As experts in cognitive behavioral therapy, our licensed professionals at NorthStar Regional understand that mental health problems are difficult to face.
Psychiatry is a key component of our comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Grief is a process and an emotional journey of learning to cope with
loss. Grief can last a long time, but the grieving process allows us to let go
and continue moving on in a healthy way, often times with the help of grief
counseling. People often go through a predictable cycle and typical stages when
they experience loss. Keep in mind, these stages are not always processed in
order and you can revisit stages several times. Our grief counseling programs
at NorthStar Regional can help you through this journey.
These stages of grief include:
Shock and denial:
This stage often includes confusion and fear. Many people express their surprise or disbelief.
In this stage, it is common to feel anxious, irritated, or even enraged.
Depression and withdrawal:
Feeling helpless or lacking energy is common during this stage. It may be
accompanied by sadness, tears, and despair.
Bargaining and searching:
This is the stage when it is typical for someone to search for meaning in the
situation or try to make a deal with God or the universe.
In this stage, the person begins to look ahead again and make plans. A new normal may begin to
STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING GRIEF
1 Allow yourself to feel the pain. Grieving is a painful, but necessary, process. You need to work through the difficult emotions and allow yourself to heal.
2 Be patient with yourself. The process takes time. Your recovery may look very different than someone else’s journey. You need to work through things at your own pace, on your own terms.
3 Talk things out. Find a trusted, compassionate friend or family member who is a good listener. Get together with them consistently and allow yourself to talk, cry, and express your emotions. Grief counseling is also an outlet for your emotions.
4 Avoid unnecessary changes. Wait for a few months before adding additional stressors to your life, such as moving or changing jobs. Maintaining some normalcy will help give you a sense of security.
5 Take care of your body. Eat healthy, nutritious food, get plenty of exercise, and try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Physical activity releases stress and helps you sleep and feel better.
6 Confront difficult emotions and feelings of regret. Forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on. Get help if you are feeling stuck.
7 Avoid self-medicating. Falling into the habit of dulling your pain with alcohol and drugs will only make things worse.
8 Plan ahead for special occasions. The first Christmas, birthday, anniversary, and other holidays may be difficult. Plan to do something special with others who understand and identify with your pain and loss. Create new memories.
9 Stay connected. Be intentional about spending time with people who can make you laugh and will let you cry. Pursue uplifting and supportive friendships. Perhaps join a social club or volunteer for a cause valued by your loved one.
10 Set new goals. Choose to look forward to the future. It may be as simple as planning a weekend away or learning a new skill. Do something proactive to help yourself find enjoyable activities.
11 Join a grief counseling support group. It is therapeutic to be with people experiencing similar emotions and challenges. A support group can console you, relate to your pain, and assure you that healing can and will happen.
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
Grief is not linear, but is a process, and it can be a long journey. Learning to cope with loss strategically, being patient with yourself, and staying connected to and talking with others will help you through. Through our grief counseling programs, we can help you get better, heal from emotional wounds, handle responsibilities again, and return to a more normal pattern of life. Everyone processes at different paces. Take the time you need to work through these real emotions and expect healing and health to come.
Are you struggling to deal with a loss of a loved one? Grief counseling can help, contact us today to learn more about our programs.
Our experienced grief counseling staff will: