What is Grief and How A Grief Counselor can Help

Dr. Purushothaman
October 18, 2013

It is quite difficult to define grief. It has different meaning for different people. However, the general principle that is accepted universally is that grief is a natural reaction when someone loses something. It can be a loss of any kind such as loss of a loved one, friendship, financial stability or job. Certain changes in life which result in loss of good, old times can also lead to grief and the affected individuals mourn for the old life. Grief can shatter one's sense of order and propel people into a changed world forever.
Grief is individualistic. Everyone behaves differently in grief. How a person reacts largely depends on his capacity to manage his emotion, his upbringing, religious belief and culture. The conventional view that grief is predictable is no more accepted by experts. They believe that any loss causing grief has neither a typical response nor a usual timeline. However, there are some symptoms which are common, which include sadness, disbelief, guilt, fear, anger and some physical symptoms.
When an individual is struck with grief there are a number of mood swings which may be transient, overlapping, or prolonged. Initially the person is shocked and not ready to believe the situation, and after that he goes through extreme emotional distress, and finally the phase of resolution starts.
The support of friends and family is always beneficial during difficult times. By talking about someone you have lost can be quite upsetting, but expressing the feelings may make things better. Grief counseling can help people recover from such situations much more easily, because it is often seen that people open up more to a stranger than to an acquaintance in such conditions. Due to fast pace of modern life, many people are often not able to receive family support and a grief counselor can be of great help to such people.
Grief therapy in Irvine, CA can help people find peace of mind as well as understand and control their emotions. Grief counselor provides a specialized service and has the required expertise to help people come out of their grief. Grief counseling is not like traditional counseling, where the behavior of the individual under grief has to be suppressed. Here the counselor acts more like a guide and helps people suffering from grief to explore their feelings themselves and help them get detached from the negativity of the loss. The therapist does not try to numb the pain, but encourages building a positive association with the lost one or past life.
Grief counselors have many tools available to help individual come out of the grief. These include relaxation, meditation, writing letters, art making, guided imagery, commemoration, and healing rituals so that individual easily progresses towards the final goal of emotional well being.

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