Grief Counseling

Grief is terrible, whether we see it coming or not. It’s isolating. It’s heartbreaking. It changes us. Grief is different for everyone, but therapy can help. 

Grief is a natural part of being human...

Grief is a natural response to loss, and it can manifest in many different ways. Bereavement is the period of mourning that follows after the death of someone close to you, and it can be very difficult to navigate. Many people find that they need counseling during this time, and there are many resources available for those who are struggling with grief.

There are Different Types of Grief

The first type of grief is acute grief, also known as normal grief. This type of grief occurs immediately after the loss of someone or something important. Symptoms include intense sadness, anger, guilt, and physical symptoms like insomnia or loss of appetite. Acute grief typically lasts for several weeks or months but eventually lessens over time.

The second type of grief is complicated grief. This occurs when an individual experiences prolonged and intense symptoms that do not subside over time. Symptoms may include persistent thoughts about the deceased person or event, difficulty accepting the reality of the situation, avoidance behaviors or extreme preoccupation with reminders related to the loss.

One of the most important things to remember when dealing with grief is that everyone experiences it differently. Some people may feel overwhelmed by sadness and sorrow, while others may feel angry or numb. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time and seek support from others who understand what you’re going through.

Counseling can be especially helpful for those who are struggling with grief because it provides a safe space to talk about your feelings and emotions.

The Stages of Grief

The stages of grief are a set of psychological and emotional responses that people experience when they face loss or change. The concept was first introduced by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying.” Although the stages were originally identified as a response to terminal illness, they have since been applied to many forms of loss, including divorce, job loss, and even non-death related changes.

The five stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In the denial stage, individuals may refuse to accept that the change has occurred or may try to minimize it. As reality sinks in during the anger stage, individuals may lash out at others or feel frustrated with their situation. The bargaining stage often involves attempts to negotiate with fate or a higher power in hopes of reversing the change.

What to Expect in Grief Therapy

Grief is a natural and expected response to the loss of someone or something dear to us. It can be incredibly overwhelming, often leaving individuals feeling lost, alone, and confused. Counseling for grief aims to provide support and guidance through this difficult time by helping individuals understand their emotions, cope with their loss, and begin the healing process.

One of the first things you can expect when counseling for grief is a safe and non-judgmental environment. Your counselor will listen attentively as you share your story and offer compassionate support throughout your journey. They will help you explore your feelings in-depth, providing validation for what you are experiencing while also offering a fresh perspective when needed.

Another aspect to expect during counseling for grief is education on the grieving process itself. Your counselor may discuss how grief can manifest differently depending on factors such as age, culture, personality type, coping mechanisms or even gender identity.

grief support scottsdale

Dealing with Complicated Grief

Complicated grief, also known as persistent complex bereavement disorder, is a mental health issue that can affect anyone who has gone through the loss of a loved one. It is defined as an prolonged response to the death of a loved one, with symptoms persisting for a longer period after the death. Complicated grief differs from regular mourning in that it is more severe and significantly disrupts an individual’s life. Mental health professionals consider complicated grief to be an adjustment disorder or depression that requires treatment similar to other types of mental health illnesses.

woman grieving

The Symptoms of Complicated Grief

The symptoms associated with complicated grief may include intense yearning for the deceased, difficulty accepting their death, preoccupation with thoughts about them, difficulty caring for oneself, decline in self-care, isolating, and obsessive longing for what used to be.

Counseling can benefit those struggling with complicated grief in many ways.

Coping with complicated grief can be incredibly difficult, so seeking professional counseling can be an invaluable tool in managing the pain. Counselors can provide a safe and comfortable environment where individuals struggling with complicated grief are able to vocalize their feelings without fear of judgment. Not only that, counselors offer validation of your experiences of loss and suffering, helping them to understand it more deeply. 

The primary goal of counseling is to support individuals dealing with complicated grief in developing new coping skills. Through counseling sessions, clients learn how to reframe their thoughts about the loss in order to accept what has happened and move forward. In addition to offering therapeutic techniques for managing emotion and stress, we can help prioritize and implement strategies to support your mental health through exercise, nutrition, adequate rest, natural support (family, friends or community) and other self-care activities.

Coping with Loss

Losing a loved one is never easy, and navigating through the grief that follows can be an overwhelming and lonely experience. Coping with the loss of someone close to us can have a significant impact on our mental health, making it essential to seek support when needed. At times like these, counseling can provide immense relief in helping individuals cope with their emotions and find healthy ways to manage their grief.

Grief is a natural process that everyone experiences differently. It is important to recognize that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and seeking help does not mean you are weak or incapable of handling your emotions. Counseling services can offer invaluable support through difficult times, providing a safe space for individuals to express their emotions without judgment or criticism. Additionally, we at MUV are trained in grief support and will help you determine how best to cope with your loss and trauma; help you find practical coping strategies for managing their grief over time.

Grief Thearpy at MUV Counseling

MUV Counseling’s therapists can help you with Grief Support. We are glad you are here and understand this is a difficult time for you. We hope to be a source of comfort and hope as you navigate and cope with your grief. We believe that there is no one-size-fits all approach to healing, which is why we will create individualized plans tailored to your unique needs and experiences.

For more details about grief therapy options in Scottsdale, call us at 480-300-2635 for a free 15 minute consultation or email us with your questions. If you’re ready to get started, schedule online here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Grief

Grief is what you feel when you lose someone or something you love. It’s a natural response to loss, and it can be incredibly painful and overwhelming.

Feelings of grief are often described as having a physical presence, like a pain in the chest. That’s because grief can take over your body and mind.

Grief is an unavoidable life experience that no one escapes. It’s a mixture of intense emotions, such as sadness and anger, and it can be deeply felt by anyone who has lost someone or something they love. Grief can often feel like a bottomless pit of despair, where you are overwhelmed with never-ending emotions. Feelings of grief are often described as having a physical presence of heaviness in the chest, suffocating feeling, ball in your throat or a feeling of darkness. The thoughts of my loss can play on repeat in your head and make you feel like you are being swallowed.

Grieving is an incredibly personal process, requiring strength and self-reflection to understand and cope with the loss of a loved one or cherished experience. Though there are many theories on how to grieve effectively, one must ultimately find what works for them–through trial and error. To begin navigating the grief process, it is important to recognize that mourning does not have a timeline. It can take months or years before one can come to terms with their loss. During this time, seeking support from family, friends and professional counselors can be essential in helping one find comfort.

Preserving memories of a lost loved one is also important in managing grief–something that can help connect the past with the present and future. This could include looking at old photographs or writing down stories they shared while they were alive; activities that might bring a sense of peace during difficult times.

The stages of grief are a series of psychological reactions to loss, typically involving cognitive, behavioral, and emotional processes. According to the widely accepted model established by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969, these stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In this conceptual framework, individuals must traverse each stage as part of their bereavement process; however it is important to note that not all individuals will experience every stage nor will they necessitate linear progression.

The stages of grief are a well-known and important concept. Understanding how people cope with the loss of a loved one or other significant event can help them to work through their pain in an effective and healthy manner. Grief is often divided into five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Denial is a common first reaction to any kind of loss and serves to protect us from the full force of our emotions. We may try to ignore the fact that something has happened or even pretend it didn’t happen at all. Anger is usually the second stage as people look for someone or something to blame for their pain.

Bargaining comes next as we attempt to find ways to make deals with reality that have no hope of being fulfilled; this could be wishing we had done things differently in order to prevent what happened.

Other theories on grief often encompass a multifaceted approach, conceptualizing the phenomenon as a unique experience that can be influenced by a number of interrelated factors. The psychoanalytic perspective, for example, asserts that grieving is an unconscious process that involves working through repressed emotions and memories associated with the loss. Cognitive psychology approaches emphasize the role of thoughts and beliefs in grief and suggest maladaptive cognitions as potential exacerbating factors.

Although grief is a difficult emotion to manage, there are ways to cope with it so that it doesn’t take over your life. Talking to friends and family members about your feelings is one way to help process them in a healthy way. Joining support groups or seeking out counseling services can also be beneficial when navigating through grief. Finding a daily connection to your loved one by thinking of a shared memory, noticing a picture or object that reminds you of them. Honoring them in a daily activity of enjoyment or support.