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What Kind of Therapy is Best for Grief?

What Kind of Therapy is Best for Grief?

Grief is a deeply personal and often overwhelming experience. Losing someone you love can leave you feeling lost, alone, and unsure of how to move forward.

At Monarch Psychology, we understand the complexities of grief and are here to guide you through the healing process.

Let’s explore the best ways to support someone who is grieving and the most effective therapies for grief.

What is the Best Way to Help Someone Who is Grieving?

The best way to help someone who is grieving is to offer a listening ear and a compassionate heart. Allow them to express their emotions without judgment or interruption and accept their emotions without trying to change them. 

Encourage them to share their memories and feelings, and let them know that it’s okay to grieve in their own way and at their own pace. Sometimes, simply being present and offering a comforting presence can provide immense relief.

It’s also important to respect their need for space and solitude. Everyone processes grief differently, and while some may find solace in talking about their loss, others might need time alone to reflect and heal.

Be patient and let them lead the way in terms of how much they want to share or engage.

What are the 7 Stages of Grief?

Understanding the stages of grief can help both those who are grieving and those supporting them.

While these stages provide a general framework, it’s important to remember that grief is not a linear process. People may move back and forth between stages, and that’s completely normal.

The seven stages of grief are:

1. Shock and Denial

The initial stage of grief is characterized by a sense of numbness and disbelief. It’s a natural defense mechanism that helps buffer the immediate shock of the loss.

2. Pain and Guilt

As the reality of the loss sets in, intense emotional pain can emerge, often accompanied by feelings of guilt or remorse. It’s common to reflect on what could have been done differently.

3. Anger and Bargaining

During this stage, individuals may feel anger towards themselves, others, or even the person who has passed away. Bargaining often involves making hypothetical deals in a desperate attempt to reverse or mitigate the loss.

4. Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness

This stage is marked by deep sadness, reflection on the loss, and a sense of profound loneliness. It’s a time when the reality of the situation fully sinks in.

5. The Upward Turn

Gradually, the intense emotions begin to stabilize. While still feeling the weight of the loss, individuals start to find moments of calm and a clearer mind.

6. Reconstruction and Working Through

In this stage, people begin to work through their grief, finding ways to reconstruct their lives without their loved one. This involves adjusting to new routines and finding new ways to connect with the world.

7. Acceptance and Hope

The final stage is marked by acceptance and a renewed sense of hope. While the pain of loss remains, individuals find ways to move forward and embrace life again.

Which Therapy is Best for Grief?

Choosing the right therapy for grief depends on the individual’s needs and preferences.

At Monarch Psychology, our grief therapists are skilled in various therapeutic approaches and can tailor their methods to best suit your unique needs.

We believe in providing compassionate and individualized support to help you heal and find hope again.

Here are some therapies that have proven effective in helping people navigate their grief:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy focuses on recognizing and challenging negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with grief.

Through CBT, individuals learn to reframe these thoughts, replacing them with more balanced and realistic perspectives.

This process empowers individuals to develop coping strategies that foster resilience and facilitate emotional healing.

CBT techniques, such as relaxation exercises and behavioral activation, can also help individuals manage the physical and emotional symptoms of grief more effectively.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy integrates cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness practices, offering a holistic approach to managing grief.

Through mindfulness exercises and emotion regulation skills, individuals can learn to more effectively navigate the intense emotions that accompany grief.

A study published in 2022 had participants struggling with grief complete 12 months of DBT. It found that the therapy had a positive impact on their lives and gave them the ability to manage setbacks and difficult situations.

Overall, Dialectical Behavior Therapy helped the participants form healthier and more meaningful relationships with others.

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing is a specialized therapy designed to process and integrate traumatic memories, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing a more complex form of grief called complicated grief (known clinically as Prolonged Grief Disorder).

By engaging in guided eye movements, EMDR helps individuals reprocess their emotions and alleviate the distress associated with grief-related trauma.

In a study published by the European Journal of Psychotraumatology, participants who completed EDMR therapy for grief reported that their distressing memories were less clear and felt more distant than before therapy.

Grief Counselling

Grief counselling offers a personalized and integrative approach to addressing the complex emotions associated with loss.

Drawing from various therapeutic modalities, grief counselling combines empathy, validation, and specialized techniques to create a unique therapy experience tailored to the individual’s needs.

Grief therapists can help those struggling with grief by:

  • Equipping individuals with practical tools and coping strategies, such as relaxation techniques and stress management skills, to manage their grief more effectively.
  • Helping individuals find meaning and make sense of their loss and facilitating the process of integrating it into their lives.
  • Empowering individuals to honor their loved one’s memory while also finding ways to move forward and embrace life.

Overall, grief counselling offers compassionate listening and validation to support individuals throughout the grieving process.

Grief Therapists at Monarch Psychology

At Monarch Psychology, we are dedicated to helping you navigate your grief with compassion and expertise.

Our team of skilled therapists is here to support you through every stage of your journey.

If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards healing.

Nicole Caines
nicole@monarchpsychology.com