How to Heal After a Loss: Grief Counseling Orlando
How to heal after a loss. Grief can feel all consuming. The thought of allowing oneself to feel and process their grief can feel like an impossible task, with no end in sight. Although grief can leave us feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, it is possible to lessen the burden of grief, without having to let go of the memory of your loved one. Therapy for grief can provide a safe space for you to express and process your grief in a manner that honors the pain you have endured. Starting grief counseling can seem like an intimidating task during an already difficult time, however, it can lead to tremendous growth and healing.
What is Grief Counseling?
Grief counseling involves working with a licensed therapist to grieve the loss of a loved one and integrate the loss into your life story in a way that honors their memory. Therapists work not only to provide a safe space for you to feel and process your grief but also to understand who your loved one was and what their life meant to you. Therapists providing grief counseling will listen attentively to whatever it is you wish to share. If you are unsure of where to start or what to say, your therapist will be ready with questions to guide you, as well as helpful information about the grieving process that validates what you are experiencing. Starting grief counseling allows you to express your thoughts and emotions in a conversation that only serves to understand and support you.
How to Heal After Loss: How do I know if I need therapy for grief?
Anyone who is experiencing grief can benefit from grief counseling. There is no right or wrong way to feel, following the loss of a loved one. Therefore, there are no qualifications that need to be met in order to start grief counseling. Psychologists previously considered grief to be a linear cycle, in which the stages of grief could be tracked step-by-step. As our understanding of humans has progressed, we now know that people move through the grieving process similar to how a pinball moves through a pinball machine: rapidly and unpredictably. Whether you have recently lost a loved one or are struggling with suppressed grief from years prior, therapists are prepared to meet you where you are and provide a safe space for you to begin to heal, while also honoring the memory of your loved one.
Common Misconceptions About Grief Counseling
As mentioned above, there is no right or wrong way to process grief. However, we tend to cast unnecessary judgment on ourselves as we move through the grieving process. We can be critical of our own thoughts and emotions and create feelings of shame and isolation. Here are just a few examples of common misconceptions therapists encounter when providing grief counseling:
- “If I process my grief, I will feel sad all the time.”
The idea of starting grief counseling can feel like you are opening the door to a whirlwind of pain. Although allowing yourself to feel and process your grief can be painful, it is important to acknowledge that any emotion being brought to the surface is an emotion that you have already proven you are strong enough to carry. The experience of acknowledging and beginning to heal from your grief will not break you, but will provide you with the opportunity to release the weight of the loss you are carrying and create space for self-compassion.
- “If I overcome my grief, I will forget my loved one.”
Overcoming grief does not require forgetting your loss. Grief is intense the emotion we experience following a loss, while mourning is the process of honoring our loved one and the impact they have had on our lives. As you work to lessen the burden of grief, you make room for meaning. Also room for making and mourning the life of the person you lost. Your loved one will never be forgotten. Their memory and the impact that they have had on this world lives on. Not only in your life, but in the lives of the people you interact with. The people we meet teach us lessons and instill values in us that cannot be taken away, even after death. It’s important to reach a point at which we can make meaning out of our loss. To also progress forward. We must first allow ourselves to work through the hopelessness and devastation that comes with grief.
- “Life will never be the same after my loss, so what is the point in trying to get better?”
Yes, it is true that the normal you once knew will no longer be the normal you know now. The new normal is scary, as there is an absence of a loved one. You may be unsure of what the future holds and if this new future is even worth living. When we lose someone close to us, we often temporarily lose a sense of meaning or purpose in life. The journey to healing involves sitting in a great deal of ambiguity. However, those who are willing to sit in the unknown find a renewed sense of meaning, following their loss. When we acknowledge our struggle, we find the capacity for growth and change.
What is Grief Counseling?
At High Expectations Counseling, we are proud to provide grief counseling in Orlando. We acknowledge that starting therapy is an intimidating process. We want to ensure we make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. If you or someone you know is hoping to start therapy for grief, we are happy to answer any and all questions you may have about beginning men’s counseling in Orlando. Our therapists offer free, 15-minute phone consultations to answer questions. Also to provide you with a chance to get to know your therapist, before booking a first session. You can also book online with one of our therapists, or call us at (407) 967-1327.
Written by: Hannah Mayderry, Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern