“Grieving doesn’t make you imperfect. It makes you human.” — SARAH DESSEN
Grief is part of the human experience and for many of us, experiences of grief and loss will occur multiple times throughout our lives.
This does not mean it gets easier.
Regardless of your loss, the experience of grieving can sometimes be very complex and exceedingly painful. Allow me to take this journey with you, to gently guide you in the right direction.
Who Should Seek Grief Counselling?
Grief can occur as a result of a vast variety of losses. For example:
- death of someone you cared about
- ending of a significant relationship
- you or someone you care has been diagnosed with a serious illness
- loss of the future you expected
- life transitions (such as retirement, children leaving home)
- Not being accepted for who you are
These and more are all very valid reasons to seek help from a grief counsellor.
Working Through Grief
To grieve over the loss of something is a normal reaction. We all grieve in our own way and in our own time and at times feel like you’re on an ‘emotional roller-coaster’ ride. At any moment in time in a day you may experience feelings of sadness, anger, happiness, confusion or numbness. You may be more irritable and impatient with others than usual. The emotions we express is unique to each of us and each experience of loss.
Although grief is painful, in acknowledging the feelings and allowing them to come and go helps to make sense of the experience. We may never fully get over the loss, but it can help to get on with our lives despite the loss.
Talking with a professional counsellor can help to work through these feelings.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
Grief counselling or grief therapy can help with any sort of loss, regardless of whether your friends, family or society validates the feelings of grief you are experiencing. If you …
- have lost someone or something precious and are struggling to cope, or
- feel you are unable to participate in your usual daily activities after an extended period of time,
- unsure whether what you’re experiencing is “normal”,
you are likely to benefit from consulting a therapist who you can confide in and learn some healthy coping strategies from.
If you are struggling with the following symptoms
- intense sadness and emotional pain that feels overwhelming
- feelings of emptiness and hopelessness
- a yearning to be reunited with the deceased (suicidal thoughts)
- a preoccupation with the loved one or with the circumstances of the death or loss
- have difficulty engaging in happy memories of the lost person (or pet)
- avoidance of reminders of the deceased or lost one
- a reduced or confused sense of identity
- detachment and isolation from potentially supportive friends and family
- ongoing difficulty accepting the reality of the loss
- lack of desire to pursue personal interests or plans
No loss is too big or too small to warrant support and you do not have to endure your grief alone.
Counselling can be provided via skype or phone if this is your preferred option.