Are You Overcome With Grief?
Have you been grieving the loss of a loved one so deeply that it’s hard to do normal, routine things? Have you found it hard to trust again after losing someone? Do you go out of your way to avoid reminders of someone or something you recently lost?
Coping with the loss of someone or something that is significant to you can be one of life’s greatest challenges. Whether it’s the loss of a job, the loss of a relationship, the death of a loved one, or the decline of your health, any event that makes you feel as though something has been taken away can trigger grief.
Trying to put your life back together in the aftermath of a loss can be lonely, painful, and emotionally draining. But grief is a natural, inevitable response to loss. While it can be hard to manage, you shouldn’t try to run from grief or suppress these feelings.
Grief Can Manifest In Different Ways
Grief isn’t limited to sadness alone. It can show up as anger, guilt, disbelief, and even regret. In the midst of grief, you might wake up feeling happier some days, feeling as though you are “over” your loss. But during the bad days, you might worry that your grief is never-ending. There will also be days when you experience a range of feelings all at once, which can be hard to navigate, let alone manage.
You do not have to cope with your grief alone. Through counseling, you can share your feelings in a safe environment. You’ll also learn valuable emotional regulation skills and find ways to honor your loss while embracing the possibilities that your future holds.
Coping With Grief Is Part Of The Human Experience
There is no avoiding grief. Everyone will lose someone or something they love at some point in their lives. People often associate grief with the death of a loved one – but other experiences can leave us grieving, too. Some people grieve after moving away from their family home, losing a job they loved, or going through a divorce or break-up.
Grief is an instinctive response to any significant loss. When you’re mourning, it can feel like grief is taking over every aspect of your life. It’s hard to cope with the immensity of grief on a day-to-day basis while keeping up with other responsibilities and obligations. But there is nothing shameful about grieving, and you do not need to feel embarrassed or weak for taking time to process an intense loss.
There Is No “Right” Way To Grieve
The five stages of grief are practically universal, but while almost everyone goes through phases of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, not everyone experiences them in the same way – or even in the same order. People may grieve differently depending on their life experiences, personalities, spiritual beliefs, support systems, coping skills, and the type of loss.
Some people may experience physical symptoms of grief, like fatigue, a lack of focus, or weight loss from a loss of appetite. Others might struggle with their mental health as they cope with symptoms like unexplainable mood swings, numbness, overwhelming sadness, or survivor’s guilt. Grief can even impact your social life, causing you to withdraw from loved ones.
In grief counseling, you can cope with these complex emotions, make sense of your experiences, and draw powerful lessons from loss. With support, you can process your loss in a healthy way and begin charting a new course in life.
Grief Counseling Can Help You Navigate Your Healing Journey
At Friends In Transition Counseling, we have a team of counselors and therapists who specialize in supporting people through grief and bereavement. We have helped many people learn how to cope with losses, heal from grief, and regain control of their lives.
Our approach to treating grief is heavily centered on companionship. We believe that those who are grieving need a safe place to process the loss without judgment and without the pressure or expectation of being “better.”
Although you may feel down now, we want you to know that the feelings of sadness, loneliness, and despair don’t have to last forever. We accompany you on the journey to name your physical and symbolic losses, develop new ways of being post-loss, and identify the gifts that you encounter on your unique path to healing.
What To Expect In Grief Counseling Sessions
During sessions, you’ll be able to open up about anything that’s on your mind as you grapple with your loss. Your therapist will help you deconstruct myths about a specific “healing timeline,” develop rituals that allow you to acknowledge your loss during holidays and other milestones, identify triggers that exacerbate your grief, and build your support system.
You’ll also reflect on your own life decisions thus far, explore how grief has affected your view of mortality, and discuss potential lifestyle changes that might help bring you back into alignment with your personal values. If you’re considering making any major life decisions after a loss, a therapist can help you weigh your options and base your choices on healing, not grief alone.
Treatment Approaches For Grief Counseling
In our practice, we base treatment around the A.C.T(™) model of grief developed by Dr. Ajita Robinson, which helps grievers identify and embrace nine universal truths about the healing journey. The healing process begins by acknowledging and naming the loss, practicing self-compassion and leaning on companions, and going through talk therapy to master tools for healing. Your therapist will explain the utility of grief as a survival mechanism and explore how we grieve in anticipation of and after a loss.
You’ll be able to integrate your understanding of loss into the way you move through life. Through this model, you’ll engage in narrative therapy, which gives you the opportunity to retell your story and gain a sense of stability if you’ve been struggling with complex or traumatic grief.
Overall, the A.C.T.(™) model emphasizes that healing grief is not about permanently resolving the loss or avoiding pain forever. It’s about creating a fulfilling life post-loss and finding your purpose again. In therapy, you’ll understand that while grief is a cumulative experience that occurs across the lifespan, without being constrained by time limits, it also does not have to prevent you from living your life.
But You May Still Have Questions About Grief Counseling…
Once enough time passes, won’t I just “get over” my grief naturally?
Grief isn’t something you just get over. While time is essential to the healing process, simply waiting to feel better won’t necessarily “cure” your grief. Even more importantly, “getting over it” shouldn’t be your goal. You may find ways to distract yourself, but there may come a time when those feelings are triggered again—and it’s important that you know how to deal with them so that they don’t take control of your life.
Can grief therapy really help me recover from this loss?
While we cannot guarantee that you’ll leave the office feeling better after every session, grief therapy is worth the commitment. If you’re grappling with heavy emotions after a loss, you do not have to struggle alone. Our therapists will go the extra mile to help you recover from your loss and regain your sense of purpose in the healing process.
What if I can’t afford grief therapy?
At FIT Counseling, we aim to make grief therapy affordable for all of those who need it. We offer affordable pricing for therapy sessions, and we accept BCBS, Cigna, Humana and Magellan insurance plans. If you are uninsured or covered under an out-of-network plan, we use a sliding fee scale to keep costs low. We also facilitate group therapy sessions.
You Can Rebuild Your Life After A Devastating Loss
No matter the loss you’ve suffered, you have the ability to take control of your life again and cultivate lasting joy. If you’re ready to pursue grief counseling, please fill out the contact form on our website or call our office at 301-661-3481 to book a free 15-minute consultation prior to booking your first session.
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Grief is a normal emotional process. We experience it anytime we undergo a loss. This loss might be the death of a loved one, loss of a job, or loss of life experiences, much like we’ve seen with the COVID pandemic.
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