GRIEF COUNSELING IN NEW JERSEY
Are You Grieving And
Finding No One Understands
Do you keep ruminating over the loss of your loved one, unable to think of anything else? Is your intense sorrow and pain impacting your physical health?
Are your relationships being negatively affected because you’ve isolated yourself from others?
If you are coping with the loss of a loved one, then you are probably stuck somewhere in the grief process. You can’t imagine how you will ever be happy without your loved one in the world and may feel like life no longer holds meaning. Perhaps you feel angry and get easily frustrated, especially with those closest to you because they can’t fully understand your depth of pain.
You might jump back and forth between being hyper-focused on memories of your loved one to avoiding any reminders of them at all costs. At times you may bargain for your loved one to return to you even though you realize you’re being irrational.
Coping With Loss Can Affect All Aspects Of Your Life
Maybe your physical health is suffering due to grief. In addition to your sleep being impacted, you could be experiencing extreme fatigue, nausea, headaches, food aversion, or dizziness. Your grief can worsen pre-existing medical conditions and weaken your immune system.
As a result of your emotional and physical symptoms, you feel worn down and lack the energy to move forward. Your grief may also distract you from your day-to-day functioning and make it harder to focus on work.
You want to feel happy again one day, free from the guilt that you have moved on without your loved one. Luckily, recent breakthroughs for coping with grief can help you navigate its stages so you can work through your complex emotions and start feeling like yourself again.
We all grieve. It’s a normal part of the human condition and something we will all experience at one time or another. However, when grief is powerful and overwhelming, it can seem to have no end. Grief this intense is called Complicated Grief (CG), which affects between 10-20 percent of those coping with the loss of a loved one. (1)
The pandemic has left millions of us grieving and, statistically speaking, many of us will experience persistent, prolonged anguish that renders life unbearable...(2)
The Pandemic Has Left Many Of Us With Profound Grief
It's Difficult For Others To Support Us In Our Grief
When we are coping with the death of a family member, the grief is experienced at the same time, but the feelings and emotions are different for each person. For example, if we lost our partner, we don’t experience the same grief our children are going through. Since we each grieve in different ways, it can be hard to support each other. We may think we should be able to lean on each other but are unable to do so when we go through different stages of grief at different times.
Moreover, well-meaning friends and family supporting us are often ill-equipped to handle our grief. Although they attend the memorial and are there for us in the immediate aftermath, they are probably uncomfortable helping us through the following year of our grief. They likely feel the need to “do something” to make us feel better rather than simply listening, acknowledging, and validating our experience.
With counseling, you can process your grief and feelings of loss with a therapist trained to help you understand what you are experiencing so you feel less overwhelmed. You will also gain insight into what your loved ones are going through so that you will have more empathy for each other.
Grief Counseling Can Be The Path Back To Life
Our understanding of grief is evolving. We now better understand that the stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—are barely linear. These stages are actually quite chaotic and scrambled. Therapy will help you make sense of this reality and not get lost in your grief or stuck in one stage unnecessarily long. When you need time to share your story and process the impact your loss is having on daily life, therapy is your safe space and dedicated time to process your grief in a healthy way.
What To Expect In Sessions
You will have an opportunity to talk about your deceased loved one and the impact they had on your life. By receiving psychoeducation about grief, you will better understand how its stages affect you in all aspects of life—particularly in your relationships.
If you have isolated yourself from the people you rely on for support, we will work to restore those relationships. We will also explore how your loved ones are grieving at their own pace and ways to cope with this tension, as each of you is likely experiencing different stages at different times.
In ongoing sessions, we will track your progress through the stages of grief. You may feel you have cleared a stage or two and feel frustrated when something occurs that seems to set you back. Therapy will help you understand that this is to be expected and how to recover the gains previously made fully and quickly.
Moreover, we will explore techniques for coping with the emotions of grief, such as anger, frustration, and sadness. While the importance of self-care will be emphasized, you will also learn how to communicate your pain and emotions to your loved ones so that they can gain an understanding of your grief and be able to better support you.
EVIDENCE BASED GRIEF TREATMENT
Complicated Grief Therapy (CGT) is a relatively new evidence-based modality designed to address the symptoms of complicated grief. We will use CGT to challenge and reframe the unhelpful negative thoughts you are experiencing.
A common coping mechanism is to avoid confronting your pain and anguish, but avoidance hinders the grieving process. CGT will give you a safe space to repeatedly tell the story of the death of your loved one. While it may sound counterintuitive, this process is proven to help complicated grief symptoms resolve more quickly.
MOVING ON IS NOT FORGETTING.
With help, it is possible to move through the stages of complicated grief and regain some joy and happiness in your life while still remembering the loved one you lost.
You May Be Wondering If Grief Counseling Is Right For You…
You are out of network–I should find someone who takes my insurance.
One of the benefits of receiving grief counseling out-of-network is that your treatment and diagnosis remain confidential. When you receive services from an in-network provider, a diagnosis is communicated to your insurance company and becomes part of your permanent record. Therefore, many clients seek grief therapy out-of-network to retain confidentiality. Also, if you have money tucked away on a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) card, I can accept it as a method of payment.
Some days are better than others–I think I’ll wait a month to see how I feel.
Perhaps your grief will resolve naturally. But for those experiencing complicated grief, counseling can help you feel better faster. Think of your grief symptoms in terms of frequency, intensity, and duration and ask yourself: “How often do I feel paralyzed by my grief, how bad does it feel when it happens, and how long does the feeling last?” If you answered somewhat frequently, somewhat intense, and somewhat long in duration, therapy can help you move through the stages of grief with more understanding and awareness of how it is impacting you and your closest relationships.
Is online grief counseling private and secure?
Although online therapy is incredibly convenient, I understand privacy is a concern. Your privacy is of the utmost importance to me. Telehealth sessions are conducted through a secure, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platform. You can use any computer with a webcam, smartphone, or tablet, knowing the session will be confidential. I will also be offering in-person sessions again very soon on a limited basis with COVID-19 related precautions in place.
Sometimes We Need Extra Support Coping With Our Loss
By realizing the stages of grief are normal, you can find a path back to your life.
For a free, 15-minute consultation to learn about bereavement counseling, please contact me.