Dealing and coping with grief can be difficult. Too many, loss is new and too others it remains as complex and painful as the first time. Certified Grief Counselors can help individuals cope with basic grief and learn how to navigate the tricky waters. There are no shortcuts but accepting loss and learning to adjust through the loss. Grief and loss are forever because the loss is tied to love but that does not mean one cannot learn to better cope with their emotions and find happiness in other aspects of life.
The article, “Dealing With Grief: 7 Coping Strategies, According to Experts” by Madeleine Burry looks at some coping strategies with grief. She states,
“While coping mechanisms are helpful, they’re not one size fits all. “Coping strategies work best when personalized,” Manly adds. “For example, some people do very well sharing in grief groups, whereas others prefer sharing one-on-one with a close friend or therapist,” she notes. Some people want to talk about a loved one who passed away, while others get upset by this and would prefer not to.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Grief Counselor.
There are different types of depression that can affect someone. Some are directly correlated to an event while others are internal issues with the brain and various chemicals and hormones within the body. Others are environmentally related and others affect individuals in different waves and cycles.
The article “7 Common Types of Depression You Might Be Dealing With” by Mara Santilli looks at the different types of depression and how they affect individuals. The article states,
“The fact is, there are so many different types of depression — and you might even experience more than one at the same time or at separate points in your life. While it’s helpful to understand the spectrum of depression before you can work through it, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to come up with a diagnosis on your own.”
It is important to note that in many cases depression does not have a reason. Major Depressive and Persistent Disorders, as well as Bi-Polar and Seasonal Depression have no true loss associated with them. They merely exist within the individual. Other depressions may have a root cause but regardless if intense grief persists it is important to find professional assistance in dealing with the mood.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year Grief Counseling Certification.
It is important to note that only certified grief counselors that ARE ALSO LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS can treat depression. If not licensed or permitted by the state to help with mental pathology, then grief counselors without license should always refer their clients with depression to licensed professionals.
Grief is a reaction to loss. It is ultimately the price of love because its intensity correlates with attachment to the person or object lost. The adjustment period to the loss is the grieving process but the reality is the adjustment period does not completely heal but merely teaches someone how to live without the person lost. The pain of loss is never completely removed but continues to exist within the person but at acceptable levels that do not hinder everyday life on a consistent basis.
The article, “What Is Grief? Here’s How Experts Define It” by Madeleine Burry looks closer at the nature of grief. She states,
“Grief and the grieving process are getting a lot of attention these days, with the COVID pandemic affecting so many people. What exactly is grief, what are the signs, and how long does grieving last? Here, experts share what to expect from grief, along with strategies to help you weather the process.”
To learn more about grief, please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Losing a parent is an impactful life event. It forever changes life and is a before/after moment. Things are never the same and one has to rediscover their life and purpose. Many struggle being parentless and find themselves loss. Others face secondary losses due to the help and aid they received from their parents. No matter what age, the loss of a parent is a stinging event in life that is probably only surpassed in pain by losing a child.
No loss is the same. Some parent relationships are poor. The loss is not as impactful from an emotional standpoint. Other losses are very intense due to a healthy relationship. While other losses differ depending on the age of the child when the parent was lost. No one box fits all when it comes to parental loss. Below are a few things to consider.
If the relationship is estranged then complications can arise. Guilt, resentment and other forms of emotions can emerge after the parent’s death. One may feel guilty they need repair the relationship while others may resent the parent for not being there for them. Regardless, losing a parent will impact one’s own very definition of existence.
In regards to age, there are a variety of different responses. All share in common traits of missing the parent for particular events. Even those who never knew their parents, lament the fact that their parents may not be at a particular event, especially when friends have their parents present.
Infants are very young children never know their parents. They may have faded memories but they only know their parents from pictures, videos and stories. The symbolic loss is always present and in some cases complicated living arrangements arise with the child being in foster care, raised by other family members or being raised in a blended family. Adjustment is easier since the child never knew life before but as the child ages, the symbolic lost and the urge to have met them at least once is forever present.
As for older children and teens, the lost has a far greater impact because it changes their life. New living arrangements, missed present events as well as future events are a constant reminder of the loss. Mother’s Day or Father’s Day remind them of the loss as well. In addition, teens and children may have guilt and resentment issues as well as possibly magical thinking issues where they think they are to blame for the parent’s death.
Young adults face their own issues as well. Young adults deal with the reality that they are without their parent or parents for the first time. They were nurtured by their parents through their formative years but now they may feel orphaned or abandoned. Financial difficulties can arise as well as support they once possessed. Events such as a future wedding, or the birth of a first child can serve as reminders of their absence.
Older adults also suffer. Even though the lost is natural event they still feel a sharp of pain of losing a mother or father. Comments that belittle the loss such as at least you had your parents your whole life can be dismissive to the actual pain they are feeling over the loss. Furthermore, many be feel relieved after a long terminal illness. Caregiver burnout may make them feel guilty about the release from the stress of daily care.
Regardless, the loss of a parent is a impactful event. Different situations regarding age and the health of the relationship can create different secondary losses and reactions but when someone loses a parent, a piece of them dies with that parent. It forever changes them and their outlook on life. Holidays are never the same and the pain never truly goes away.
Grief Counselors can help individuals with the loss of a parent by guiding them through the grieving process. While each case is different, it is important to understand that parents are not always with us and we must learn to remember and celebrate their life. However, in the meantime, it is important for those blessed enough to have their parents to appreciate them everyday and respect them. To shower them with love and gratitude and realize that not any day is a given.
It is also critical for individuals to discuss death with parents. Death discussions are considered by taboo by many and the discussions of later care or funeral wishes are never conveyed. Many meaningful discussions that never would have taken place occur when such topics are broached. It is important to discuss these issues because once a parent is gone, no one will know their secret wishes or desires for a funeral. It is important to make time valuable and not take anything for granted.
If you would like to learn more about AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification or would like to become a certified Grief Counselor then please review the program and see if it meets your academic and professional needs. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Men who tend more towards their logical side of the brain unfortunately dismiss the emotional side of the brain. Social stereotypes do not help either as men are portrayed as stoic and powerful. Tears were once seen as weakness and this ideal that a man hides his emotions or keeps them within himself spread. These issues still persist today and many men avoid caring for their mental health.
The article, “Too many men ignore their depression, phobias, other mental health issues” by Joseph Harper looks at why many men ignore their emotions and why they should not. He states,
“Too many men think they are supposed to be strong or macho all the time — even when in pain. For many, it would be unimaginable, intolerable for anyone to know they were battling anxiety, depression, or were bogged down by their emotions. Many of my male patients also seem to believe that because they are not physically ill they are not truly sick.”
It is important for men to take their mental health as serious as their physical health. They need to acknowledge anxiety, anger or grief. They need to seek help when needed.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The Grief Counseling Training is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Loss is part of life. Everyone experiences loss eventually but unfortunately those who have yet to experience a significant loss sometimes are the least to understand it. They may be well intentioned but they create greater havoc in inept words or actions. They actually cause more damage by their words.
Grief and loss will eventually find them and only then will they truly understand the folly of what they thought. Even those trained in Grief Counseling who never experienced serious loss, cannot truly fathom the feelings of loss and despair. Even they, sometimes need grief counselors and peer groups.
It is hence very important to treat the grieving with a great respect. It involves acknowledging their grief and in some cases, sojourning with the individual. No trick or fancy phrase can cure their grief, but time, patience and a helping hand can help make the load less. Grief Counselors should not look to cure grief because it cannot be cured. Only the restoration of the loss can cure grief. It is because of this reality that Grief Counseling is more about helping one understand loss, identify the issues of a specific loss and learn to cope with that loss, while helping the person integrate the loss into one’s life. Loss is not removed from life but it is better understood and placed in one’s life.
This may not be what many wish to hear about grief. Maybe some hope the pain will go away or they will forget, but love and beauty that is lost can never be forgotten. Love continues in grief when the beloved is no longer present. This is a true reality of the fallen world and the mentality one must have if they wish to help those in grief.
Below are a few tips for those in Grief Counseling. A few “dos” and “do nots” in aiding someone who is going through a loss.
If helping someone after a loss, it is best to listen and be there, not necessarily say the “right” thing. In fact, there probably is not a right thing that can said but only avoiding the wrong thing to say.
Many phrases can cause more damage. Here are a few statements to avoid and why.
The statement, “I know what you are going through”. This statement belittles the current grief and begs the question, do you really know what someone else is feeling? Grief while universal is also unique. The grief situation is not about you but the person in grief. So while shared discussions can help, it is not the initial conversation that should be utilized but something when the person is less emotional and more open to discussions about the loss. Later it may be best to share an experience but never to assume you know what someone is feeling.
Another statement of error is any statement that starts with the words “At least”. This minimizes loss. Some good intentioned individuals may say well “at least your father lived a long life”. Does this truly settle the problem of the loss itself? One’s father is now dead. The loss is real whether the father lived a long life or not. Instead, it is best to acknowledge the loss and offer condolences.
Good intention statements can cause more problems than good on many occasions. Another example includes religion. Some may say, “Well its was her time” or “God wanted his angel” or “she is in a better place”. To the griever, no time is good to lose a loved one. It can also produce an anger against God for taking one’s loved one.
Some statements are not good intentioned at all and can be nasty. Statements as “It is not a big deal” or “you are overreacting it was just a cat” can all cause immense harm to the griever. Downplaying one’s grief does not help one overcome it but only inflames the pain. Again, acknowledgement of the grief at any level is key to helping the person express it.
Another classic statement is “you are strong, you will get over it”. This equates strength with not expressing or feeling pain and can be detrimental to one facing the grief. Statements that tell individuals they “need to be strong now” do not help them overcome grief. Instead, it forces them to hide the grief and put on a false mask that does not seek help.
Statements that acknowledge grief and the feelings are the most important. Statements that produce condolences and heartfelt cries are the most critical. Sometimes, no statement is needed but a long loving hug to a friend at a funeral. In other ways, actions are better than words. Cards, flowers, sending dinner, or helping with house work can play a big role. Taking time to just sit and listen to the bereaved is sometimes the best thing anyone can do for a friend.
Individuals are either terrified of death, avoid it at all costs, and have never experienced it. They have no way or understanding how to approach it especially when confronted with it when a family member or friend experiences it. This can lead to many awkward situations that cause more hurt than help.
If you would like to learn more in how to the help the bereaved, please review the American Academy of Grief Counseling’s Grief Counseling Certification. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.
Other resources include
“Whats Your Grief” blog article, “What to Say to Someone Whose Father or Mother Died” – Please click here
AIHCP’s Video,”Helping Those in Grief” Please click here
“Whats Your Grief” blog article, “What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving” Please click here
“Help Guides” article, “Helping Someone Who’s Grieving” Please click here
Many individuals deal with depression and exhibit few if any symptoms. They are able to look content and happy and may even feel happy or have an uplifted mood at times. For the most part though, they feel unworthy and sad about life and are oppressed with depressive feelings. The ability to look well and smile and be able to function does not mean they are not depressed. This type of depression is difficult for professionals to diagnose due to the lack of symptoms that are hidden by the individual.
The article, “What Is Smiling Depression?” by Claudia Rodriguez and reviewed by Bethany Juby looks at what Smiling Depression is and how to work through it. The article states,
“While you might think that you’d notice signs of depression in someone, that’s not always the case. If you experience smiling depression, you may appear perfectly happy from the outside but have symptoms of depression behind closed doors.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a certified Grief Counselor.
Many times individuals do not take the time to grieve or allow themselves to grieve. They hide it or ignore it as weakness. Others wish not to burden others with their troubles. Still others feel maybe their grief is not worth acknowledgement.
On the contrary it is important to address loss and even mourn things of smaller value. While different reactions correlate with greater bonds, smaller things can still be upsetting and it is important to validate those losses.
The article, “The Importance Of Mourning Losses (Even When They Seem Small)” by Kavitha Cardoza and Claire Marie Schneider review the importance of mourning. They state,
“When someone close to you dies — maybe a parent, a spouse or a sibling — it’s a big loss. Those around you might acknowledge that loss by showing up with food, checking in or maybe sending a card. But what about when a neighbor dies? Or that long-awaited family reunion is cancelled? There’s a chance others might not acknowledge or recognize it as a loss — and you may even feel guilty for even feeling this way.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Tonkin’s display of grief is more accurate in describing how grief does not shrink, but we grow and our life learns to grow around it. Grief does not get smaller or shrink, but remains the same size but it can become less of an impact as we adjust in our life.
The article from What’s Your Grief, “Growing Around Grief” illustrates these concepts with various diagrams. The article states,
“The grief and loss never felt smaller, but her life slowly felt bigger. It grew around her loss. Her grief was always there, as large as ever, and she still spent time within it. As her life had slowly expanded around her loss, she was now able to experience life in the larger part of the circle as well. With this, the ‘Growth Around Grief’ concept was born.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling
In the meantime, we should all understand that grief and loss do not become less because our love cannot become less but we do learn to grow around our grief and the sharp impact becomes less as we grow and adjust.
Sometimes individuals may not be aware they are suffering from depression. The fog and fatigue do not compute internally that they are depressed. This is because most associate depression with cause and effect. If nothing bad has happened, how can I be depressed? The reality is depression is sometimes chemical and one can become stricken with it without a cause. Individuals can help others better face hidden depression by being aware of the behaviors displayed.
The article, “How to Recognize and Help Someone with Hidden Depression” from Healthline looks closer at symptoms of hidden depression. The article states,
“Depression isn’t always obvious. In fact, some people go to great lengths to hide the symptoms of depression from the people around them — concealing the problem so well that they themselves may scarcely recognize it. This is why hidden depression is sometimes called smiling” depression. Someone with hidden depression may seem content, happy, and productive. Their work life and relationships, from all outward appearances, seem fine.”
Individuals for multiple reasons also look to hide their depression. Introverts especially do not like to share emotions and will try to hide symptoms.
To learn more or to become certified in Grief Counseling, then please review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Grief Counselor