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What Is Bereavement Therapy & How Is It Helpful?

Jun 9

Psychotherapy for persons who have lost a loved one and are going through the grieving process is known as grief counseling or bereavement therapy.

Many people find it helpful to have an expert by their side to help them cope with the many emotions that grieving may bring up, such as sadness, anger, guilt, or even regret.

Helping you cope with the loss of a loved one, working through regrets about the way things turned out, and expressing emotions you would not otherwise be able to is one of the many services provided by a grief counselor.



While considering bereavement treatment, you may question what to expect. Here are some of the primary components of grieving counseling that you may explore with your therapist to help you better understand the process.


A Guide To Getting In Touch With Your Emotions

The support of a grief counselor may help you process your emotions in a safe space. Seeing a therapist might be quite useful if you don't have anybody to speak to or don't feel comfortable discussing your worries with loved ones.

Therapists may make you believe that your sensations are real by just listening.


Making Peace

Grief counseling might help you come to terms with your loved one's loss if you're feeling numb or removed from reality. Suppression of emotions or dealing with a situation by not thinking about it at all may be helped by this technique in particular.

Moving On From Adversity

If you saw your loved one's death or if there was another unpleasant aspect to the loss, bereavement counseling may help you process your sorrow.

During therapy, you'd speak about what you saw, how it made you feel, and how your therapist might help you go forward. In the presence of a therapist who can provide empathy and support while processing trauma, it may be of benefit.


Dealing With Shame & Regret

A common reaction to the death of a loved one is guilt. Loss is made more difficult by feelings of shame and regret, which may accompany the guilt. If you have emotions of guilt about things you should have done or things that might have been different, a grieving therapist may help you move through them.

It's possible that a therapist might help you see that living your best life is more important than holding guilt about things you can't change.


Manage Your Day-to-Day Life

It is possible to reorganize your life and find new methods to operate in the wake of the death of someone who was a constant presence in your daily routine.

To put it another way, if you've lost your spouse and he or she was in charge of everything from money and cooking to cleaning, you'll need to discover out how to do it alone. Making these choices with the help of a therapist may be helpful.


Developing A Circle Of Friends

By connecting you with local resources and organizations, a grief therapist can help you build an effective support network.

A support system is essential if you don't know where to turn for assistance or what support services are accessible to you.



If you've just lost a loved one, your grief counselor may be able to help you plan the funeral. Your loved one's memory should be preserved in a manner that seems right to you, even if you are unable to think properly or make choices at this time.

Before a loved one dies away, you may be able to begin therapy with that person.


Keep An Eye Out For Indicators Of Depression

A person's grief might lead to depression. Additionally, a therapist trained in grief therapy may ask you a series of questions to determine whether or not you are exhibiting symptoms of depression that need medical attention.

One in every ten people who have suffered the loss of a loved one will experience depression at some point.


Worksheets For Journaling & Poetry Writing

Even after you've completed your grieving therapy, your grief therapist may teach you methods that might assist you, such as journaling about your emotions, writing about memories, and using writing to work through challenges.

It's possible that your therapist may have you write a letter to a deceased loved one to convey how you feel about their passing or how your life has altered after they died.

For grieving children and teens, one study revealed that writing therapy was effective in treating the emotional effects of mourning.


Book Recommendations

One of the best ways a grief counselor can help you understand the mourning process and validate your emotions is by recommending books to read.

If this is a problem for you, you could be given the advise to read a book about letting go of guilt.


Psychotherapy In The Form Of Art Therapy

Some grief therapists utilize art therapy as a form of treatment. Art therapy for grief includes developing a memorial book, completing a craft project, or creating other art to remember your loved one.

For those who have just lost a loved one, a 2018 research found that visual art treatment methods were associated to positive outcomes. An art therapy link has been found between persons who sense a stronger connection to their loved ones who have passed away and who find meaning and purpose in that experience
As a kind of self-soothing, art therapy may help those who have lost a loved one to cope with their grief.


Inadequate Solutions

Do you have unresolved issues about the death of a close friend or relative? It's possible that when they died, you and them were at odds. Death counseling may assist you in overcoming these challenges by using techniques like as the empty chair approach and other role-playing examples.


Affirmations Of Faith

Another service that a grief counselor may provide is guidance on creating "memory rituals" to honor the memory of the person you've lost. For example, they might help you come up with an activity (such as an art therapy project) or plan out a certain time of month or year to focus on recalling memories.

Set up a time each day to remember your loved one, rather than throwing memories away because you are afraid of being overwhelmed by them.


The Different Types Of Bereavement Therapy

This kind of bereavement counseling is designed for persons who are experiencing a great deal of sorrow.

Another strategy utilized in this kind of therapy is the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and the attachment theory.

Some of the specific tactics used in tough grief therapy include telling the story of your loved one's death, differentiating sadness from trauma, organizing grief, dealing with guilt, and respecting your loved one.


The Benefits Of Bereavement Counseling

Bereavement treatment has a number of benefits. To help you cope with your loss, here are some good reasons to look into grief counseling:

  • Acquire the ability to deal with stress. In order to go through one of the most painful moments in your life, grief counseling may help you develop new coping strategies and increase your mental strength.
  • It's okay to feel whatever you want to feel. For those who have just lost a loved one or who have been grieving for a long time, grief counselling may help you express your thoughts and feel better.
  • I'm very sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing it with me. Understanding your loss and the stages of grieving that you will go through is much easier with this kind of therapy (e.g., denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).
  • You must reclaim your own consciousness. Bereavement counseling may help you adjust to life without your loved one by shifting your attention to other elements of your life or other roles you play (e.g., a widower might focus on getting together with friends if he used to spend every day with his spouse).
  • Face whatever bad emotions you're having. If you are mourning, bereavement counselling may help you cope with the grief and feelings you are now experiencing.
  • Keep in mind your deceased loved one in a positive manner. In order to feel good about how you remember a loved one, you need to be able to maintain a connection to them while moving on with your life.
  • The ability to effectively manage one's time and affairs. Readjusting to life without a loved one may be difficult, but therapy can help. During this trying time, having a mentor by your side might be really beneficial.
  • Long-term positive effects and decreased grief symptoms were shown in a 2017 study on bereavement counseling.


How To Find Bereavement Support Groups

During grief, it's probable that you won't be able to make rational decisions. A friend or family member might help you find grieving counsellors in your area. You can also ask your doctor for a reference.