Are You Struggling With Debilitating Grief?
- Does feeling overwhelming sadness over a loss leave you struggling to function?
- Despite the passage of time, does the loss still feel painfully fresh?
- Do you have an overpowering sense of pessimism about the future?
A tragic loss can disrupt every aspect of your life. Maybe you are hit by waves of grief out of nowhere, even when you go out of your way to do something that used to bring you joy. Perhaps you find that most days, you struggle to think about anything except the loss, and it’s difficult to focus on work, school, or relationships. Or you might be plagued by nostalgia and find yourself wishing that you could turn back the clock.
Additionally, you may have lost your appetite, and you have to remind yourself to eat. Or maybe you have trouble sleeping or find it hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed and face the day. Crying for hours can leave you dehydrated and exhausted, and some days, your whole body might hurt. And perhaps you suffer from frequent headaches, making it hard to focus.
Your friends may try to reach out and offer support, but you might be guarded when it comes to sharing your grief. Maybe it feels like no one in your life truly understands what you’re going through, and you’re not sure they could help you even if they wanted to.
Through grief counseling, you can learn how to live in a way that honors your past while looking forward to the future. Therapy helps you accept your loss, process your complicated emotions, and keep your memories alive while embracing the next stage of your life.
Everyone Suffers After A Painful Loss
Loss is a common part of life for everybody, and coping with loss does not happen overnight. Grief is simply part of the human experience. Despite this, though, it can still be difficult to talk about grief openly.
The loss of a loved one can be the catalyst for grief. Trying to accept a loss like this and find joy in life again takes time. Someone who is coping with a loved one’s death can feel the pressure to move on quickly, but rushing the grieving process is not healthy. People can grieve other kinds of losses, too. A person might experience the stages of grief after losing a pet, getting fired from a job, going through a breakup or divorce, or even moving. Any major lifestyle change can be accompanied by feelings of grief.
Although everyone will grieve a loss at some point in their lives, our culture often encourages people to move on well before they are ready to accept what happened. Many feel like they barely have time to acknowledge their grief and simply feel their emotions. Taking time off from work or school might not be an option, so people often have to power through while coping with their grief.
You may be hesitant to talk about your loss, but turning to a grief counselor can help you come to terms with your grief. Your therapist can guide you as you find ways to memorialize your life while cultivating hope for the future.
Grief Counseling Can Help You Honor Your Emotions And Heal
Even if you’re considering grief counseling, you might hesitate to book a session. Maybe you’re hoping that if you could just push forwards for a bit longer, you will finally start to feel a little lighter. While dealing with grief can become easier with time, you do not have to keep struggling alone.
In therapy, you can process your grief without worrying about negative, judgmental reactions to your raw emotions. Your therapist will foster a compassionate, welcoming environment where you can feel truly comfortable saying what’s on your mind. Through grief counseling, you can begin making gradual progress towards finding real joy in your everyday life again.
During your first sessions, you and your therapist will discuss the loss that brought you to grief counseling. Your therapist will take your needs and resources into account to draw up a treatment plan that lets you move on at your own pace.
In grief counseling, you will spend time reflecting on your loss and learning to manage your grief in your life outside of therapy. You will also work on skills that will help you get through the days when your grief feels suffocating. Understanding how to live with complex emotions is a key aspect of accepting grief.Over time, through this process, you will learn to integrate and embrace both sadness and joy.
Additionally, your therapist might also include specific therapeutic modalities in your treatment plan. For instance, you might work with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques to identify any irrational or harmful thought patterns that you have developed while grieving. In the midst of your grief, it can be hard to maintain a healthy perspective on the future. However, your therapist can help you break down these patterns and concentrate on thought patterns based on evidence instead. They may also suggest Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which can help you reflect on the memories of your loss and let go of negative associations by guiding you through eye movement stimulation.
There is no one “right” way to grieve—the healing journey is a very personal one. At Affinity Psychological Services, we have supported many clients through grief counseling, and our therapists can help you reach a place of acceptance in your own time.
But you may still have questions about grief counseling…
What if talking about my loss in therapy is too painful?
You may be worried that as soon as you start talking to your therapist about your loss, the emotional pain could become debilitating. While talking about the death, loss, or ending of an important connection can be difficult, expressing your feelings is far healthier than trying to minimize your pain. Your therapist will allow you to open up at your own pace—you will not be rushed through the process.
No one else in my life has sought therapy after a loss—why do I need it?
No two people experience grief in quite the same way. Therefore, we encourage you not to compare your own grieving process to anyone else’s. Every person who has suffered a loss will move through the stages of grief according to their own personal timeline. Your therapist will help you navigate grief in a way that honors your personal needs.
I feel like I’m disrespecting my loved one by trying to move on.
If you are considering grief counseling because you are coping with the loss of a loved one, you might feel guilty about making an effort to accept their death. But moving on does not mean forgetting. You and your therapist can discuss rituals, traditions, and ways to personally reflect on how much your loved one meant to you.
You Can Find Happiness After Loss
If you are interested in working with a grief counselor to move forward after a loss but still have questions, we encourage you to get in touch with us through our contact page. And if you are ready to book a session, you can schedule your first appointment at one of our Minnesota locations in Plymouth, St. Cloud, St. Paul, or Edina through our scheduling page.