Build Your Own Grief Counseling Success: A Beginner’s Guide

Grief Counseling-What exactly is grief counseling and why is it helpful?


You may want to know that grief counseling is a type of psychotherapy. It involves helping grieving people cope with loss in their life. This loss may be the death of a loved one, divorce, or other major life changes or tragedies. Grief itself is any reaction which may be in the form of sadness, depression, regret, anger, or yearning.


Sometimes these feelings and emotions become too much. It’s a burden to deal with alone.


The grief counselor can help to relieve some of the burden by allowing one to express themselves openly and honestly. Speaking to a listening ear during this time will be comforting and nurturing.


Sometimes the mourning will have to develop a new routine. The counselor can help them achieve this.  The counselor will suggest certain rituals to help the mourning cope.



People who are grieving may experience feelings such as loss of meaning of life. They may feel unworthy and in overwhelming despair.


If not counseled properly, grieving can result in the person having a mental illness. This is called complicated grieving. This requires thorough counseling immediately.



Methods Used in Grief Counseling



The following methods can be used when counseling the grieving:


  • Use of imagery techniques – for the grieving to have a better understanding of their emotions and reactions, the counselor will have them imagine and visualize. They will will visualize past experiences or images of their deceased loved one.

  • Open chair method – this method involves placing an open chair faced towards the grieving. Then asking them to imagine their loved one seated on the chair. This gives them a chance to speak to the bereaved person.

  • Use of a memory book – this involves helping the grieving to compile all the stories and pictures of the deceased in a book. This makes them focus and move on with their lives while still remembering their lost loved ones.

  • Writing of poetry or fiction – by encouraging the grieving to write poems and fictions the counselor can help them identify with their feelings.

  • Letting go – the counselor will assist in helping the grieving to release any negative thoughts they are having. They will help them adjust and adopt thoughts that are healthy and affirming.



The Importance of Grief Counseling


There are countless numbers of ways that grief counseling is helpful and necessary. Many of these ways are states below:


  • It empowers the grieving. It helps them to pave the way for a new future. The grieving may feel stuck and unable to move forward in their life. A counselor will push them to look to better days and build their hope for their days to come.

  • Some people may go through stages in grieving. At some point they may not believe that this could have happened to them. Counseling will help them accept the loss in reality. This is a great first step in grief counseling and will help the affected individual a lot.

  • It also helps them in adjusting and coping with life without their loved one. The grieving may not know how to continue on without their dear bereaved one.

  • Grief counseling is a major mechanism in dealing with trauma. Loss can have lasting effects. Any help that is available will help to heal any trauma induced.

  • It helps the grieving to deal with any unfinished business they may have. They may also get a chance to say goodbye.

  • Over time, counseling will help to reduce distress and depression.

  • It helps to establish a supportive relationship with the bereaved.

  • Withdrawal of emotional energy allows the grieving to invest that energy into another relationship.

  • Important in resuming normal activities among the grieving.

  • Very importantly, helps prevent cases of complicated grieving leading to mental illness. This is extremely important. Nobody deserves to suffer in pain throughout their experience with loss. Mental illness such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is very common in the grieving. More than 3 million cases of PTSD arise a year. Patients have flash backs, anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts. Grief therapy will definitely help and medication may be prescribed as needed.

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