Grief counseling is designed to help people work through feelings associated with the loss of a loved one or a major life change such as a divorce or the loss of a job. It is clear to experienced therapists and through research that every person handles these feelings differently. There really is NO clear pathway to resolving deep feelings of loss. Sometimes our processes are shaped by family tradition or cultural norms. Often people can be quite surprised by their reaction to loss. For example, someone who tends to be extroverted may become withdrawn and someone who is normally subdued may become aggressive or overly angry. Research shows that we can expect a wide variety of behaviors and emotions associated with the expression of grief related pain, and this is all “normal”.
Most people find relief through the passage of time and support from loved ones. Sometimes however, people may become stuck, unable to move past the pain and the pain may begin to cause difficulties in a person’s family relationships, career, social life, or lead to deep depression or painful anxiety. This inability to move forward and heal can also lead to other more serious mental health related issues. When this is the case, it is wise to seek professional counseling.