GRIEF and LOSS

About 2.5 million people die in the United States annually, each leaving an average of five grieving people behind. It’s estimated that 1.5 million children (5% of children in the United States) have lost one or both parents by age 15. Additionally, older adults tend to experience grief at a higher rate than younger adults or children due to spousal loss being a more common experience, along with the death of friends, siblings, and other people in their lives.

If you or someone you care about needs professional help or support to process feelings of loss and gain understanding around the experience of grief, reach out to the clinicians at CARE Counseling for support in the steps toward healing.

different types of grief

It’s important to know that everyone grieves in unique ways and it’s okay if your grief is different than those around you. At times you may even be unaware that you are grieving or that you’ve experienced a loss that deserves to be grieved.

Death & Dying | Chronic illness | Loss of an imagined life or future | Changing roles in the family | Loss of Stability and Security

Traumatic loss (Violent) | Sudden death/illness | Suicide | Accidental death | Catastrophic event

Physical loss/Psychologically present (divorce) | Loss considered less significant | Unrecognized relationships | Loss surrounding stigma | Psychological loss/Physical presence (dementia)

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

In individual therapy the clinician will create a safe space for you to process your emotions and experience of loss. Individual therapy is appropriate for individuals of all ages, children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

COUPLE’S THERAPY

It is important for couples to be emotionally available to one another. Couple’s therapy helps couples stay connected during this time, by creating coping strategies, building communication  and finding ways to connect/reconnect intimately. It is important to grieve but also to take time together to be present and attend to life changes.

FAMILY THERAPY

Families experiencing loss can benefit from working with a family therapist to help them understand the impact of their loss and how to work toward maintaining their relationships as they are healing.

GROUP THERAPY

Care Counseling is currently running a grief skills and support group for young adults ages 18 – 29 who have experienced the loss of a loved one or friend.

Additional groups may be added in the future such as:

  • A spousal loss (widow/widowers) group
  • A group for individuals who have suffered traumatic loss
  • A group for individuals who have suffered perinatal loss

Myths associated with grief

click on the plus sign to reveal the “truth”

In fact grief often ebbs and flows and is unique to each person.

In fact moving through grief and building a grief narrative that includes meaning making is the goal

In fact while many symptoms exist in both grief and depression, grievers remain hopeful

In fact grief is not timed but it does change over time

In fact grief is painful and there is no time limit

In fact there is no right or wrong way to grieve

In fact both men and women tend to go through similar phases however, they may express their emotions differently

In fact any significant loss can be difficult, painful, and disruptive

Common Symptoms

Crying

Sleep pattern changes (e.g. difficulty sleeping, too little/too much sleep)

Feeling apathetic about the day’s necessary tasks or life in general

Changes in appetite

Withdrawing from normal/usual social interactions and relationships

Difficulty concentrating

Questioning Spiritual or Religious beliefs

Feelings of anger, guilt, loneliness, depression, emptiness, sadness

Complex Symptoms

Intense focus on reminders of the deceased, or excessive avoidance

Intense feelings of sadness, pain, detachment, sorrow, hopelessness, emptiness, low self-esteem, bitterness, longing for the deceased’s presence

Difficulty accepting the reality of the death

Self- destructive behavior (e.g. drug or alcohol abuse)

Suicidal thoughts or actions

Recurrent distressing dreams or nightmares involving the deceased

Mental Strength & Psychological Endurance

A community that experiences collective trauma again and again. Communities of color have been especially hit hard by COVID-related deaths, followed by the killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.

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Practicing Mindful Sex

You find yourself scrolling through social media and before you know it, you find yourself “doomsturbating“—doomscrolling while masturbating. This outcome is not too much different than other self-soothing activities we tend to find ourselves doing while stressed, anxious, depressed, lonely, or just plain old bored.

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Seasonal Depressive Disorder

SAD? Are you feeling tired, lacking energy, experiencing fatigue, and a loss of motivation?Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is viewed as a form of major depression. In addition to depressed mood and/ or decreased interest or pleasure activities.

Being Mindful and Compassionate in Tough Conversations

Tough conversations often create discomfort and can lead to avoidance. There may be reluctance to speak up due to fear of consequences. What will people think? How do I manage my own anxiety? Consider for a moment that remaining silent during tough conversations also communicates a message. What message do you wish to convey?

Why is Therapy Valuable?

Imagine success…becoming the best version of yourself. That is one of the many amazing benefits of therapy. Since mental illness alters a person's thoughts, feelings, and/ or behaviors in distinct ways, therapy helps one gain better control of these areas.

You are Not Alone (Suicide is on the Rise): The Importance of Continuing Your Story

When bad days start to feel like bad weeks, know that you are not alone. In fact, the CDC reports that 3 out of 4 young adults are already struggling with at least one mental health concern. This includes anxiety, depression, trauma, adjustment to stressors, and substance use.

Ambiguous Grief

How are you coping this holiday season? In response to the latest restrictions involving social gatherings and measures that have been taken in general to stay safe with Coronavirus, things will look much different this year.

Suicide Survivor Loss

The holidays tend to be a difficult time for those who have lost a loved one. This is especially true for family and friends who have died by suicide. Within the last year, I have been able to come alongside friends and family who have lost loved ones by suicide. As we celebrate the holiday season, suicide survivors are reminded of the "empty chair" at the table. The Saturday before Thanksgiving has been designated as International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. It is a day where family and friends of those who have died by suicide can come together for support and healing.

CARE-ing for a Friend/ Family Member with Suicidal Thoughts

The National Suicide Prevention Website lists a number of warning signs that can be helpful in recognizing if one is at risk for suicide. Knowing the warning signs, especially if behaviors are new or have increased as well as signs that seem related to a painful event, loss, or change are tell-tale signs.
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Mother’s Day, When Grief Gets in the Way

Mother's Day is a celebration of mothers and motherhood. I recognize that Mother's Day can bring mixed emotions to both children and mothers impacted by social distancing and other challenging circumstances related to trauma, grief and loss.
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