Five Reasons to Consider Grief Counseling
Grief upends your life in every possible way. It can leave you reeling, unable to find a rhythm, adrift in life with no feeling of purpose or pleasure. While we are all destined to experience this at times as a natural part of life, we don’t have to grin and bear it or wait it out or live in denial – all of these coping mechanisms can end up doing more harm than good. Instead, many people find it helpful to seek professional assistance in the form of grief counseling.
Also called grief therapy or bereavement counseling, grief counseling usually refers to session-based guidance from a professional counselor or therapist. It may be in a one-on-one setting or a small group, and it may also happen virtually rather than in person. Regardless, grief counseling is an opportunity to find support in a judgment-free environment where you can work through your grief journey with professional guidance. Below we will explore five reasons to consider it.
1. Confront Your Feelings in a Safe Environment.
People express grief in different ways, with some being more openly emotional than others. If you feel you are struggling to tap into your true feelings about your loss – or you are avoiding dealing with the emotions – a grief counselor can help you identify, face and constructively manage your emotions related to your loss.
2. Learn Positive Coping Mechanisms.
We all develop coping mechanisms for our grief, and many times they can be harmful. For example, substance abuse and overeating are two common ways people deal with grief and loss, though they are unhealthy practices that can have serious health ramifications. A grief counselor can help you determine how you’re coping and help you replace negative practices with positive ones, such as exercise or journaling.
3. Come to Terms with What Your Loss Means.
When you are grieving, it’s important to learn to accept your loss. However, it’s equally important to come to terms with the impact of that loss on your life. For instance, it may have completely changed your financial situation or drastically altered your future plans. Whether you need a financial advisor or a local support group, a grief counselor can introduce you to resources to help you manage and accept your new life.
4. Set Goals that Keep You Future-Focused.
When you lose someone you love, one of the hardest things to do is move forward toward your new life without them. However, it must be done and a grief counselor can help you set manageable goals that will help you focus on what is in front of you, rather than getting mired in the past where you cannot begin to heal.
5. Manage Your Setbacks.
Every grief journey is different, but one similarity most have is that they are not linear. You may desire to walk a straight line through the stages of grief, but your grief often has other plans. You will undoubtedly face setbacks, days when you think you’re doing fine only to have a smell or sound bring your sadness crashing back down on you. A grief counselor will always be there to remind you that setbacks are natural and expected.
Grief counseling can be incredibly beneficial. If you have tried it, please feel encouraged to share your experiences below.