Grief Counselling Therapy

Vancouver Grief & Bereavement Counsellors

What is Grief? What is Loss?

At some point, you’ve likely experienced loss in your life. Maybe the loss of a loved one, a pet, a job, a relationship, or anything of value to you. However, loss can be experienced in more elusive ways such as: a move to a different city, retirement, health issues, a change in social status, and much more.

Loss is the process of no longer having someone or something of value to you, and often this is followed by grief. Grief is the experience of emotions caused by loss. Deep sorrow, sadness, confusion, anguish, and emptiness are all common emotions characterized by grief.

Deep sorrow, sadness, confusion, anguish, and emptiness are all common emotions

Signs & Symptoms

Grief shows up differently for everybody, but some common signs and symptoms are:

  • Sadness
  • Low motivation
  • Anger & irritability
  • Social isolation
  • Hopelessness
  • Sense of meaninglessness
  • Intense guilt or regret
  • Sleep issues
  • Fatigue or feeling weak
  • Reduced appetite
  • Excessive weight gain/ loss
  • Substance misuse

Grief can be experienced for days or can span years. There is no right way to grieve and there is no such thing as an invalid loss. If you experience something as a loss, that’s what it is. Shock, anger, deep sadness, guilt, and even relief – almost every response you can imagine is normal. Different emotions will surface at different times, and some emotions stay longer than others. Sometimes it’s hard to feel anything at all.

Grief & Bereavement Counselling

Counselling is a genuine source of support and understanding when coping with loss. It may be during or after the loss, but some people also find it helpful when anticipating loss, such as coping with the terminal illness of a loved one.

Counselling can help you work through the emotions that come up, and find coping strategies to assist with the physical, social, spiritual, and mental responses that you may be experiencing.

The aim of grief counselling is to provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space where you can discuss your experience of grief, and process the impact of the loss on your life.

You can expect to share your thoughts and feelings, and be offered information and strategies about the grieving process. Therapy is customized to your unique experience, and your counsellor will help find ways to cope that fit for you. The meaning and significance of the loss may also be explored to help you make sense of things on a more existential or spiritual level.

If you have experienced some form of loss and are having difficulty coping, it may be beneficial to seek grief counselling.

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