Are you feeling weighed down in grief? Is it challenging to come to terms with what you’re experiencing? Do you feel it is too much? Experiencing the loss of a loved one is inevitable, as hard as it may sound. That’s why grief therapy might be a good option for you. Here, we dive into types of grief therapy. Find which one might be a good fit!
Should I talk to a therapist?
In grief therapy or grief counseling, there are many options when it comes to talk therapy, psychotherapy, or meeting with a therapist. These are synonymous with each other. Here is an overview of some of those, according to What Is Grief Counseling? By Sanjana Gupta,
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Accepting negative feelings and circumstances to focus on healthier patterns to reach goals.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Identifying and changing thought patterns that negatively influence behavior.
Group Therapy: In a group setting, sharing feelings with others who experiencing the same thing, and working toward recovery together.
Art Therapy: Creative forms to express emotions and promote healing. It can be helpful to all ages, including children, who may struggle to communicate their feelings.
Perhaps the best example here is group therapy. It allows one to connect with others and to talk through grief with those who are experiencing similar circumstances. You can find free group therapy available with us.
With these different types of therapy come different coping mechanisms. These techniques for grief counseling can include; evocative language, symbols and reminders, drawing, cognitive restructuring, metaphors, letters to the deceased, and breathing practices according to 10 Grief Counseling Therapy Techniques & Interventions by Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D. It can also be setting weekly goals, making a list of things to be thankful for, and more.
There are many options as each experiences grief uniquely. But, one of the most available and effective options is in the third section.
Dear animal lovers, you can turn to your pets or animals to cope with grief! This is a wonderful way to distract yourself, allow yourself vulnerability, and take focus off yourself and thinking. Dogs, cats, you name it, can be a help to coping with grief. There are professional avenues you can turn to. These include petting service dogs when they come to visit or are available to meet at a designated business, or therapeutic riding for veterans dealing with grief and PTSD. Talking to your pets or animals can allow you to rant or get things off your mind. You can pet and brush them which can calm you down and let your brain release that oxytocin, which has been proven in studies. Animal therapy might be a great option, but there is one other option you have.
A lot of people search for that “thing” missing in their lives, and often this comes down to their spiritual life. Some turn to yoga and its originating religion, and others turn to Christianity and prayer. Some find that going back to what they grew up believing, or “reconverting” is like a new start. It can help one feel like there is more than life on earth, and that gives them hope for life after death. Turning to spiritual guidance after experiencing the turmoil and grief from losing a loved one can help you overcome more than your grief.
Is grief therapy for you?
According to Gupta, “In the aftermath of a loss, you may experience a range of emotions that can include: Shock, numbness, sorrow, yearning, anger, denial, helplessness, regret, guilt, and anxiety. Grief counseling can offer you several benefits, which can include:
Fewer physical and emotional symptoms
Development of coping skills that can help you adapt to life without your loved one
Improved self-awareness, as you start to understand what you are feeling and why
Acceptance of your loss, which involves integrating it into your reality and maintaining a healthy bond with the person you lost, as you move forward with your life”
Knowing more about your grief can help you understand which therapy is best for you. Check out our free grief support services available to you. We are here to help.
Dibdin, Emma. “Grief Therapy: What It Is, Techniques, and How It Helps.” Psych Central, Healthline Media, 19 Mar. 2023, psychcentral.com/health/therapy-for-grief#recap.
Gupta, Sanjana. “What to Know about Grief Counseling.” Verywell Mind, Dotdash Meredith, 23 June 2021, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-grief-counseling-5189153.
Sutton, Jeremy. “10 Grief Counseling Therapy Techniques & Interventions.” PositivePsychology.Com, PositivePsychology.com B.V., 2 Oct. 2023, positivepsychology.com/grief-counseling/.
Zhang, Catherine. “Pet Therapy: The Science Behind Petting Animals.” Edited by Gouri Ajith, Morning Sign Out at UCI, 16 July 2019, sites.uci.edu/morningsignout/2019/07/16/pet-therapy-the-science-behind-petting-animals/.