Help to Cope with Loss
Well-meaning people may say that “you’re not alone in your grief,” but mourning the loss of a loved one, pet, relationship, job, or way of life can be incredibly isolating. While the pain of grief is universal, it is also very personal and lonely. When you go through such a difficult transition, it’s important to get the assistance you need. There are many benefits of grief counseling that can help you through your toughest days.
What is grief counseling?
Sometimes called bereavement therapy, grief counseling is a form of professional therapy designed to help people cope with loss and work through the various stages of grief.
Because profound loss can cause emotional and physical pain, a trained expert such as a therapist or psychologist can help you address your feelings, accept the loss, and adapt to a new way of life.
How grief counseling helps
In 1969, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross brought forth a theory that states that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Because grief is such an individual pain, these stages can come and go in any pattern, or they occur all at once. Additionally, there’s no set timeline for “getting better;” stages can take longer than others and individuals can get stuck in a stage.
Grief counseling isn’t a way to hurry the healing, but it can be instrumental in supporting those who are grieving as they carve a path through the pain. Grief counselors allow people to grieve in their own way and in their own time, but with the help they may need during the process.
Some benefits of grief counseling include:
Validation: When you suffer the loss of a loved one, the feelings can be so foreign you may not understand them or want to dismiss them. A professional with experience in helping bereaved people will support you through whatever emotions you have. When friends, colleagues, and family members don’t know what to say or do, a grief counselor can support you and say, “Yes, that IS normal.”
Permission to heal: Depending on the type of loss you experience, you may cling to feelings that won’t let you accept the loss and move on. Acknowledging your feelings is essential, and grief counseling permits you to heal over time.
Create a new connection: If you lose a loved one to illness or an accident you witness, you may have unpleasant memories. Other types of loss may conjure up guilt, regret, or anger. Talking with a grief counselor can help transform memories into happier ones so you can deal with the emotions that arise.
Track progress: When you work with a professional grief counselor, they can help you mark your progress over time. Looking back over the weeks or months, it’s possible to see growth, understanding, and acceptance.
Grief retreats help healing
Thrive Souljourns founder Susie Langley knows firsthand the benefits of grief counseling. Six months after the sudden loss of her husband of 29 years in a horrific motorcycle accident, she was still in darkness and feeling her way through most days. Then everything changed when she traveled abroad.
Her life-changing experience led to designing Thrive Souljourns retreats that blend the best travel experiences with the health and wellness people need. These grief retreats are experiences that regenerate your body, soul, and spirit while providing support and understanding. Our boutique agency keeps the staff-to-participant ratio small, allowing for very individualized attention during an incredibly difficult time.