Death is the most common experience of the human race. The COVID pandemic, especially taught us, ‘how little separates life from death.’ It throws everything off gear and takes a significant toll on physical and mental health. Apart from guilt, numbness and regret, grief is the most universal response to loss. There are 5 stages of grief according to the Kubler Ross model – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. You can reach out to a therapist to help you work through these emotions if you are highly overwhelmed.
Grief is not classified as a ‘feeling’. It is a ‘journey’ that you have to go through to be able to heal completely. Spending time with a professional is the most effective way to return to a balanced state of mind and recover speedily. No wonder the market size of the behavioral therapist industry in the US is $9 billion in 2022 and is expected to increase by 0.4% in the same year. There are several techniques like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Group Therapy. Read on to know how a session is helpful to overcome mental suffering.
What is Grief Counseling?
Professional therapy is the kindest thing you can do to yourself. It is vital since any life transition can cause symptoms that appear as anxiety and depression even in someone who is the paragon of mental health. Therapy can offer support for pregnancy-related loss, the death of a pet or grief by small children who are unable to express themselves. The best time to seek help is when you experience intense emotional pain, withdrawal from social activities or persistent yearning for the one who is gone. Therapists give essential tips to anyone struggling and help deal with profound sadness and negative thought patterns.
How Does It Work?
The psychotherapist will listen to your concerns sensitively and reduce the stress with day-to-day tasks. You are likely to see fewer grief symptoms, develop coping skills and improve self-awareness. These help you move forward with your life. A few rituals can be followed to help you stay connected to your loved one. For instance:
- Rituals of Affirmation: Release pent up your emotions by writing a letter, note or poem to the deceased in remembrance.
- Rituals of Continuity: Establish that the one you lost is still a part of you and the bond continues despite their absence.
- Rituals of Transition: Here you are asked to clean their cupboards or donate a few of their belongings to mark a definite change in grief response.
Grief counselling is done in a safe setting to assure comfort and peace. Besides a session, there are other things to make you feel better. Stick to a daily routine, avoid alcohol, spend time with friends, eat a healthy diet and get exercise. It is also available for children in the form of play, art and narrative therapies. Child-centric techniques help them understand what is death or dying. But know that healing has unique paths without a set timeline. Allow yourself enough time and avoid downplaying your feelings. Stay in close contact with your therapist to discover easy ways to cope with the pain.