Monday, May 23, 2016

Grieving - How Grief Counseling Can Help

The expression "good grief" appears to be an oxymoron. In the grieving process, the grief seems anything but good. The expression is one of shock or disbelief which has everything to do with the beginning stages of grief.

Despite the tragedy and heartache that come with grief and its process, grief is actually good. Grief is a process of healing from traumatic events. Traumatic events are not limited to death but can derive from job loss, relocation, drug addiction, divorce and many other situations. As there are many different situations that cause grief, there are many different ways to heal. No grieving process is identical to another nor is there a generic, easy process to grieve. Though a generic process does not exist, there are countless resources to assist and encourage a person who is grieving.

There are several different stages in the grieving process. These stages happen at different times for different people. Depending on the traumatic experience and the person whom experienced it, the stages of the grieving process could take months or even years. The grieving process stages include:

Denial - "This can't be happening to me." "I don't believe it." Denial is a protective defense a grieving person places around him or herself to block the reality of the situation.
Anger - "How can this happen to me?" "Why me?" In the anger stage, a person comes to the realization that denial can no longer continue. Rage and jealousy can consume that grieving person.
Bargaining - "I'll do anything..." "I'll do whatever it takes to have more time." Bargaining is a tool a person uses to bring something back.
Depression - "What is the reason for living?" "My life will end sometime any way." At this stage in the grieving process, a person feels hopeless and no longer has a desire to continue living life.
Acceptance - "I can go on." "It will be okay." In the acceptance stage, a person begins to come to grips with life, reality and the truth.
Grieving does not have to be done alone! Whether a grieving person has friends and family as supporters or he or she seeks counseling from a therapist, grieving can become a healthy part of life.
Grief counseling offers the opportunity for healing, growth and a new beginning to a once shattered life. Having an outside source to assist in the grieving process brings balance and hope.

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