Therapists in Mechanicsville, VA—Counseling for Bereavement, Loss, and Grief
After the death of a family member or friend, the world can feel backward. Activities that were once fun may now be painful reminders of the lost loved one. People who were once driven and focused may now find themselves apathetic about life. Grief is a strange and painful process. Leo knows.
Leo lost his daughter in a car accident. One day, they were making up silly knock-knock jokes together. The next, she was gone. Nothing seems normal to Leo now. He might live in the same house, work at the same job, have the same friends, drive the same routes around town, but Leo knows that nothing is the same. People treat him differently. Even good times now have a twinge of sadness to them. Since the accident, he has changed. Leo now has terrible dreams and difficulty focusing at work. Friends keep telling him that he will get through this, but Leo isn’t sure about anything.
Many people are like Leo—experiencing grief after the loss of a loved one. Grief can be a complex experience, and sometimes it is called the grief cycle because it can feel like a journey. Many people have found the help they need to navigate bereavement through pursuing grief therapy.
Unfortunately, loss is a common human experience. Thriveworks Mechanicsville, VA’s counselors understand that while loss may be common, it is never simple. They know how to support and guide people as they navigate loss and grieve in a healthy way.
Grief and Loss
Grief is a natural reaction to experience a loss of any kind. Death of a loved one might be the loss that most people associate with grief, people grieve after losing anything or anyone they love.
Our clients have experienced many losses. A few reasons they have sought grief therapy at our office include …
- A beloved pet died.
- They have gone through a divorce or break-up.
- Adjusting to life after a permanent or temporary disability has been a challenge.
- They are facing a difficult diagnosis, chronic pain, or health challenges.
- A family member or friend has died.
- They lost a job or changed careers.
- As they age, they are losing independence.
- A natural disaster has destroyed or damaged their home.
Because life is full of loss, most people go through a grief journey at some point in their lives.
Misconceptions about Grief
Grief may be an experience that most people will go through, but unfortunately, it is an oft misunderstood experience. Well-intentioned but confused friends and family members may offer support to a bereaved loved one that is unhelpful at best and harmful at worse. Here are a few examples of misconceptions about grief.
“You just need some time.”
The grief journey definitely needs time, but time alone does not heal the wounds of loss. The bereaved need to process their pain in an intentional way. This often takes work, time, and support.
“If you replace what was lost, you will feel better.”
One of the hardest parts of the grief journey is accepting that loss is final. Wanting to fill a void is an understandable desire, but reality is that anything new is not exactly the same. The loss often cannot be replaced. However, it can be accepted, and a new, good (but different) future can be built.
“Give yourself a year.”
People may try to put a timeline on their own or other’s grief, but everyone heals on their own timeframe. Depending upon the loss and the individual, some people need to grieve for a few month. Others take a few years. Both can be normal.
Considering Grief Counseling?
Misconceptions about loss abound, but help through the pain of grief is available. What could it look like to handle grief in a healthy way?
Grief is unique to each person who experiences it, so everybody’s path toward healing is also unique. Grief counselors can tailor their treatment plans to each client’s needs. However, generally speaking, counseling for bereavement has two aims:
1) Sorting through complex emotions
Grief is not a singular feeling of sadness. Instead, people feel various and even strange emotions during grief. These feelings are often the key to understanding what the loss signifies to a person. Sorting through complex emotions begins by identifying them. If you have lost someone or something you love, you may also be feeling …
When people grieve, it is important for them to reflect upon any emotions they may be feeling, and a grief therapist can guide that contemplative process.
2) Reimagining the future
Once people have processed the loss and their feelings about it, they are often ready to think about the future. This step comes with many challenges as imagining a future without a loved one or without a dear pet or in a new home takes courage to accept the loss’s finality. Know that many people who work to establish a new future often find a new happiness and a new meaning in life. Skilled grief therapists can guide this process of setting and achieving realistic goals for moving forward after loss.
Scheduling Loss and Grief Counseling
Grief therapy is not a quick fix or a magic formula, but it is support and guidance during a painful season of life. Would you like a trained professional to walk through grief with you? Thriveworks Mechanicsville counselors want to help.
Experiencing a loss makes everyday tasks more difficult, so we have done everything we can to make scheduling an appointment as convenient as possible. One of our scheduling specialists will answer your call and be able to make an appointment for you, possibly even for the following day. We do not keep waitlists, but we offer Saturday and evening appointments. We also work with most major insurance providers.
Thriveworks Mechanicsville, VA’s grief and loss counselors are ready to guide their clients toward a fulfilling, meaningful future after they have experienced a loss. Sound good? Let get started.