Grief Counseling Options

| By Jodi Horton

Support groups help grieving people by introducing them to others who have had similar experiences, thoughts and feelings, giving them validation.  They provide emotional support in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.  Opportunities to learn about the grief process and new ways of approaching problems are presented.  Sometimes acute mourners desperately and immediately need a lifeline provided by a group.  Many people are not ready for a support group experience until at least three months or more after the death of a loved one.  It has been shown that drawing on the experiences and encouragement of friends and fellow grievers is of great value in the healing process.

Group settings are not for everyone.  Some people are more comfortable sharing at individual counseling sessions.  Many grievers are not ready to openly share their emotions with others and may benefit from individual sessions with a bereavement support person prior to or in lieu of a group experience.  People with complications or a history of emotional problems may be better helped by individual counseling.   This counseling experience may increase the griever’s comfort level to then participate in a grief support group.

Both support groups and individual counseling provide some of the basic needs to grieving people by providing an environment where they may feel accepted, listened to, validated, understood and educated on the grieving process.   These support systems offer a safe place for people to do the necessary work of mourning—talking, crying, writing, and sharing.   They encourage participants to reconcile their losses and go on to find continued meaning and purpose in life and living.  Participation in groups or counseling often brings comfort and understanding beyond many people’s expectations.

Casa de la Luz Hospice offers grief support groups to the public free of charge. Call (520) 544-9890 for more information or to register for our next group.

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