today.
Why do people seek therapy?
People choose therapy for many reasons. Some are facing an unexpected crisis, such as a divorce, a death in the family or a dramatic lifestyle change. Others want to explore their personal attitudes, emotions or childhood issues in an effort to launch positive changes in their lives. Still others are trying to conquer stress, anxiety or other problems that are preventing them from finding the joy in their daily lives.
What can therapy do for me?
Therapy can help you to find solutions to problems that are holding you back in life. Through counseling, you can explore issues from your past and begin to set goals for your future. Therapy can help you to clear your mind so that you can realistically appraise your life and make positive changes. You also can learn effective problem-solving techniques, helpful communication methods and other valuable skills.
What can I expect during a session?
Therapy gives you an opportunity to speak to a caring professional about your concerns and begin taking steps to resolve your problems. Counseling sessions are 50 minutes in length, and weekly visits typically are recommended to start and can be adjusted based on your needs. It is important for you to spend time between sessions working on the issues discussed each week.