The Benefits of Counseling in Times of Bereavement

April 24, 2023, Counseling & Support

The Benefits of Counseling in Times of Bereavement

“What is grief counseling and how do I know if I need it?”

“Is there something wrong if I need to talk to someone about my grief?”

These are some of the questions that we Gilchrist Grief Counselors are often asked during outreach calls to “check in” with bereaved family members.

Many people have a notion about who needs counseling, which leads them to conclude: “It’s not for me.”

When we inquire of people in those first weeks after the death, typical responses are “I’m alright” or “As good as can be expected.” They often are indeed “too busy.” Many people report having well-meaning friends and family circling around, intent on making sure the bereaved is “okay.”

It Will Take Time

Over time, the experience of support changes and social messaging suggests the bereaved should “get over it” within a certain period. Sometimes this is the right time to consider grief counseling.

We describe grief counseling “as a series of conversations, or a collaboration, where counselor and client work together to promote healing and well-being.” Sometimes we do the talking, but more often we are listening to the story that wants to be heard.

In the days right after a death, many bereaved are not ready to enter these conversations about grief. It can take great courage to approach that which feels difficult and too painful.

I believe most (all?) people can benefit from an opportunity to tell their story. Grief counseling provides a safe space to talk about feelings and thoughts that may be hard to share with others. People gain a greater understanding of grief as a natural part of the human experience.

Bereaved clients report feeling understood, less isolated, relief, and value being able to share stories about their person and all they meant. Over time people notice they feel “better” as they define it for themselves.

If you find yourself wondering if you should talk to someone, even once, why not give it a try? Consider, if you will, the Swedish proverb: “Grief shared is halved but joy shared is doubled.”

To help people cope with feelings of loss, Gilchrist offers one-on-one counseling, grief support groups, workshops and special events. To learn more, visit us by clicking here or calling 888.823.8880.

Hilary Harrington, LCPC, Clinical Counselor with Gilchrist Grief Services contributed to this blog.

One thought on “The Benefits of Counseling in Times of Bereavement

  1. I’m glad you brought up the fact that grief counseling offers a secure setting for discussing emotions and ideas that could be difficult to express to others. I believe that getting counseling might be beneficial if you are having trouble adjusting to the death of a loved one. I will absolutely let my friends and family know about this so they may keep it in mind in case they know of anyone in need of these services. I appreciate you sharing!

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