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Grief Treatment

Have You Been Struggling with Loss?

Have you experienced a loss that has resulted in a sense of disbelief, intense emotional pain, or preoccupation with thoughts or memories of the loss? Has your grief persisted and continued to impact you negatively?

Grief is a universal process initiated by change that is difficult to understand. This can include loss by death, divorce, loss of a relationship, loss of employment, or any other change that alters life as we know it. Grief is also very personal. It’s not very neat or linear. It doesn’t follow any timelines or schedules.  

 

Although grief is a normal process we experience, there are times when prolonged grief can result in difficulty moving forward after a loss.  Prolonged grief can result in difficulty sleeping, lack of energy, disruption to your sense of purpose, and difficulty concentrating.

You may resonate with the stages listed below - remember, grief is not linear but people often move through them differently, skip some altogether, revisit, and get stuck in some stages.  Our providers are here to guide your transition through the stages to process your loss and move forward with a renewed sense of purpose. 

The Stages of Grief

Stage 1: Denial

Grief is an overwhelming emotion. It’s not unusual to respond to strong and often sudden feelings by pretending the loss or change isn’t happening. Denying it gives you time to absorb the news and begin to process it. This is a common defense mechanism and helps numb you to the intensity of the situation. As you move out of the denial stage, however, the emotions you’ve been hiding will begin to rise. You’ll be confronted with a lot of sorrow you’ve denied. That is also part of the journey of grief, but it can be difficult.

Stage 2: Anger

Where denial may be considered a coping mechanism, anger is a masking effect. Anger is hiding many of the emotions and pain that you carry.

This anger may be redirected at other people, such as the person who died, your ex, or your old boss. You may even aim your anger at inanimate objects. While your rational brain knows the object of your anger isn’t to blame, your feelings at that moment are too intense to act according to that. Anger may mask itself in feelings like bitterness or resentment. It may not be clear-cut fury or rage.

 

Not everyone will experience this stage of grief. Others may linger here. As the anger subsides, however, you may begin to think more rationally about what’s happening and feel the emotions you’ve been pushing aside.

Stage 3: Bargaining

During grief, you may feel vulnerable and helpless. In those moments of intense emotions, it’s not uncommon to look for ways to regain control or to want to feel like you can affect the outcome of an event. In the bargaining stage of grief, you may find yourself creating a lot of “what if” and “if only” statements. Bargaining is a line of defense against the emotions of grief. It helps you postpone the sadness, confusion, or hurt.

Stage 4: Depression

Whereas anger and bargaining can feel very active, depression may feel like a quiet stage of grief.

 

In the early stages of loss, you may be running from the emotions, trying to stay a step ahead of them. By this point, however, you may be able to embrace and work through them more healthfully. You may also choose to isolate yourself from others to fully cope with the loss.

That doesn’t mean, however, that depression is easy or well-defined. Like the other stages of grief, depression can be difficult and messy. It can feel overwhelming. You may feel foggy, heavy, and confused.

Stage 5: Acceptance

Acceptance is not necessarily a happy or uplifting stage of grief. It doesn’t mean you’ve moved past the grief or loss. It does, however, mean that you’ve accepted it and have come to understand what it means in your life now.

 

You may feel very different in this stage. That’s entirely expected. You’ve had a major change in your life, and that upends the way you feel about many things.

Look to acceptance as a way to see that there may be more good days than bad. There may still be bad — and that’s OK.

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Guidance Through Loss Helps with Moving Forward. 

Therapy gives you a safe, non-judgmental space in which to be fully authentic and transparent about difficult—possibly sensitive—experiences with loss. Using evidence-based, research-driven interventions we can help you change the way you feel and help you process and move through the stages of grief. 

We offer a solution-focused, problem-oriented approach as well as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach to treating loss that is tailored to each individual’s needs. CBT works on the premise that thinking, feeling, and behaving are all intrinsically linked. And if you change or improve one part of that equation (for instance, by challenging negative thought patterns) the rest of the system will respond in kind. 

Additionally, we’ll show you mindfulness strategies, breathing techniques, and muscle relaxation exercises to help you stay grounded. And we’ll be there to cheer you on as you take steps forward and learn to address challenges differently.

 

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