Grief and loss counselling

Dealing with Loss and Grief - Guide to Counselling


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Written by Emma Reliason

B.A. - Psychologist

05 Apr, 2022

Grief is one of the emotions of life that is nearly unavoidable. Eventually, grief finds us all. 

However, the circumstance in which we grieve, and how we process grief will look different from individual to individual. 

There are a variety of situations that can bring about grief. Most common is the loss of a loved one. 

Nonetheless, grief can arise due to divorce, major life changes, trauma, a relationship ending, children leaving the home, and more. 

How we experience and process grief is more important than people may think. 

Some hide from grief using unhealthy coping habits like alcohol, that may follow them the rest of their lives. 

Loss and grief counselling is a healthy, safe way to find support in working through the grieving process. 

If you’ve recently experienced the loss of someone or something, just know, you are not alone.

What Does Loss and Grief Counselling Look Like?

No matter if it’s just you, your child, or your entire family, grief counselling can help. 

In most clinical settings, an intake interview is done, along with a questionnaire to help match you with a counsellor fit for your individual situation. 

Once paired, your counsellor works alongside you to not only guide you but help you make sense of your thoughts and feelings. 

Loss and grief therapy aims to provide counselling, support, and education to anyone experiencing this overwhelming and often complex emotion. 

Providing encouragement, giving advice, actively listening, and teaching coping mechanisms are just a few ways a grief and loss counsellor may assist you during your visits. 

Your grief and loss counsellor will not tell you exactly what to do, or how to feel, but rather will talk you through different strategies and stages of the grieving process.

Why is Loss and Grief Counselling Important?

When it comes to the five stages of grief, each stage brings about a plethora of emotions. Not only do these emotions tend to come on like a tidal wave, they often don’t always occur in order. This can make grief incredibly confusing and overwhelming for many who try and manage loss on their own. 

  • Reduces Negative Emotions: No, loss and grief counselling isn’t a magic cure-all. It won’t automatically make you happy again. However, working through emotions such as depression, anxiety, and guilt, with a trained professional is significantly more efficient than attempting it alone. Research has shown talk therapy to be a highly effective technique in releasing difficult emotions.

  • Helps Make Sense of Grief: The grieving process, (and any process of healing) is not linear. This makes grief especially complicated for those who don’t understand that grief can feel different from one day to the next. A grief and loss counsellor is specially trained in working through each stage as it arises and guides clients in opening up a new path of healing as they understand their feelings more clearly.

  • Allows Space For Every Type of Grieving: Many people who experience grief may feel doubts about whether they are “grieving correctly” or not. By talking through this with a professional, a loss and grief counsellor can help clients understand that every person grieves differently and there is no “one way” to grieve. 

  • Guides Clients Back to Themselves: When grief is experienced, it can often feel as though it takes up every hour, every second, and every ounce of energy you have left. This weight can take a heavy toll, leaving a client exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. Often, self-importance ends up on the back burner resulting in deeper depression. Through counselling, a client is gently reminded and guided in practices to help maintain self-care through even simple tasks.   

You Don’t Have to Grieve Alone

Grief is a unique emotion that some people can never fully comprehend. It can bring about feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, restlessness, denial, anxiety, and more. 

The first time grief is experienced can be confusing and may leave you feeling lost in your own life. However, utilising loss and grief counselling is not only beneficial for this particular situation, it will provide you with the tools and coping skills when grief inevitably comes around again. 

No matter how uncomfortable facing grief head-on may be, avoiding it is not the answer. 

Ignoring the grieving process deprives us of the healing that can take place.

By utilising loss and grief counselling not only will you get support and encouragement in one of life’s most difficult seasons, but you will also learn how to move on with your life in healthy, happy ways

Don’t merely deal with loss and grief alone use the help of a therapist.

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Emma Reliason

B.A. - Psychologist

Emma is an accomplished writer with a passion for mental health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology where she gained insight into why people think, feel and behave the way they do.

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