Loss, Bereavement or Grief Counseling By Psychologist and Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo



Loss, Bereavement or Grief Counseling

“Someone was cheated; his/her life was too short.” “How would I survive this?” “I do not want him to be forgotten.” “Why her? Why me?”

At Saarthi Counselling Services, Counselor Shivani provides grief, loss, or bereavement counseling with individuals and families for the loss of a child, sibling, spouse, or parent. Grief is a process aimed at telling the “story”, using coping mechanisms, and moving through different stages to adjust to the absence of your loved one. Counselor and Psychologist Shivani will explore and identify the difficult feelings of guilt, regret, anger, hopelessness, and blame. You will learn how to get through the painful days as well as birthdays and anniversary dates. A safe horizon is provided as you move through your journey towards healing.

During the therapy one can look at ways to help moving forward on your grief/loss/bereavement journey. For several, reading about loss is quite helpful; for others distancing themselves from that loss and escaping into work or keeping themselves busy is meaningful. Writing or journaling maintains a link with your loved ones. Exercises, meditation, and Yoga are also beneficial for the strength of mind, body, and wellness. Having a support group post several individual sessions could provide an opportunity for commonality; one sees that you do not have to grieve in isolation. Grief shared is grief diminished.

Counselor Shivani says death certainly does not end that relationship. Honoring that legacy of the person and discovering methods to keep memories alive is a welcomed comfort and lasting attempt at hope.


What is Grief Counseling? A Definition

Although you might be most familiar with the idea of grief as usual response to the death of a loved one, the definition provided here is broader, “a reaction to any form of loss” (emphasis is mine). Thus, grief is something that can be felt in a wide range of circumstances, including the death of a loved one or a pet, the dissolution of a marriage, estrangement with a family member, or any other form of significant loss.

As per Counselor Shivani, grief counseling is aimed to help an individual grieve in a healthy way, to understand and manage with the emotions they experience, and to eventually find a way to move on This could be achieved through existential therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.

Psychologist Shivani says there are various theories that revolve around dealing with grief, but generally, each model agrees that several symptoms are common. They are:

  • Shock and disbelief, feeling numbness, even denying that the loss occurred.
  • Sadness, despair, loneliness, and feeling empty.
  • Guilt, regret, and shame
  • Anger, feeling resentful.
  • Anxiety, helplessness, fear, and insecurity.
  • Physical symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain sickness, aches and pains, night sweats, heart palpitations, feeling faint or lightheaded, and insomnia.

Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo says it is fairly normal to experience these symptoms, but if you are experiencing them quite intensely or for a prolonged duration of time post suffering the loss, you may need to look into grief/bereavement/loss counseling or grief therapy at Saarthi Counselling Services.


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Grief/Bereavement/Loss Counseling and Grief Therapy: The Difference

Counselor Shivani says in general, the difference between counseling and therapy is just one of semantics. Both counseling and therapy use discussion between the client and the counselor to assist the client address emotional, mental, or behavioral concerns and solve them.

However, the terms counseling and therapy are sometimes used in a bit different ways, counseling is mostly used to refer to sessions aimed at assisting clients who are dealing with everyday stressors and finding ways to cope with normal issues and problems, while therapy is quite frequently used to describe sessions in which individuals are battling more difficult, pervasive, and chronic problems, such as depression, anxiety, or addiction.

Although grief counseling and grief therapy may basically look the same thing, grief counseling could refer to the counseling that any person might receive post losing a loved one, while grief therapy is more likely to refer to sessions that a person engages in when they are experiencing issues outside of the normal horizon of responses due to their grief.

For instance, if a widow is simply struggling to cope with the loss of her husband, she can seek grief counseling; however, if she has lost her appetite and has had difficulty sleeping for weeks, it could be a more serious issue that she seeks grief therapy.


The Advantages of Grief/Bereavement/Loss Counseling

Psychologist Shivani says though grief counseling is not necessary for the majority of the people dealing with the loss of a loved one, there are some huge potential benefits for those who are struggling more than normal. If an individual has been experiencing distress before the loss they suffered, or if their grief is chronic and interferes with their normal functioning, grief counseling can help that individual to address their intense emotions and help move on with the healing process. Also, as with most kinds of therapy, it is most impactful if the individual voluntarily seeks it out.


Who Can Get Grief Counseling?

At Saarthi Counselling Services anyone can avail of grief counseling be it adults, teens, or older ones.


Techniques Used for Grief/Bereavement/Loss Counseling

At Saarthi Counselling Services Counselor Shivani may use any of the following to go with

  • Counselor Shivani will let you talk about the deceased; ask you about the person, and let you speak about you lost loved one in a safe horizon.
  • Counselor Shivani will help you distinguish grief from trauma; if you are struggling to get an image out of your head or experiencing flashbacks to the moment you learned of you loved one’s death, you are experiencing trauma, which can keep you from working through your grief.
  • She will help you deal with any guilt you are feeling and help you organize the grief; the person may feel guilty about what he/she did or didn’t do while their loved one was still alive, or they may feel guilty about not feeling sad enough or moving on while their loved one is dead. At Saarthi Counselling Services one will be helped to let go of the guilt and commit to living a life that will honor the deceased, even if it means forgetting about them for a moment.

Tips for Coping with Bereavement/Grief/Loss

At Saarthi Counselling Services you would be likely be offered the following tips.

  • Do Not Grieve Alone
  • Take Good Care of Yourself.
  • Will Get Professional Counseling to Overcome your Grief

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