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Services Overview

Grief Therapy

What is Grief Therapy?

Grief Psychotherapy aims to help people cope with the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive responses to loss. These experiences are commonly thought to be brought on by a loved person's death but may more broadly be understood as shaped by any significant life-altering loss (divorce, bankruptcy, death, or job loss).

Grief Therapy provides work with their clients to help them find a healthy resolution to their loss. When the process of grieving is interrupted, for example, by the one who is grieving having to simultaneously deal with practical issues of survival or by their having to be the strong one who is striving to hold their family together, grief can remain unresolved and later resurface as an issue for therapy.

What is Grief Counselling?

Understanding and Navigating Grief

Grief is a deeply personal and unique experience influenced by family background, culture, life experiences, personal values, and intrinsic beliefs. Each individual expresses grief in their own way, making it essential to approach it with sensitivity and understanding.

Grief Psychotherapy is a specialized form of therapy designed to support individuals experiencing grief and loss. It acknowledges that each person's grieving process is distinct and involves a spectrum of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations.

In Grief Therapy, the therapist creates a safe, compassionate space for clients to explore and express their feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, and other emotions tied to their loss. This environment allows clients to feel heard and validated, aiding them in navigating the often overwhelming grieving process.

Therapists help clients understand the stages and tasks of grief, such as:

  • Accepting the reality of the loss: Coming to terms with the permanence of the loss.
  • Experiencing the pain of grief: Allowing oneself to feel the full range of emotions associated with the loss.
  • Adjusting to a new reality: Learning to live in a world where the loved one is no longer present.
  • Reinvesting in life: Finding ways to move forward and find joy again.

Therapists use active listening, empathy, and validation techniques to support clients through these stages. They facilitate the client’s healing by acknowledging their pain and guiding them through the adjustment process.

Grief Therapy also places a strong emphasis on developing healthy coping mechanisms and self-care strategies. Clients are not just encouraged, but empowered to build a support network to help them manage the challenges of grief. Therapists assist clients in finding meaning and purpose in their lives after the loss, helping them honor and remember their loved ones while continuing to live fulfilling lives.

Grief Therapy provides a compassionate and supportive therapeutic environment where individuals can process their grief, gain valuable insights, and find ways to heal. It helps them move forward while honoring the memory of their loss, ultimately guiding them toward a path of recovery and renewed purpose.

Grieving and Mourning

Grief is a natural response to loss, encompassing a wide range of emotions when we lose someone or something significant. It is wishing things ended differently, better, or less painfully. This response varies in intensity and duration for each person. It can be triggered by various losses, including the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or significant life changes.

Mourning is the process of adapting to our loss through outward expressions and rituals that help us cope and integrate the reality of the loss. This can include funerals, memorial services, journaling, creating art, or joining support groups, providing a framework for healing and acceptance.

About 40 percent of grieving people will experience anxiety in the first year, manifesting as persistent worry, heightened vulnerability, and difficulty concentrating. Unexpected crying, headaches, emotional numbness, trouble sleeping, and changes in appetite are also common reactions. These responses can make daily tasks impossible due to the pervasive sadness and emptiness.

Understanding that these reactions are standard parts of grieving is crucial. Seeking support through counseling, support groups, or leaning on friends and family can help navigate the mourning journey and find a path to healing.

Grieving and Mourning

The Therapy Session

Therapy sessions are typically held weekly or bi-weekly, providing clients with a regular, structured opportunity to share their feelings and thoughts in an open and supportive environment. This consistent schedule helps build a therapeutic relationship and allows for continuous progress.

Therapy can be either short-term or long-term, depending on the client's needs:

  • Short-term therapy: Consists of a few sessions focused on addressing immediate issues or specific challenges. It aims to provide quick relief and practical solutions for current problems.
  • Long-term therapy: Involves ongoing sessions over several months or longer, tackling more complex and deep-seated issues. This approach allows for thoroughly exploring and resolving long-standing emotional and psychological concerns.

Whether short-term or long-term, therapy offers a safe space for clients to explore their experiences, gain insights, and work toward personal growth and healing.

The Counselling Session

Clues That You’re Grieving

These signs will give you a clue that you’re grieving, even if you’re not aware of it.

Physical Reactions

  • Being short of breath
  • Feeling very tired
  • Experiencing restlessness

Emotional Reactions

  • Feelings of shock, fear, anxiety, guilt, and anger
  • Blaming yourself or others for the loss

Mental Reactions

  • Feeling confused
  • Experiencing difficulties making decisions

Social Reactions

  • Avoiding other people
  • Overreacting or reacting strongly to others

Spiritual Reactions

  • Contemplating why pain and suffering exist
  • Asking the universe why the loss had to happen to you
Clues That You're Grieving

Why Counselling Might Be Right For You?

  • You’re just going through the motions of life. 
  • You’re tired of coping and want to feel like you’re thriving. 
  • Life feels way out of balance. 
  • Things are basically okay but you have the sense that something is missing. 
  • You wonder about the meaning of your life.
  • You want to create a new vision for your life, or you already have a vision but are having trouble fulfilling it.
  • You are bothered by fear and self-doubt.
  • You want to learn to feel confident.
Why Counselling?

The Grieving Process

What is Grief?

Grief can vary between individuals. However, there are still global trends in how people cope with loss. Psychologists and researchers have outlined various models of grief. Some of the most familiar models include the five stages of grief, the four mourning tasks, and the dual-process model. 

The Five Stages of Grief

In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified five linear stages of grief:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance
The Grieving Process


Grieving Stage 1

Grief is an overwhelming emotion. It’s not unusual to respond to the intense and often sudden feelings by pretending the loss or change isn’t happening. Denying it gives you time to absorb the news and begin to process it more gradually. This is a common defence mechanism and helps numb you to the intensity of the situation.

As you move out of the denial stage, however, the emotions you’ve been hiding will begin to rise. You’ll be confronted with much sorrow you’ve denied. That is also part of the journey of grief, but it can be not easy.

Grieving Stage 1: Denial


Grieving Stage 2

Where denial may be a coping mechanism, anger is a masking effect. Anger is hiding many of the emotions and pain that you carry. You may redirect your anger at other people, such as the person who died, your ex, or your old boss. You may even aim your anger at inanimate objects.

While your rational brain knows the object of your anger isn’t to blame, your feelings at that moment are too intense to feel.

Anger may mask itself in feelings like bitterness or resentment. It may not be clear-cut fury or rage. Not everyone will experience this stage, and some may linger here. As the anger subsides, however, you may begin to think more rationally about what’s happening and feel the emotions you’ve been pushing aside.

Grieving Stage 2: Anger


Grieving Stage 3

During grief, you may feel vulnerable and helpless. In those intense emotions, it’s not uncommon to look for ways to regain control or want to feel like you can affect an event's outcome. You may find yourself creating a lot of “what if” and “if only” statements in the bargaining stage of grief.

It’s also not uncommon for religious individuals to make a deal or promise to God or a higher power in return for healing or relief from grief and pain. Bargaining is a line of defense against the emotions of grief. It helps you postpone the sadness, confusion, or hurt.

Grieving Stage 3: Bargaining


Grieving Stage 4

Depression may feel like a “quiet” stage of grief. In the early stages of loss, you may be running from the emotions, trying to stay a step ahead of them. By this point, however, you may be able to embrace and work through them more healthfully. You may also isolate yourself from others to cope with the loss entirely.

Like the other stages of grief, depression can be complicated and messy. It can feel overwhelming. You may feel foggy, heavy, and confused.

Depression may feel like the inevitable landing point of any loss. However, if you feel stuck here or can’t seem to move past this stage of grief, talk with a mental health expert. A therapist can help you work through this period of coping.

Grieving Stage 4: Depression


Grieving Stage 5

Acceptance is not necessarily a happy or uplifting stage of grief. It doesn’t mean you’ve moved past the grief or loss. It does, however, mean that you’ve accepted it and have come to understand what it means in your life now.

You may feel very different in this stage. That’s entirely expected. You’ve had a significant change in your life, which upsets how you think about many things. Look to acceptance as a way to see that there may be more good days than bad, but there may still be bad— and that’s okay.

Grieving Stage 5: Acceptance

The loss is never forgotten, but the grief survivor has more clarity, understanding, and meaning. They have started the process of knowing themselves at a deeper level. Resiliency begins to surface, and they learn their inner strengths outweigh the loss. Their memories will live on and provide comfort and hope for the future.


Grieving is Unique to Each Person

Grieving is a process that’s unique to each individual. The immediate impulse of the grief survivor is to feel well quickly and make the feelings go away. This is an entirely understandable and healthy reaction to difficult emotions. Sometimes the process feels like it’s taking too long, and at other times the grief survivor may question if they are doing it “right.” 

Grieving is Unique to Each Person

Being gentle, patient, and compassionate with yourself is essential while moving through this healing process. The ultimate goal of grieving is to live with loss without it controlling or disrupting your life. Loss is a vital part of the human experience and something we all share in common.

Grieving can bring us together, and you may even experience post-grief growth.

Author of

First Responder Recovery

Recovery Guide and Workbook

Mental Health Tools, Techniques, and Strategies, for First Responders

Book- First Responder Recovery

Author of

Recovering from Workplace PTSD

Recovery Guide

A Recovery Guide for PTSD Survivors and Mental Health Professionals

Book- Recovering from Workplace PTSD

Author of

Recovering from Workplace PTSD Workbook

Recovery Workbook

A Recovery Workbook for PTSD Survivors and Mental Health Professionals

Book- Recovering from Workplace PTSD Workbook