Grief Counseling and Therapy for Loss

When people think of grief, they often associate it with losing a loved one to death. Yes, grief is the emotion experienced with loss, but loss can also include losing a lifelong job, a home, one’s wealth, one’s health, a relationship, a marriage–any loss of something that is of import can ignite the emotion of grief.

“With great loss comes a fear that one will never make it without that which has been lost.”


Grief includes feelings of sadness, despair, abandonment, pain, nostalgia, longing, disappointment, pessimism, heartbreak, or anguish.  Thoughts that begin with “If only…” or “all the years I wasted” pervade one’s thinking.  One may begin to believe “I’ll never get over this” leading to a conclusion that no one can help.

Grief does not go away on its own.  It has been said that the door of grief is too wide to go around and too high to go over.  The only way out of grief is to get through it.  The secret to getting through grief is to allow it to happen.  Many fear what would happen if they allowed their grief to be.  “I may start crying and never stop.  What would people think?”  or “There is so much grief in the world, in my life, and in my family.  How can I think that I could get through this?”

Many are familiar with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ Stages of Grief, DABDA:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  These are stages, but they do not occur sequentially, each stage lasts as long as it needs to, and you can bounce back and forth between stages, even when you think you’ve gotten to “acceptance.”  Sure, it may help to know what stage of grief you’re in, but it doesn’t say much about the progress of your recovery from the grieving process.

The good news is that grief is time-limited.  The more you allow yourself to feel the grief and let it pass, the sooner it will subside.  This act is called “mourning.”  That cry you fear will last forever would likely last 10-20 minutes.  It may feel like forever, but if you refuse to allow grief to be by holding it back, it will manifest in other ways when you least expect it (like when you’re driving down the freeway or waiting in line at the bank).  If you allow that 10-20 min of grief to be expressed, it suddenly goes away and with much relief.  The more you resist grief, the more it persists.

Therapy is an excellent setting to process grief.  Crying, or any emotional expression, is not only welcome in therapy, it is encouraged!  If you know that grief may be causing depression or other mental health problems in your life, you are invited to come in and bring some relief to your soul.  If you choose to continue to avoid grief, you choose to suffer.  Allow grief to transmute your suffering into peace.


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(760) 566-8760

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