3 Misconceptions About Grief
During my years as a grief therapist, I have had the privilege of walking alongside clients as they process grief. In grief counseling, navigating grief is a deeply painful time in a person’s life and I feel immensely honored to provide support to my clients as they move through their grief journey.
“There is no correct way or time to grieve.” –Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
I am passionate about normalizing how grief journeys can look very different for each person and that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Furthermore, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding grief. I am going to highlight three misconceptions that commonly come up in my work with clients.
3 Misconceptions About Grief:
1. Grief is linear and follows 5 distinct stages.
While researchers have found similar responses to grief and labeled these responses as the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), not everyone moves through each of these stages or in the same order. These stages are simply ways to further understand the complexities of our feelings.
When clients come into therapy, they often look for a specific timeline or framework to know when the intense sadness or pain will end. While there is no specific timeline or order of stages that everyone will move through, the waves of grief will become smaller over time.
2. Grief has an ending point.
Grief doesn’t have an end date. In some ways, you will never stop grieving. For instance, you may always experience sadness or longing when you think about your loss. This is healthy and normal. Grief will change over time, but that doesn’t mean there is an “end date.” So many individuals believe that they are failing when they still have intense sadness years after the loss, yet it is completely normal. Please know that your feelings of sadness throughout your grief journey are okay. Grief never ends, it changes over time.
There also seems to be a pressure to “move on” or “heal” from your grief, which can leave people feeling alone and isolated when they continue to feel intense sadness. There is no “right way” or speed at which you need to move through your grief journey. I like to explain to clients that the goal of coping with grief is to find peace in walking alongside your grief.
The goal is not to “heal” or “move on.” Most of my clients will know they have reached this when the waves of grief feel more manageable. They report moments of grief and sadness but feel they can handle these moments and continue to function in their lives.
3. Allowing yourself to embrace your sadness will make your grief worse.
While experiencing intense moments of sadness or bouts of crying is incredibly hard and upsetting, these moments are completely healthy and normal during times of grief and loss. There is a misconception that it will make you feel worse or delay your ability to move through your grief. While these moments are hard, they ultimately allow you to move through your grief and experience moments of rest. Know that it is important to validate ALL your feelings during your grief journey.
Grief Counseling Can Help
It is helpful to have safe support systems in place when these moments arise. It can be helpful to have a therapist offer a safe space to experience and process these feelings. When individuals are allowed to experience and validate their emotions, they notice the intensity of their emotions decrease and they begin to experience moments of relief. The intense emotions that follow a loss will ultimately subside and they will not last forever. If you allow yourself to experience your emotions as they arise, this helps the natural process of coping and moving through your grief.
Please reach out to our team for support during your grief journey. We are here to help you process your feelings and provide healthy coping strategies during this difficult time in your life.
Begin Grief Counseling in Atlanta, GA Today!
If you are struggling to cope with your grief, don’t wait to seek help. At Informed Group Therapy, our team of caring grief therapists understands grief and how it works. We want to provide you with the support and guidance you need to process your grief and start coping. To get started follow these three simple steps:
- Contact us to schedule an appointment
- Meet with one of our caring grief therapists
- Begin processing your grief and begin coping.
Other Services Offered At Informed Therapy Group
At Informed Therapy Group our team can help you manage more than your grief. In addition to grief counseling, our online practice offers therapy for stress management, anxiety therapy, and depression therapy. We also specialize in couples therapy, pregnancy counseling, and postpartum therapy. To learn more about Informed Therapy read our FAQs and our blog!