Grief Counseling & how it can change your life


I know this probably sounds like an unusual title for a blog post, but I figured it fits in with the idea of a new year, new goals. If one wishes to move forward with ones life, resolving issues or closing the door(s) this is a vital component in the process . After all it is hard to move forward if we keep tripping over the same stumbling blocks or continually falling into the same ruts.

Why grief counseling? Actually the answer to this question is easier than you might think and dealing with your losses can free you to be able to move on with your life. I wish more doctors and therapists would recommend grief counseling to their patients/clients as a regular part of the healing process. It can work wonders, isn’t fun by no means, but clients often tell me that it is worth the work.

When working with clients when I recommend grief counseling it is a suggestion I advise my clients to consider for growth and moving forward in their lives. The conversation will come up at various points in our working together, especially when it becomes obvious that some of the barriers in their lives and self sabotage is related to needing to grieve, mourn or make peace with the various losses in their lives. Yes, clients do give me a puzzled look when I suggest it, but as we explore what is holding them back, they become open and often enthusiastic about this idea.

So, what am I talking about when I mention the word loss in relationship to grief counseling? Often we equate loss, grief and grief counseling with the death of a loved one either human or otherwise. Though the actual  need to grieve a loss has many more definitions and depth to it.

A loss basically means just that, whether the loss be a loved one, job, relationships  of various kinds, a material item that has precious meaning, an acquired disability or health issue to name a few.  When working with my clients the most common losses that are discussed are loss of a loved one, a job or a disability/health issue(s).

Since my day job involves working with people with disabilities and many of them have an acquired disability/health issue the common loss they deal with is making peace with the old self and learning to embrace the new self. Often this presents itself as a skill set or ability that they loved and/or were talented in and since the disability/health issue they can no longer either do or have limitations in this area. So, they spend a lot of time beating themselves up emotionally and mentally about how useless they are, since they can no longer be as they once were in their life. Especially, if their self image or belief of self importance is the a major part of the loss. Once their loss is indentified, if they are open to grief counseling I will encourage them to look into it. Sometimes, the discussion of grief counseling itself is left for the next meeting, if the client isn’t quite ready to go further. I’m not a grief counselor nor is that an area that I am an expert, but being able to help clients realize or make a decision that this can be a vital step in their progress is equally important.

What losses have you had/have in your life that you haven’t mourned, made peace with or really been able to put in the past?  It’s one thing to think you have put it to rest, but totally different to truly do it. It’s been my experience in my own life, friends/family and in my professional life that if you haven’t done this, these issues pop up when you least expect it.

If you need help figuring out this part of your life, I can help you sort it out. I would also love to hear your stories as well.