Grief Counselling and Therapy
Grief is the powerful, multifaceted, and often uncontrollable response that human beings experience following a personally painful or traumatic event. It is a natural reaction to loss.
Both a universal and a very personal experience, individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss.
Some examples of loss which can induce grief include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft, or the loss of independence through disability.
If you are suffering from grief, you may experience the following symptoms at various times:
- Physical pain
- Sleep difficulties
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Shakiness or trembling
- Migraines or headaches
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Impulsive Living
- Feeling as though the worlds has become dreamlike or surreal
Common Reactions to Grief
- Denial, Shock, and Disbelief: “This can’t be happening to me.”
Right after a loss, it can be hard to accept what happened. You may feel numb, have trouble believing that the loss really happened, or even deny the truth. If someone you love has died, you may keep expecting him or her to show up, even though you know he or she is gone.
- Sadness and Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
Profound sadness is probably the most universally experienced symptom of grief. You may have feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness. You may also cry a lot or feel emotionally unstable.
- Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Even if the loss was nobody’s fault, you may feel angry and resentful. If you lost a loved one, you may be angry with yourself, God, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning you. You may feel the need to blame someone for the injustice that was done to you.
- Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will…”
You may feel a need to bargain with a higher power, the doctors, or the person who ended the relationship to undo the loss that has occurred.
- Guilt: “It’s my fault. If only I had…”
You may regret or feel guilty about things you did or didn’t say or do. You may also feel guilty about certain feelings (e.g. feeling relieved when the person died after a long, difficult illness). After a death, you may even feel guilty for not doing something to prevent the death, even if there was nothing more you could have done.
- Fear: “I am afraid.”
A significant loss of any kind can trigger a host of worries and fears. You may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure. You may even have panic attacks. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about your own mortality, of facing life without that person, or the responsibilities you now face alone.
- Physical Symptoms
We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.
- Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”
Eventually you can reach a place of peace, where you can accept what has happened and begin to heal and move on.
LCC Provides Grief Counselling
When we can understand how grief affects us, we are better equipped to deal with its grip. While we wish we never had to learn or understand these emotions, being aware of them may offer us comfort in our own times of sorrow.
Your LCC psychotherapist will help you:
- Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way
- Face your feelings
- Look after your physical health
- Resist letting anyone tell you how to feel, and also resist telling yourself how you should feel
- Plan ahead for grief “triggers”
- Work through your intense emotions and overcoming obstacles to your grieving
- Encourage you to use additional strategies to deal with your grief
If your grief feels like too much to bear, call a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling.
Additional Strategies for Dealing with Grief
- Turn to Friends and Family Members
Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Draw loved ones close, rather than avoiding them, and accept the assistance that’s offered. Oftentimes, people want to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you need—whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, someone to process with, or help with funeral arrangements.
- Join a Support Group
Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counselling centers.
- Draw Comfort from Your Faith
If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you—such as praying, meditating, or going to church—can offer solace. If you’re questioning your faith in the wake of the loss, talk to a clergy member or others in your religious community.
If you are going through grief, we invite you to contact us for a confidential and complimentary 15 minute consultation. We will assess your needs, understand your concerns, and match you with the right therapist. Call 905-231-2273 or submit the form on the right of this page.