Grief Counseling

Grief & Loss

There is so much expectation about how you “should feel” when experiencing grief or loss. There is no should, no right, no wrong way to feel when you’ve experienced the loss of someone or something dear to you.  Grief is difficult to understand until you have experienced an important loss such as the death of a loved one. Until then, one does not really understand the depth of pain that comes with grieving. You hurt in a deep, physical way that can be felt all over your body. This pain feels unbearable at times. You may try to distract or close off your emotions in fear it will take over your whole life. If you try to avoid the emotional process of grieving, you may experience increased anxiety, depression or compulsive behaviors. It is healthy and natural to mourn our losses, sometimes you just need support in the how YOU need to go through the process. With grief counseling, I can help you find YOUR way through.

Are you experiencing some of these feelings?

These are all normal responses to grief. There is help for working through them.

Have you lost something other than a loved one?

“Grief and Loss” do not necessarily refer to bereavement of a loved one; it can also refer to loss of routine, loss of expectations, grief caused by environmental/social changes, etc.

How therapy can help with grief and loss

Even though well meaning, few people understand what it is like to grieve and most prefer avoiding the topic all together or give unsolicited advice. You may be feeling alone and sense that others are uncomfortable or inpatient when you discuss your feelings. Therapy gives you a place where you can relax, learn about, process and express your feelings freely without judgment. It can be a great relief to have someone who understands personally and professionally what grief and loss is like. I provide support and guidance through complicated emotions. You do not have to be alone on this journey.

The Benefits of Therapy for Grief & Loss

While I’m located in Ashland, OR, I offer online therapy for grief and loss to residents of Oregon, Washington, Georgia and Florida.

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Frequently Asked Questions

First it is helpful to understand what grief is. Grief and loss can come in many forms and that impacts of it can be varied from person to person. Grief is a natural response to loss and you may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. Grief counseling with a therapist that understands grieving and loss can support you in navigating the challenges that are internal with facing a loss and the external factors of how your life is impacted by loss.
The main goal of most grief counseling is to support you to integrate the reality of the loss(es) into your life going forward. There are many common mis-conceptions in regards to grief, and emotions in general which can impact you negatively and cause distress and shame. One false belief is that there is a time stamp on grief and that after a certain period of time that you should “just be over it”. This pressure can be your own expectations or the expectations of others. Grief is something that you can learn to live with through counseling. Counseling can support you in learning how to manage the difficult and sometimes surprising responses-physical, mental and emotional, that you may have with grief.

Here are some signs that you may need additional support with managing grief and loss.

  1. You’re having suicidal thoughts and/or persistent feelings of depression.
  2. You’re experiencing ongoing symptoms of distress, such as crying, insomnia, loss of appetite, increased irritability and anger, or panic attacks.
  3. You’re struggling to complete everyday tasks, including basic self-care.
  4. You feel a numbness to emotions. Feeling sad, confused or even happy is entirely acceptable during periods of mourning, so if you are feeling entirely numb and unable to reach any of these emotions, there may be cause for alarm.
  5. You feel an inability to move on or adjust to the change.
    If you find yourself unable to move on from your loss months after it has occurred, you may just be a bit stuck in a particular feeling, behavior or way of thinking. This is not uncommon and there is help.
  6. You frequent familiar places, hoping to see your departed loved one there, or avoid locations and situations that may remind you of your loss.
  7. You’re abusing substances, like alcohol or drugs, or engaging in addictive behaviors, like gambling.
  8. You’re worried about yourself, and/or others have expressed concern for your well-being.
  9. You’re withdrawn and avoiding social interaction.
  10. You don’t have family or friends to support you, or the people in your life can’t sustain the support you need over the course of a lengthy grieving process.
  11. You’re suffering from unexplained illnesses.
  12. You’ve experienced multiple losses in a short period of time.
  13. You’re feeling bereavement guilt and possibly blaming yourself for your loved one’s death or grappling with regret about your relationship with the deceased.
  14. You use busywork to escape feelings. While this is an extremely common way of dealing with loss, staying busy to avoid feeling sad is not a good long-term solution
  15. You’re plagued with intrusive thoughts, such as reliving the circumstances of your loved one’s death.

Grief counseling rates are the same as rates for other therapy. Your insurance may be able to cover your therapy. Schedule a consultation.

Grief counseling can be brief and short-term depending on what your needs are. You may need someone who understands grief that you can talk to while you sort out how to continue to move through the process.

When there is traumatic loss, or multiple losses overtime you can develop symptoms that can look like depression, anxiety and PTSD that may need more longer-term support. Whenever you start counseling you can let the therapist know what your needs are and you can find a time frame together that will be the most supportive for your needs.

Time frames for grief counseling tend to range from six months to two years.

If you are struggling after a loss of any kind and feel like your emotions are hard to manage or that you just aren’t feeling like yourself, it is possible that grief counseling may help you find your way through. The best way to know if grief counseling may be helpful is to schedule a free consultation.

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