Grief counseling is a specific form of therapy of general counseling. The goal is to help individuals grieve in a healthy manner to address personal loss.
The purpose of receiving counseling to help through the grieving process is to help each individual work through the feelings, memories and thoughts that are associated with their loved one. Grieving can be triggered by many different types of loss other than death. Some of these losses include loss in relationship, loss in goals or ideals, loss in your professional life. There are options available for this type of loss but the main focus of many grief counseling organizations is directed toward positive adjustment in your life following the loss of a loved one due to death.
Grief counseling is offered by counselors, clergy members, psychologists and social workers. These can be individual or group counseling. There are professional organizations as well as informal support groups made of other people who have experienced grief and want to help others work through it. Churches, community centers, hospitals, clinics and other organizations are available and devoted to helping people work though grief in a healthy manner. Some grief counseling sites are even offered online to help you work through your grief.
Grief counseling can help with the emotional expression of the wide range of feelings related to loss. You will learn to accept the loss, adjust to life after a loss. The world seems to change after you experience a deep loss and you will learn to cope with these changes within yourself and in the world you live in.
Grief counseling addresses sadness, anger, anxiety, loneliness, guilt, isolation, confusion, relief and the numbness associated with loss. Often a person grieving experiences behavioral changes such as feeling tired, disorganization, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, they may have vivid dreams or daydream about the deceased loved one. Grief counseling can help these individuals cope with these issues.
In some people the grieving process is more complicated than others. There may be extreme responses to the loss. This can vary from person to person depending on that individual’s personal resilience, their capacity for coping and their support system. Grief that is left unaddressed can lead to depression, withdrawal and at times suicide attempts. Some survivors feel rage and anger which can become misdirected to others over their loss.