Is counselling the best option to deal with grief and loss?

Grief and Loss are fundamental emotions and experiences of human life.

In a harsh way, grief is the price to pay for having loved and making a connection or an emotional bond to people, animals, possessions or projects.

The loss of a loved one is always painful. As time goes on, most of us recover from grief and learn to live with the loss.

However, some of us don’t. The pain and sadness you experience with a loss can continue endlessly tormenting us for months and even possibly years.

The emotion of ‘loss’ is extremely powerful and cause us to feel like there is no more reason to continue living or no meaning left in our life… It’s like as if the world has stopped moving for us.

It may seem like nobody around you can understand your pain and anguish your suffering from.

At this point, it might feel very insensitive of friends and family members to have suggested that it is time to get over the loss and move on in a new direction.

However, if you have been hearing these comments or suggestions quite frequently and you feel that you have been grieving for what feels like a very long time but are still finding it difficult to cope and manage your daily activities, it may be in your best interest to visit a grief counselling psychologist.

The pain of the loss of a loved one is usually intensified when the circumstances of the death as if the loss was sudden, violent, traumatic, or if there is a lot of physical suffering involved.

Sometimes, our life circumstances are complicated and when loss and grief are experienced, the emotions can be particularly acute or complex, especially if there is a history of depression, are addicted to alcohol or drugs, live alone or were dependent on the deceased.

It also likely if you have an ‘addictive’ personality after the passing away of a loved one, the loss may trigger an over-use of alcohol or other drugs in attempts to numb the emotional pain.

Some people when they’re unable to function well in their personal or work life, and also experience suicidal thoughts.

If you feel that you have been avoiding your friends and family or are unable to enjoy personal relationships, it is highly likely that you are affected by persistent and complex grief.

Not considering grief counselling to manage the grieving process can mean you will continue to suffer the agony without feeling heard and understood by those around you.

Seeking help with a grief counsellor Melbourne is certainly advisable and you do not need a referral from your general practitioner.

Grief counselling is a confidential process where you can freely express your thoughts and feelings without the fear of being judged.

In grief counselling, a trained professional psychologist can help you understand your grief and pain and begin to work through those emotions to restore clarity and calmness in you.

In many occasions, the issues are not just about the death but also about forgiving ourselves (if we feel extremely guilty for their death or for not being able to do much or didn’t care enough).

Grief and Loss counselling can cover:

  • Examine defences and coping styles
  • Allow individual grieving differences
  • Interpret normal behaviour
  • Provide time to grieve
  • Facilitate emotions to new relationships
  • Help find meaning in loss
  • Assist the living with the deceased
  • Help the bereaved to identify feelings
  • Help the bereave to accept the loss

However, if important to understand grief counselling is not a cure for the pain of bereavement.

What grief counselling offers are strategies to help you understand your own feelings and thoughts by increasing your clarity without feeling overwhelmed all the time.

The Counselling in Melbourne team of psychologists are all highly trained in grief counselling and will introduce many types of therapies, approaches and techniques they believe will suit you best as an individual to help you cope with your own personal bereavement

Grief counselling also normally extends to help you engage with your other relationships like with family, friends and in your work life.

Our grief psychologists are here to help you. You can schedule an appointment online or call us – 1300 967 734.

About the editor, Dr Malcolm Winstanley-Cross

I am a Registered Psychologist with AHPRA’s Psychology Board of Australia and a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, UK. My formal training began with a B.A. in Psychology and Welfare at Charles Sturt University, and B.A. (Hons) Psychology from the University of Wollongong. I then progressed to the M.A. (Hons) Clinical Psychology at the same university before moving to the UK to undertake a PhD in Psychology from City, University of London.

Find out more about Dr Malcolm Winstanley-Cross

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