Posted on August 17, 2012
Last modified on April 18, 2019
Grief is a powerful emotion and is closely associated with other intense feelings, including anger and sadness. Grief counseling is most commonly sought after experiencing the death of a loved one, but it can also be helpful after experiencing any kind of loss, such as loss of a relationship or job. Many people recovering from addiction go through a grieving process as they give up drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviors as their primary coping mechanism.
Grief may be powerful, but it is also normal. Many people grieve the losses in their lives without experiencing major disruptions in their routine. But when overwhelming or prolonged grief impairs a person’s ability to care for themselves or function in day-to-day life, grief counseling can be helpful.
There are five well-known stages of grief:
While understanding these stages can be helpful, it’s also important to realize that grief is complex and everyone experiences it differently. Feelings such as intense sadness, loneliness or longing, dejection and emptiness are also common. When you are grieving, you may avoid anything that reminds you of what you lost, and you may also have a hard time thinking about happy memories without feeling overwhelming sadness.
Grief looks different to everyone, so if you are less emotional than you expected or feel surprisingly bitter, angry or resentful, that may just be your own way of grieving.
During grief counseling, your therapist will get to know you, your history of loss and your current struggles. Your therapist will help you find hope and meaning in life, even if you have to do things a little differently after experiencing a loss. Through counseling, you can learn how to hold on to important connections and bonds through reflection, meditation, memories or starting new traditions.
If you or someone you love could benefit from grief counseling, give us a call.
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