Grief Counselling

Grief is one of those inevitable experiences that we all witness and go through as a virtue of us being humans. Although it’s occurrence is certain and unforeseen, it is more often than not difficult for people to accept that state of being.


In its truest essence, grief can be described as intense sorrow and sadness. Grief is associated with loss; loss of any kind. It could be due to a loved one’s death, a divorce or losing a job. Such life events leave a void inside us that in turn make it difficult for us to function effectively and carry out our daily routines.


Grief differs in its intensity and nature depending upon the loss. For instance, the grief over losing an elderly parent will be different from losing a newborn. In the former case, death was, to an extent, foreseen; but in the later case, it was almost unexpected. The way people experience and express grief in both situations will be very different.


Psychology has a fair amount of literature on the topic of loss and grief. One of the famous and relevant models is theorized by J.W. Worden called The Four Tasks of Mourning which consist of:

  • Accepting the loss

  • Acknowledging the pain it brings with it

  • Adjusting to a new reality that is devoid of the lost one

  • Accommodating a new life without the lost one [1]


All the data published and researched about in the realm of grief and loss agree to the fact that certain emotions and behavioral expressions appear as common phases among people. They are:

  • Shock, disbelief, feeling numb, denial regarding the loss

  • Sadness, loneliness, feeling empty

  • Guilt, regret, shame

  • Anger, fear

  • Anxiety, helplessness, insecurity

  • Physical symptoms like fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, aches and pains, night sweats, heart palpitations, feeling faint or lightheaded, insomnia [2]


Grief Counselling is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals accept their loss/es and cope with the downsides in a healthy manner. This form of psychotherapy covers the physical, emotional, cognitive and social aspects of loss and grieving.


Grief Counselling helps you come to terms with the traumatic incident while also making you capable of regulating your emotions surrounding that experience. These are a few things that entail grief counselling:

  • Treating your trauma

  • Expressing emotions

  • Addressing the feelings of guilt that you may harbor

  • Building a strong support system to help you carry on

  • Lastly, coming to terms with your new reality [3]

Living with the pain of unresolved loss is unhealthy and can lead to complicated grief, which is more severe, long lasting, and difficult to remedy. [4] Apart from that, like every other suppressed trauma, suppression and denial of grief can lead to several life-threatening physiological conditions over a period of time. The effects of suppressed emotions build up cumulatively, and become evident unexpectedly.

Through Grief Counselling, the therapist and the client work their way towards accepting the occurrence of a certain traumatic incident and move ahead with equipping the client to live independently after having accepted the loss.

Seeking help to deal with your grief is not a sign of weakness. Grieving over someone’s loss is emotionally exhausting, and in times like these, procuring emotional support from a trained individual will only do you more good than harm.

References:

1: https://crhcf.org/insights/wordens-tasks-of-mourning-spiritual-exercise/

2: https://positivepsychology.com/grief-counseling/

3: https://www.talkspace.com/blog/grief-counseling-therapy-definition-what-is/


 

Ayushi Kenia


Hi! I am Ayushi, a Psychology graduate from Mumbai. I enjoy reading and curating articles based on Psychology, self-help and spirituality among other genres and themes. Through my articles, I aim at creating awareness and generating a learning process for myself and my reader/s.

Hope my work helps you!


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