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Navigating Grief, a Series

How Therapy Can Offer a Lifeline

Grief is a universal human experience, one that transcends age, gender, and background. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a cherished pet, or even the death of a dream, grief can be an overwhelming and complex emotion. In the first post in this blog post I want to discuss how starting therapy can be a valuable tool in this journey.

Understanding the Grieving Process

One thing I’ve learned and really have taken to heart is grief is not a linear process, but rather a unique and deeply personal journey. Typically grief is described in stages, though it’s essential to note that not everyone experiences these stages in the same way, in the same order, or even at all. The five “commonly” recognized stages of grief are:

  1. Denial: The initial shock and disbelief of the loss.
  2. Anger: Feelings of frustration and helplessness.
  3. Bargaining: Attempting to negotiate or make deals to reverse the loss.
  4. Depression: Overwhelming sadness, isolation, and despair.
  5. Acceptance: Coming to terms with the reality of the loss and finding ways to gather the pieces and to move forward.

It’s crucial to remember that there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person’s experience is unique, and the process may take varying amounts of time. If you are involved with someone who is grieving, whether it be a friend, family member, or partner, it’s important to be patient and understanding. Grief is a complex emotion, and it can be challenging to navigate. It’s also important to remember that grief is not a sign of weakness, but rather a natural response to loss. It’s not your place to tell someone how to grieve, but rather to offer support and understanding.

The Role of Therapy in Grief

Grief can be incredibly isolating, many individuals struggle to navigate it on their own and this is where therapy can be an invaluable resource. Therapy can provide a safe space to express your feelings and emotions, helping you make sense of the loss and find a way to move forward. While grief never truly goes away, therapy can help you find a way to integrate the loss into your life and move forward with a sense of purpose and meaning.

Starting therapy for me was a saving grace. For me personally, having someone who exists completely outside of my life and from my situation enables me to really think about how and what I’m feeling, and express it in a way that I can’t with my friends and family. I’ve also been able to learn how to be more patient with myself and to give myself the time and space I need to heal.

How Therapy Can Help

  1. A Safe Space for Expression: In therapy, individuals are provided with a safe and non-judgmental environment to express their feelings and thoughts about the loss. This can be especially helpful when it’s challenging to open up to friends and family.

  2. Understanding Your Grief: A therapist can help you make sense of your emotions and the grieving process itself. This understanding can be a crucial step toward healing.

  3. Coping Strategies: Therapists can teach coping strategies and techniques to manage the overwhelming emotions that often accompany grief. These tools can help individuals regain a sense of control over their lives.

  4. Support and Validation: Grief can feel isolating, but in therapy, you’re not alone. Therapists provide support and validation, helping you feel understood and less alone in your journey.

  5. Moving Forward: While grief never truly goes away, therapy can help you find a way to integrate the loss into your life and move forward with a sense of purpose and meaning.

Grief is a natural response to loss, and seeking therapy is a courageous step toward healing. Just as you’ve dedicated yourself to improving say your professional life, therapy is a way to improve your emotional well-being during challenging times.

If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor. Therapy offers a lifeline during the darkest days of grief, helping individuals find their way back to a place of hope and healing. Remember, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone.

Sending you peace, love, and light.

If you are ever in a mental health crisis

…and you need urgent assistance, PLEASE utilize these resources:

The world is a better place with you in it and we all want you here.

Max Saber is the Director of Enterprise Applications at MCPHS University with a passion for new and developing healthcare technology. Posts made on this blog are his own personal opinions, and do not reflect the opinions of MCPHS University, or any other organization he is affiliated with.