A Brief Introduction to Grief Counseling
The need for grief counseling arises when a person has to cope with a tremendous loss and is unable to handle the grief all on his or her own.
Namely it is a form of therapy which is designed and aims to relieve a person of the intense feelings of loss he or she may be suffering at the time. These feelings may be triggered by: deaths of loved ones, marriage break ups, getting fired, or being diagnosed with a fatal disease, and so forth.
How does it work?
It is typically done in groups. This is done in such a fashion because when a person finds someone in a similar position it is easier to empathize and get through the whole thing in a group setting – as opposed to an isolated one. Additionally, the goal of the group is not to change the person's behavior, but rather to provide for additional compassion and sympathy.
A counseling group is led by a qualified health professional.
According to grief counselors, grief is a complete process and is thus impossible to be brushed away instantly. They also make it a point to the patients that grief is a normal human emotion which is right in its place, that they may feel free to express all of it and with no obstacles.
In that way, the person is presented with a degree of compassion which he or she could not be able to receive elsewhere.
It is also an important point that a grief counselor does not attempt to speed up the process – as this in fact would be impossible, but rather see his patient through all of its stages. This means that the therapist in this case acts more like a support rather than a catalyst.
Some patients would find it difficult to cry at all, whilst other could have trouble stopping. This is because loss is the biggest cause of pain.
Namely loss is the trigger of a rush of shocking emotions, such as: anger, guilt, fear or misery. Furthermore, the patient suffering the symptoms feels as if the world around him/her is changing in such drastic measures that it will never ever be the same again. And what's more, the patient is right.
The thing is, these emotions may feel overpowering at the time of suffering, but they are (on the slightest of up sides) completely natural reactions to loss. All the stages of grief, are thus, a part of the healing process which is to take place upon loss.
Even though the healing process normally takes a very long time, most people learn to (sooner or later) deal with it in their own unique ways – despite the fact that what is lost is lost, and could never come back again.
Conclusively, this is also why the one who grieves should receive all of the emotional support and empathy, he or she can get from friends and family as well, and not only the therapist and the group.