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Grief Counseling

Has The Pain Of Grief Become Too Much To Bear?

Have you experienced loss and having trouble accepting this reality? Are you devastated and weighed down by the heaviness of pain? Do the circumstances of your loss leave you with questions and regrets? 


Perhaps you’re experiencing a deep sadness that has overtaken your mind, body, and soul. Or maybe you’ve become angry with yourself, God, or who (or what) you lost. Grieving may have become even more difficult as you may have found yourself dealing with many losses at once.  


Grief is universal. Yet this reality doesn’t make coping with it any easier. As you grieve, you may cry constantly or feel numb and empty inside. Perhaps your loss has caused great loneliness as you pine for the love you once knew. Your emotions may see-saw--feeling at peace one moment and depressed the next.  

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Because grief affects everyone differently, you may have lost focus or struggle to complete tasks, or perhaps you have delved into other responsibilities or hobbies to cope with loss. It’s likely that the pain has robbed you of the energy you once had to make decisions about life, and now you feel restless. You may also feel guilt as you wonder what you could have done to prevent your loss. 


Though you may worry that you could have changed things, you are not to blame for your loss. Grief and bereavement counseling can help you to understand this fundamental truth as you find closure with your grief and loss and gain the tools needed to manage your emotions.

Because grief affects everyone differently, you may have lost focus or struggle to complete tasks, or perhaps you have delved into other responsibilities or hobbies to cope with loss. It’s likely that the pain has robbed you of the energy you once had to make decisions about life, and now you feel restless. You may also feel guilt as you wonder what you could have done to prevent your loss. 


Though you may worry that you could have changed things, you are not to blame for your loss. Grief and bereavement counseling can help you to understand this fundamental truth as you find closure with your grief and loss and gain the tools needed to manage your emotions.


Grief Is Inescapable--And That Is Okay


We will each experience grief at some point in life in a way that is unique only to us. Some of us may be stoic, existing with a quiet strength that gets us through the day, while others of us will become more open, vulnerable, and willing to share how we are coping with loss. No matter our interpretation, the way our grief manifests in our lives is valid. 


Yet the culture we live in doesn’t always value every form of grief. Someone may judge us for taking “too much” or “too little” time to grieve. Or maybe we deal with grief in a way that makes others uncomfortable--maybe we don’t cry. Yet dry eyes still don’t betray the sadness we feel for our loss.


In addition, our society also lacks the rituals and customs that help us process our emotions. A culture may do a double burial to mourn and then celebrate the life of the deceased (Nigeria), keep cremation beads (Korea), or experience a week-long mourning period for the deceased (Jewish cultures). In the United States, we have funeral traditions, but our culture tends to deny the reality of death and considers it a morbid topic to discuss. Without cultural frameworks for this normal life passage, we slow our healing and have less support in this time of need--and grieving can be difficult without support. 
Alone, we may struggle to lift ourselves up from pain. And chances are that loved ones may also be grieving from the same loss, unable to offer support through their own pain. Furthermore, what happens when loss is complicated by unresolved issues with the bereaved? Finding meaning within yet another layer of grief can be an added struggle.


But there is hope. Counseling can help you deal with the many layers of your grief and a therapist can offer the support you need to look candidly at your emotions and work through them so that you can live the life you deserve. 


Grief Counseling Can Give You The Support You Need To Heal, Thrive, And Honor Your Loss


If you find yourself at a low point, stuck in trying to deal with a painful loss, then grief counseling might be for you. Counseling can pinpoint the different aspects of your grief so you can work through each piece to be made whole again. 


We offer a patient, compassionate and non-judgmental environment where you can explore the complex emotions associated with grief such as anger, sadness, guilt, regret, numbness, and denial, to name a few. Cedar and Oaks Counseling PLC has helped many clients reach a place of acceptance and hold space for their grief while forging a new path forward.
Intake begins with questionnaires that we will ask you to fill out prior to our first meeting together. In our first session, we will ask additional questions on different topics to learn a bit more about you. These topics may include relationships, professional and educational background, hobbies and interests, spiritual beliefs, medical history, and present challenges. This information will clue into your natural strengths for coping with grief. Then, we will determine a starting point for therapy. 


In sessions, we will work together to understand how grief impacts the many areas of your life. Grief counseling can help you process complex emotions so you may come out on the other side with closure and strength to function in daily life.


Additionally, grief counseling can help you:

 

  • Explore how your loss has impacted you

  • Identify past and current coping strategies 

  • Develop healthier coping strategies to manage grief 

  • Deal with additional losses you may have experienced that impact your loss

  • Address unresolved issues surrounding your loss

Our holistic approach to counseling allows you to integrate healing into every aspect of your life. We help you achieve this by using various modalities to tackle specific struggles. Cognitive Behavioral-Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) help pinpoint harmful thought patterns that lead to self-destructive behaviors. CBT and ACT give you the tools to replace negative thoughts with constructive ones so you can better handle various challenges (e.g. finding healthier coping strategies for grief). And Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) can help you release trauma as it relates to grief. With the help of a counselor, rapid-eye-movement allows you to gently address your experiences without retraumatization. 


Since 2004, Cedar and Oaks Counseling PLC has helped many clients tap into their resilience to both withstand sadness and accept joy in life. Our clients have also learned to hold onto positive memories while still finding a renewed meaning in life and we believe that grief counseling can do the same for you. 

Maybe you still have questions about grief counseling...


Everyone wants me to move on, but I’m not ready to yet.


People are likely to base their comments on their own experiences or may not have yet experienced a loss in life. As a result, their comments will never fit your specific understanding of grief. This may also be complicated by the fact that they don’t know what to say so use trite phrases that hold little meaning to your pain (e.g. “Your loved one is in a better place”). A grief counselor can provide the support you need without judgment or a time limit.


I am worried that a therapist who has never experienced the kind of loss I am going through will fail to understand. 


No one will ever truly understand the depths of your pain--it is yours and yours alone. But we will say that our counselors have also experienced personal loss that others could never understand either. You are not alone in the experience of feeling deep pain from loss--many have unfortunately crossed this path before. But therapy can help you process sorrow. It also offers a healthy distance that gives space for your individual pain while offering support to find a new path beyond what you feel (or do not feel) right now.


Counseling is expensive. My grief will dissipate on its own.


Grief can lessen with time, but what happens if you can’t overcome difficult emotions after a short while? How do you deal with friends or family who think your “time limit” to grieve has expired? Comments that point to this perspective could be hurtful and hinder the grieving process. A counselor can help you work through long-term grief and provide the support that you may not be able to find within yourself or others. Counseling is a resource to get you unstuck at painful emotional points so you can thrive--investing in it will pay off in the long run. 

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Are You Ready To Embrace Your Pain And Heal?


You have the right to grieve fully and honor your loss while giving yourself permission to move forward in life. If you’re ready to take the next step, we invite you to give us a call or send us an email to see how grief counseling can help.