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Should I Seek a Therapist?

When a person’s grief-related thoughts, behaviors, or feelings are extremely distressing and unrelenting a qualified therapist may be able to help. Therapy is an effective way to learn to cope with the stressors associated with loss.

Each person’s experience of grief is unique, complex, and personal. Therapists will tailor treatment to meet the specific needs of each person. For example, a therapist might help the bereaved find different ways to maintain healthy connections with the deceased through memory, reflection, ritual, or dialogue about the deceased and with the deceased.

In addition to individual therapy, group therapy can be helpful for those who find solace in the reciprocal sharing of thoughts and feelings, and recovery results are often rapid in this setting. Similarly, family therapy may be suitable for a family whose members are struggling to adapt to the loss of a family member.

Stages and phases many experience:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Most everyone experiences at least two of the five stages of grief. It’s widely accepted that some people may revisit certain stages as often as needed.

There are also Four Tasks of Mourning:

  1. To accept the reality of the loss
  2. To work through the pain of grief
  3. To adjust to life without the deceased
  4. To maintain a connection to the deceased while moving on with life

People will invariably oscillate between the following two processes which encompass tasks of either loss-oriented or restoration-oriented.

  • Loss-oriented activities and stressors are those directly related to the death. These include crying, yearning, experiencing sadness, denial, or anger, dwelling on the circumstances of the death, and avoiding restoration activities.
  • Restoration-oriented activities and stressors are associated with secondary losses with regard to lifestyle, routine, and relationships. These include adapting to a new role, managing changes, developing new ways of connecting with family and friends, and cultivating a new way of life.