After a loved one has died, people’s whole world often feels overturned. Everything that was warm and familiar can—in an instant—become cold and gray. Grief can feel intense and overpowering. Unfortunately, grief can also isolate people, leaving them feeling alone when they may need the most support.
Laura knows. She lost her son in a terrible accident. One day, Laura and her son were making dinner together. The next day, he was gone. Family and friends have tried to be there for Laura—to say and do helpful things. But Laura cannot shake the feeling that no one else gets what this is like. She loves her friends and family, and Laura knows they mean well. Yet, when she lost her son, many of Laura’s other relationships changed as well. Laura is feeling alone and depression.
Like many people who have lost a loved one, Laura is experiencing grief. People usually feel grief in response to losing someone or something beloved. Grief can be a strange, complex experience. Some people call it a grief cycle because experiencing grief can be like a journey. Many people have found that grief therapy helped them navigate their bereavement.
Sadly, loss is a natural part of life, but each person process loss in a unique way. The grief counselors at Thriveworks Reston, VA in Fairfax understand grief and how to navigate it in a healthy way. They have helped many people journey through grief’s pain and find healing.
Grief: What It Is
Grief is a normal response people feel when they have lost something or someone they value or love. Any loss can trigger grief, but people often connect grief with the death of a loved one. Because loss is a very common experience, most people will experience grief at some point.
Thriveworks Reston, VA clients have begun grief counseling for many reasons, and a few include …
- Death of a pet
- Divorce or break-up
- Chronic pain or health challenges
- Loss of a job
- A permanent or temporary disability
- Life transitions
- Death of a loved one
- Loss of independence (especially with age)
Grief: What It Is Not
Regrettably, myths and misunderstanding about grief are as common as grief. Well intentioned family and friends may try to help a bereaved loved one with these misunderstandings, but instead, they often cause more harm.
“Time will heal the pain.”
Healing absolutely requires time, but to heal, people have to make intentional effort to process their pain. This usually takes time, work, and—often—the help of an experienced grief therapist. Time alone does not heal.
“The quicker you move forward, the better.”
Sometimes, people see grief as something to just get over. Friends and family might even suggest quickly replacing the loss and moving forward as if nothing significant happened. However, moving forward means moving through the pain. There is no quick-fix or easy solution to loss.
Why Consider Grief Therapy?
If myths and misunderstandings about grief are common, what does it look like to grief in a healthy way? Many people want to mourn their loss and move forward, but they do not know how. Grief therapy can guide the process of healing.
The particular treatment plan for each grief counseling client will differ. Because everyone experiences grief in a unique way, they also heal in a unique way. In general, however, grief therapy has two goals:
1) Recognize the Loss
For many people, progress toward healing means stepping back into the loss. A grief therapist can guide people through the process of reflection. Often, people need to clarify what exactly they lost and what that loss means to them.
One key to recognizing what was lost is reflecting upon the various feelings that arise during bereavement. Far from a singular emotion, grief is often a variety of feelings woven together. The bereaved may be feeling …
Healing usual involved processing any feelings that may accompany grief. A grief counselor can facilitate their clients as they discern what they may be feeling and why.
2) Reclaim the Future
Reclaiming the future can be a scary step in the grief cycle, but after people have recognized what they have lost, they are often ready for what can come next. Each person can determine what they want their future to look like, and a grief therapist can help them make and achieve realistic goals as they reclaim a meaningful life.
Mental Health Services for Loss and Grief Counseling in Fairfax, VA
Do you want the support of an experienced therapist as you navigate your grief journey? The counselors at Thriveworks Reston, VA are ready to help.
Everything is more difficult after a loss. We get it, and we want to make reaching out for help as easy as possible. When you call to schedule an appointment for grief therapy, you may be able to meet with your therapist the following day. We also take many insurance carriers and offer weekend and evening appointment times.
Are you ready for a happier tomorrow? The grief counselors at Thriveworks Reston, VA are ready to build your future with you. Let’s get started.