Why seek counseling after the loss of a loved one?

April 30, 2021, Counseling & Support, Gilchrist, Grief
celebrating loved ones, counseling awareness month
Laurel Freeman, LCPC, NCC, CT Gilchrist Grief Counselor

April is National Counseling Awareness Month. Learn how grief counseling can help you cope after the loss of a loved one.

The loss of a loved one can be overwhelming. Loss brings about enormous change, touching nearly every aspect of life and well-being. Grief counseling can help you cope with these changes and understand the feelings you are experiencing. To have an idea of what counseling can offer after a loss, here are some common reasons people seek counseling.

An opportunity for reflection at your own pace

When the rest of the world keeps going at its fast pace, you may feel the need to slow down. Talking with a counselor and addressing your loss at your pace gives you time to make sense of what happened and your response. Having an unhurried atmosphere offers a chance to reflect and gain perspective without the pressure of time.

Processing the unique challenges of caregiving

If you were caring for a loved one, you might have had little or no time to deal with your own thoughts, feelings and challenges. Talking with someone who knows the nuances and sacrifices of caregiving can help you unpack the experience. What might you discover? You may need help processing the challenges you faced, or you may realize the experience has helped you grow in some way. What else might you discover? There were likely meaningful moments and treasured memories you had not considered.

Help navigating family relationships

Family relationships can be complex and challenging before a loss, let alone afterward when everyone grieves in their own way. Working with a counselor can help you understand different grief styles or come to a new perspective of your family dynamics. You can also learn how to best take care of yourself and tend to your grief in the middle of your family dynamics.

Support from outside your circle of family and friends

The people you want to lean on at such a tender time may not be available in the way you wish. It does not feel good, but it happens—to a lot of people. Surprisingly, if you receive the support you want, even if it is from a counselor you just met, it takes the pressure off the other relationships in your life.

Other reasons to seek counseling

Counseling can also offer new coping strategies, support for grieving a complicated relationship, a different perspective on challenges you are facing, or ideas for nurturing a continuing bond with your loved one.

Counseling Awareness Month is a great reminder to reach out and use the support resources available. Gilchrist offers grief counseling both before and after a loss. To learn more, visit

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