What is Bereavement Counseling And Complicated Grief?
Article by M. Joy Young, LCSW, ACSW Portland Oregon
Bereavement counseling is specialized counseling that focuses on grief and loss. Many seek bereavement counseling when they experience difficulty finding a new beginning to in their lives or when grief is keeping them from completing important tasks of daily living and functioning after the death of a loved one.
Loved ones play many roles in our lives. For example a beloved spouse can also be a best friend, helpmate, co-parent, housemate, career supporter, helper with house chores, and the like. With the death, the bereaved looses someone to fulfill all these roles plus the satisfaction and emotional support shared in a countless number of ways.
There is no correct way to grieve
Support groups are just one way of getting support after the death of a loved one. Individual bereavement counseling can be used additionally or alone to help people cope more effectively after the death of a loved one.
Are you or someone you care about Experiencing Complicated Grief?
- Did your loved one die over a year ago but you find yourself thinking about your loved one most days and act as if their death recently occurred?
- Have you continued to have great difficulty taking care of yourself, family, and other responsibilities since your loved one has died?
- Have you had persistent weight loss, poor appetite, and decreased social interactions since your loved one died?
- Do you experience persistent disbelief about the death?
- Have you questioned many of your core beliefs and sometimes wonder if life is worth living?
If any of these is true for you or someone you care about, you may want to consider complicated grief. In the process of healthy grieving most people usually reach a place of acceptance. Sometimes it takes a year or two, but during that time people will begin to notice that they do not think about the deceased loved one as much, are able to get involved in activities again, and are generally able to engage in healthy self care.
If you or someone you care about experiencing complicated grief you may need the additional that comes from bereavement counseling.
Causes of Complicated Grief
Complicated grief can be caused by a number of factors including:
- Nature of the relationship with the deceased loved one.
- Prolong dying process.
- Perception that the death may have been preventable.
- Being a witness to the death or experiencing a traumatic death.
- Pre-existing factors such as mental illness.
The exact cause of complicated grief is unknown.
Changes in perspective and lifestyle often occur after someone close to you dies. But if you, your family, or friends are concerned about you or if you wonder if you will ever feel good again talking with a professional counselor can be helpful.
Selecting a professional counselor that you trust, feel comfortable, and who shares a similar world view is essential. To schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation for anxiety counseling contact Joy at (503) 309-1163 . I look forward to serving you.