Published on 03 October 2021

Grief Counselling: Types, Techniques, Benefits

General Psychology grief-counselling-types-techniques-benefits
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Grief is inevitable. We cannot escape from uncertain events in our lives. We all lose someone we love at some point in our life. Many times the loss hits us very badly than we expect.

If you feel very low and can't get out of the trauma for prolonged periods, that may be a sign that you need professional help to move on. The professional expert used the Grief Counselling method to overcome the person's trauma and provided suggestions, tips, techniques, and exercises. For more details, let us look at Grief Counselling.

What Is Grief?

Grief is a natural reaction that happens due to the loss of something or someone. Grief can be both universal as well as personal experience. Mostly grief happens to people who face some loss in their life.

Example of loss includes the death of loved ones, loss of money, job, and the ending of a meaningful relationship(break up, divorce), etc.; some people may find it more challenging to cope with and overcome situations, stirring up many complex emotions. 

They might get deficient and numbed and cannot carry out their regular activities due to the impact of sudden loss. If someone feels wholly knocked off their feet or is struggling for a prolonged period, that may be a sign that they may need professional help to move on. 

It is a type of talk therapy similar to (family therapy) intended to help the client understand and cope with the emotions they experience, grieve healthily, and ultimately find a way to move on. 

What Is Grief Counselling?

Grief counseling is also known as bereavement therapy. Grief can occur to any aged person, but children and adults may experience it differently. Grief counseling is a professional therapy that helps people cope with the emotional trauma caused by a sudden loss. 

You cannot experience the same grief as others; it differs from person to person. Five similar stages measure grief.

  • Anger
  • Depression 
  • Acceptance
  • Denial 
  • Bargaining

Frequently asked questions

Cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT) works well for grief. It works by making them aware of negative thinking patterns to the patient. This behavior change can lead to suffering. In the CBT session therapist discuss your grief and try to solve it.
The three ideas that can help you to cope with grief are to talk about your problem when you can, Get help if needed, and accept your emotion.
Generally, The Grief process lasts for a year or more. The person must resolve the emotional change in life after the death of loved ones or the loss of something precious. Pain might be less intense, but the impact will last for several years.

What Does Grief Counselling Help With?

Grief counseling helps you to identify the ways to express your emotions. If you lost someone very close to you in your life. Then grief counseling can help you rebuild your daily life routine. Express your feeling after the sudden loss. You might see some changes in your behavior that can include:

  • Numbness
  • Sorrow
  • Shock
  • Helpless/ hopeless
  • Denial 
  • Guilt 
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Regret
  • Types Of Grief Counselling 

The therapist will help the patient with various approaches and techniques based on the type of grief.

Grief Counselling 

This form of therapy helps individuals to overcome the sudden shock or other behavioral change caused due to the loss of loved ones. It can help you overcome your attachment to the deceased person. Rebuild your daily routine and for moving on further in life.

Complicated Grief

With time, many overcome and learn to manage grief. But about 15% of the people who lose a loved one may experience complicated grief. It's a type of grief wherein you may have intense symptoms like Anxiety, depression, aggression or self-destructive behaviors, eating problems, and trouble sleeping that can last up to a year or longer. 

While the intensity will differ from person to person on the context of the loss, the symptoms you feel may be severe. Complicated grief can make it hard to function correctly and complete their daily routine. 

Complicated Grief Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps people cope with their grief. Severe symptoms of Complicated Grieving include

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Intense sadness
  • Constantly thinking about death person
  • Living alone 
  • Lack of desire or interest in anything.

Traumatic Grief

If an individual loses someone they care about in a traumatic event, such as an accident, or if they witness them severely injured or die, they may experience traumatic grief. This type of grief mainly occurs when they're not expecting and are entirely unprepared to lose someone suddenly or if they witnessed their death. 

Traumatic grief symptoms may suffer for days, weeks, or even months after the traumatic incident. The feelings of grief may be disconcerting and disabling. Grief counseling can help sufferers develop effective strategies to manage or deal with grief during recovery.

Broken Heart Syndrome

While grief is highly unlikely to kill someone, the intense stress and sorrow from living with it may affect the health of their heart, especially in situations of sudden shock. If the grief is severe, the body may secrete excess stress hormones that may cause part of the heart to pump blood unevenly, beat irregularly, and swell up.

It can cause chest pain similar to a stroke. This is called broken heart syndrome. Most people who experience this sort of grief generally recover in a couple of weeks and may not have to go through a similar event again. Women have more chance of broken heart syndrome than men.

Techniques Used In Grief Therapy

Grief counseling involves opening up and talking about the person you lost, your relationship with them, how you lost them, how their loss has impacted you, and how you've been coping with it. Some of the techniques grief counselors often use

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

CBT is another form of psychotherapy. It involves identifying and modifying thought patterns that negatively influence your emotions and, thus, behavior.

Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT encourages people to accept negative emotions and circumstances so they can begin to develop and focus on healthier patterns that can help them reach their goals.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is implemented in a group setting. It can be comforting to share what you are going through and feeling. Everybody is going through the same thing. You are helping each other work toward recovery together.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is commonly used to help gain insights into a child's mind to help them process and understand unresolved emotions and build constructive behavioral patterns.

Art Therapy

Art therapy adopts creative forms to express your emotions and promote healing. It can be pretty helpful to people of all ages, including children, adults, and the elderly, who may struggle to communicate their feelings.

Benefits And Effectiveness Of Grief Counseling

Grief counseling can offer several benefits and effectiveness, including

  • Fewer emotional and physical symptoms.
  • Improved self-awareness as the patient begins understanding their feelings and why.
  • Development of coping skills that can help one adapt to life without their loved one and move on.
  • Acceptance of loss, including integrating it into their new reality and maintaining a healthy bond with the person they lost.

Research has proved that grief counseling can be an effective way to deal with and manage grief.

A study published in 2015 in the Counseling & Psychotherapy Research journal found that people who went for bereavement counseling felt that:

  • It was helpful to have someone validate and normalize their feelings and experiences.
  • Talking to someone who wasn't a family member or friend was much more accessible.
  • It was good to have unhelpful thinking processes and patterns challenged, such as those related to guilt or anger.

Another study published in 2017 in the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy journal found that those who participated in grief counseling after losing someone close to them reported fewer symptoms of grief in the long run. These results suggest that grief counseling can have practical long-term benefits.

Things To Consider

Not everyone necessarily requires grief counseling to get over the loss of a loved one. However, it can help you cope with the circumstances, especially if you are struggling with complex emotions intensely for a long time or having difficulty moving on. 

On the other hand, if you are experiencing severe depression, complicated grief, traumatic grief, or other behavioral or physical problems related to your loss, you may hugely benefit from different types of therapy.

Also, read

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Grief Counselling is psychotherapy for helping people cope with physical, emotional, social, or cognitive loss. These experiences generally happen due to the loss of a loved one. 

At the moment, you would be lost in your imagination and thoughts, leading to many situations. Ideas can be too dangerous that you might even think of suicide or any other cause that harms you, or you will be silent.

At this moment, grief counseling helps people move through their difficult times to accept reality and live meaningful lives.