When is it Time to See a Grief Counselor?

Grieving is not the same for everyone. Each person deals with it differently and goes through it at their own pace. When is it time to consider seeing a bereavement or grief counselor? How do you know if you're in a stage that therapy can help? Here are a few things to remember when dealing with grief. 

Five Stages
Most people are familiar with the five stages of grief. You go through them at different times and a different pace, but they are usually all there. They include denial, anger, bargaining about the loss, depression and finally acceptance of what has happened. This could be the process for a loss of any type whether it's a relationship, a loved one or something else. 

Complicated Grief or Bereavement
One may never fully get over the loss of someone but you typically can move on with less intensity of the feelings of loss. When it becomes more complicated though, it can start interfering with your ability to do basic daily tasks or relationships outside of your home. These ideas might include symptoms of intense sadness, bitterness and anger that seems to worsen, and difficulty even bringing to mind happy memories. 

Grief Counseling
When should you seek help outside of your home? It can be different for everyone but when your feelings become quite distressing, then it's time to seek outside help. If you notice the feelings are not getting in less in intensity or if your loved ones around you are showing concern, you may want to talk with a grief counselor. They can help learn ways to deal with the grief and how you can process through. It is never easy to get over a loss but with the help of a qualified expert, you can make it through to live life fully.

NA,"Grief, Loss, and Bereavement".GoodTherapy.(Website).(December 2015).
  • 7 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Good thread. Some people are unable to go through such feelings, especially when you never dealt with them before. People shouldn't be afraid or be embarrassed to find help if they can't deal with the sadness that comes over someone dear's death.
  • I think it's important that those around someone who has suffered a loss remember that everyone is unique, and to never, ever push someone into going to therapy, or directly say or imply that their grieving experience is not normal. 

    The other side of this spectrum is something I experienced, and fortunately was an adult, 22 years old with my own life and home pretty well established.  My grandmother died at age 94, she was in her 70s when I was born, consequently I knew from the newspapers from the time I could read, that people died at her age, or younger all the time.  By the time she passed, in my mind, her death had been expected for about 10 years, and I just understood that she could go at any moment, that's what happens to old people.  I didn't experience much in the way of grief emotions.  There were people at her service who implicitly questioned my lack of sadness, and the fact that I was clearly totally OK with this. 

    I imagine this kind of experience happens to quite a lot of people when a death is not unexpected at all, whether that's due to the loved one living to be very, very old, or because they suffered ill health for so long the family already processed the loss in anticipation of it.

    It can be very hurtful when people tell you your response to something very personal is not OK, and can even make someone who is totally normal wonder if there is something wrong with them.

    Whenever someone in your life suffers a loss, I think the best thing to do is just be present for them, respond to what they are asking of you and let them be how they are. 
  • I think a grief counsellor or even just a therapist can be helpful to anyone in general regardless if there are some prolonged negative manifestations in behavior or not, but yeah it is even more useful when it does come up. My mom was very distraught when her father died and although eventually she calmed down after a few months i believe there are long term effects that were brewing that she was just able to hide. Now she's a hoarder and I believe that there are unaddressed issues possibly stemming mostly from that point although I also believe that it's most likely an accumulation of many other factors and experiences.
  • I believe grief counselors are necessary for everyone because everyone goes through grief one time or the other. Most times we don't even know how to grieve which makes things even harder.

    Grief is not limited to loss of a beloved one alone, it could also mean grieving for your own soul especially when things are not going right. We all need to be educated on how to express ourselves when grieving. 
  • Grief can be so debilitating that it often blinds us to the realization that we need to seek help. This is why I always tell people to look out for signs that a friend or relative is going through something like this, so that you can intervene on their behalf if needs be. I've been there myself, and the support of others is so important to getting through it and out the other side. Being aware of the "5 stages" definitely helps, as you've said in your article. 
  • I think  the first sign someone needs help while dealing with grief is if the person is still having issues going on with their life after 2 or 3 years.    That is a quite clear sign the person in question needs professional help.  Most people can manage grief after the 2 to 3 year mark, but if you find yourself still very depressed or sad after that time... it's time to seek for help. 
  • I think I need to see a grief counselor to get over my aun'ts death. It has almost been two years now and I am still thinking about it at least once a week. I am functional, but I think I think about it too much. 
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