Grief Therapy

CT Integrative Counseling - Grief

Is A Significant Loss Leaving You Afraid, Isolated And Ashamed?

Has grieving the loss of a loved one, such as a family member or spouse, left you feeling empty, hurt and abandoned? Maybe losing a longtime partner has disrupted your sense of self, or left you feeling like future joy is impossible. Perhaps you find it difficult to engage in day-to-day tasks and, as you lean on others for understanding and comfort, your pain is compounded by guilt. Overall, do you wish you could authentically incorporate your loss and find renewed meaning in life while still honoring the validity of your pain?

All grief—whether you’ve lost a loved one, a friendship, or even your job—can be an overwhelming experience. If you’re dealing with grief, your life might take on a surreal quality, as if the pain and worry you’re experiencing is part of a terrible dream. As you go through your day, unexpected flashes of grief might trigger surprising emotions, including anger or even shame. Perhaps you’ve distanced yourself from close friends and family members, and maybe others’ attempts to console you leave you feeling frustrated, no matter how well-intentioned these efforts might be. Or, as time has passed, loved ones may have begun pushing you to “get over” the loss, leading you to feel further isolated. On top of it all, you may be criticizing yourself for not grieving in “the right way.” You may wonder if there’s any way to reconcile these conflicting emotions and remember your loved one with joy rather than pain.

Everyone Grieves Differently, But You Are Not Alone

Though loss is part of being human, each one of us processes this experience in a unique way. While the stages of grief are often considered a uniform experience, dealing with loss is actually a highly individualized process, and no two people will confront it in the same way.

Grief is usually a response to a significant loss that disrupts your wellbeing. Sometimes, grief involves an intense surge of emotions, including anger, sadness or even guilt. Other times, grief is accompanied by a numb feeling of meaninglessness, as if your senses have been dulled. It can be common to deal with the pain of loss by throwing yourself into practical tasks or by surrounding yourself with family and friends. Others may want to process their emotions in a solitary setting. There isn’t a right or a wrong way to manage grief, but some behaviors are less healthy than others. If you’re finding it increasingly difficult to get through each day, grief counseling might be the answer.

While you can’t force the anguish of grief to melt away at the snap of a finger, grief therapy can give you the support you need to not only confront and understand the anger or sadness you feel, but also begin the healing process.

Grief Therapy Provides Safe, Non-Judgmental Support

There’s no need to feel abandoned when dealing with grief. A professional, experienced counselor can help you navigate the pain in a way that makes sense for your unique experience.

In our sessions, I’ll teach you how to slow down and care for yourself in the face of loss. I offer a safe, supportive space for you to explore and practice new ways to express grief and develop healing strategies at your own pace. The stages of grief are different for everyone, and if you’re struggling with feelings of guilt or shame, I’ll help you understand and accept your individual grieving process, emphasizing that grief can’t be overcome in a set amount of time and that there’s nothing wrong with pain, anger or sadness. In grief therapy, you can feel free from external pressures and truly sit with your feelings in your own time.

My approach is a unique blend of increasing the mind-body connection, humanistic techniques and EMDR therapy, a highly effective method that can help you process memories and feelings, paving the way for healing. My goal is to help you mindfully adopt a forgiving, comforting attitude toward the feelings you experience. Together, we’ll work to recognize the bodily signs of grief that bring on negative thought cycles and intense physical responses. By emphasizing connection to the breath and practicing soothing activities, I’ll not only help you learn to recognize triggering situations, but also provide you with tools you can use to calm yourself down. Above all, I’ll help you resist the urge to approach the stages of grief like items on a to-do list. There is no wrong way to grieve, and it’s okay to approach this loss in whatever way you need. You can find a way to simultaneously honor your loss while nurturing a sense of strength and hope in yourself.

Even though the intense feelings following a loss are valid, it is possible to move forward and discover a new meaningful way of life. In fact, during grief therapy, many people learn a greater appreciation for themselves, gaining self-awareness, improving self-care techniques and finding a renewed sense of purpose. With help and support, you can begin to engage with the world again.

You might still have questions or concerns about grief therapy...

If my loved ones can’t help me, why should I trust a therapist?

If you’re dealing with grief, sharing your inner emotions with another person might not sound appealing. However, a therapist can provide insight into your struggles, share helpful tips and tools and even help you become comfortable with your loss. I have extensive experience working with introverted clients who feel external pressure to get over their losses and are hesitant to share their emotions. Overall, I’m confident I can help you explore self-care activities and resources suitable for your unique needs.

It’s been a long time since my loss. Why haven’t I healed yet?

Society assumes that everyone experiences a loss in the same way, and that recovery fits a cookie-cutter format. While there are some people who overcome grief in a relatively short period of time, for many, coping with loss is a long process. However, it’s important to remember that you are not obligated to deal with this pain and sadness in any particular way. It can take years to completely sift through all the emotions associated with loss, especially if responsibilities, such as taking care of other family members, prevent you from taking care of yourself. In that case, grief therapy is the perfect opportunity to put your needs first.

Continuing to talk about my loss will keep the pain alive.

If you’re struggling with especially acute sadness, talking about your loss is probably the last thing you want to do. Why hurt yourself even more by continuing to dredge up the pain? This hesitance is perfectly understandable, but it’s important to realize that ignoring grief can often make it worse over the long-term. Talking with a qualified therapist can provide relief and help incorporate your loss into your life in a positive, authentic way. Also, processing grief tends to take the sting out of the sadness, and each time you revisit the loss, it feels a little less fresh and a little easier to accept, honor and cope with.

Are you ready to begin healing after a loss? Contact me today for a free phone consultation by completing my online form or calling me at 860-920-7070. You can ask me any questions you may have about my grief counseling practice in West Hartford, CT.