Grief Counseling

Grief Counseling

Also known as bereavement, grief is normal and necessary. Grief counseling focuses on addressing a deep sadness coming from the end of a relationship, a life, or a state of being. Grief can be attributed to something as complicated as the loss of a parent or something as specific as the loss of a loved pet or the sale of a family home. Grief is a positive approach to loss and allows us to move through it. Grief is healthy. I help clients sit with it, walk through it, and realize a deeper peace and connection because of it.

I base my grief counseling practice largely on the Kübler-Ross model, also known as “the five stages of grief.” This model applies to grieving death, children grieving a divorce, adults grieving a break-up, and individuals grieving in substance abuse. Although referred to as “stages”, the following are not necessarily chronological and do not always present themselves. The stages considered include one or all of the following, which may present themselves in any order, at any time:

  • Denial (“I feel fine.”)
  • Anger (“Why me? It’s not fair!”)
  • Bargaining (“I’ll do anything if….”)
  • Depression (“I’m so sad…why bother with anything?”)
  • Acceptance (“It’s going to be okay.)

Please note that for some people, feelings of loss are debilitating and don’t improve even after time passes. This is known as complicated grief. In complicated grief, painful emotions are so long-lasting and severe that you have trouble accepting the loss and resuming your own life. I help clients move through and beyond this to reclaim and re-experience the life that is theirs. Complicated grief is like being in a chronic, heightened state of mourning. Signs and symptoms of complicated grief can include:

  • Extreme focus on the loss and reminders of the loved one
  • Intense longing or pining for the deceased
  • Problems accepting the death
  • Numbness or detachment
  • Preoccupation with your sorrow
  • Bitterness about your loss
  • Inability to enjoy life
  • Depression or deep sadness
  • Trouble carrying out normal routines
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Feeling that life holds no meaning or purpose
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Lack of trust in others

Whether you or someone you love is experiencing grief or complicated grief, I can help you and your loves ones to get to the other side of sorrow.