Grief therapy is a type of therapy that is designed to help those who experience loss of a relationship. When we lose someone, we not only grieve the loss of that individual person, but also the loss of the relationship we developed with that individual. Grief therapy can help with losses that are sudden, like a car accident, or losses that are gradually anticipated, like losing someone to a terminal illness.
There are different stages of grief. According to the Kubler-Ross model, the 5 stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. No matter which stage a patient is in when they come in for counseling, grief therapy can help them work through each stage and come to terms with the loss they have experienced.
Goals of Grief Therapy
- To acknowledge the reality of the lost one, and to clarify attachment issues.
- To work through the pain of the grief caused by sadness, anger, guilt, withdrawal, and avoidance.
- To adjust to a changed environment and ease feelings of inadequacy and helplessness.
- To emotionally relocate the deceased and move on with life if the bonds are not broken. Note: Getting into a new relationship doesn’t mean giving up your deceased/ lost person or object. Loving another person doesn’t mean that you love the deceased person less.