Grief therapy can be very useful and effective to help individuals cope with the emotions and stressors connected to a loss. Everyone responds to loss differently, and depending on the individual and the severity of the loss, one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around their loss can be difficult to manage alone. When coping with the loss of a loved one, time, and the love and support of friends and family around you are key, however when that’s not enough, having an unbiased professional can help you process the loss, help you understand why you are reacting this way, and how to better manage your symptoms moving forward. There is a common misconception out there about grief therapy, however. Many clients that have come to me for grief therapy mention a reluctance because they’re trying to feel “less sad” and believe the coming to therapy to talk about their pain and loss will only make their grief and pain worse. Here at the Center for Growth, our approach to grief therapy is designed to help feel safety and support in exploring your loss and sadness with the intention learning better ways to manage your symptoms and to live your life.
What to expect in grief therapy
Expect to tell your story. If and when your ready, your therapist will want to learn about you, and the loved one you’ve lost. Your therapist will want to know what was special about your relationship with this person, what it was like to face loss, and what it has been like for you ever since losing your loved one. Your story not only helps your therapist understand what’s behind your grief more, but also give him/her insight into what your life was like before and after such a loss. Expect to tell you therapist what you want out of therapy. If you’re unsure as to what you want, that’s okay, be honest about your uncertainty, your therapist is there to help you discover it together. Your therapist will not be able to cure your grief forever. But he/she can help you find ways to hurt less, and when you do hurt, have better strategies to utilize. Expect support. Your therapist is there to educate you on what’s typically to be expected during this time. He/she will be there to normalize some of your experiences and emotions, as well as address any concerning behavior. There is no set expectation or number in terms of the frequency and duration you attend therapy for grief and loss. Again, everybody reacts to loss and grieves differently, the length and frequency will depend on your needs, your comfort, your decision. As needed your therapist may speak up and go over some recommended options for you, but regardless, you dictate your own therapy.
Various types of loss.
Today, losing a loved one is no longer considered as the only form of loss. There are various types of loss we all experience, and sometimes we don’t even view it as necessarily a “loss.”
The following list is just a handful of examples of the types of losses many of us go through:
Loss of job/career change
Divorce/end of relationship
Relocation of self or friend
Stopped use to a previous coping mechanism or addiction (eating disorder, drinking, etc).
Change in health/lost limb.
There are a lot of changes and new issues one has to deal with when experiencing grief and loss. Your previous traditions, rituals, and expectations are now in question, or no longer work for you. Family celebrations and holidays can be harder to manage and to navigate, especially during the first few years. Making the decision to try grief therapy can be scary, uncertain, and you may have many doubts about your decision. Most likely you find yourself willing to try grief therapy because you can’t imagine going on functioning in the mode and at the pace you currently are. You need a need a change, whether it’s support, an emotional lift, development of new tools and strategies for coping, or simply a friend. Whatever it may be for you, grief therapy here at the Center for Growth can help you have these needs met. Help is available.
At The Center For Growth, we offer individual counseling, and couples counseling, family therapy and support groups. You can self schedule an inperson or a virtual therapy appointment at one of the following locations. If you prefer to speak with a live therapist, call 215 922 5683 x 100
- Ocean City Therapy Office
360 West Ave, Floor 1, Ocean City, NJ 08226
- Mechanicsville Therapy Office
9044 Mann Drive, Mechanicsville Virginia, 23116
- Alpharetta Office
11720 Amber Park Drive, Suite 160, Alpharetta GA 30006
- Society Hill Therapy Office
233 S. 6th Street, C-33, Philadelphia PA 19106
- Art Museum / Fairmount Therapy Office
2401 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 1a2, Philadelphia PA 19130
- Santa Fe Therapy Office, 2204 B Brothers Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505
- Telemedicine: We have therapists who are licensed to work in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia New Mexico and Pennsylvania