Grief Counseling

What is Grief?

It is the total emotional, physical, social and spiritual adjustment, which is brought about by the loss of a significant person, animal, or object.

How Will Grief Counseling Help Me?

Counseling and support services may be useful to a person with normal grief reactions; it serves as a guide through a myriad of challenges.

The Phases of Loss

  • Shock and Numbness
  • Yearning and Searching
  • Disorganization and Despair
  • Reorganization

Goals of Grief Counseling include:

  • Accepting the reality of the loss and your 'new normal'
  • Working through the pain of grief (e.g. identify effective coping strategies, understand how to overcome obstacles)
  • Adjusting to a world when a loved one is no longer in our lives
  • Reconciling the loss in order to find inner peace, meaning and purpose to move on in life

How To Support A Grieving Loved One

  • When people are grieving, know that all emotions are often heightened.
  • Acknowledge all feelings by using compassionate listening.
  • Understand and accept cultural and religious perspectives about illness and death that may be different from your own.
  • Be specific in your willingness to help. Offer assistance with chores such as childcare or meals.
  • Recognize that life won’t 'feel the same' and the person may not get 'back to normal.'
  • Know and accept that how your loved one copes with their loss may conflict with how you would cope, even in the same situation.
  • There is no right way to grieve and mourn. Be very careful not to impose your expectations on someone else.

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Helpful Forms

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