Coping with grief and loss is a difficult experience. After the passing of the initial intense anguish, you or someone you know may want to “take action” to cope with grief. The decision to take action is the most difficult part. Processing grief is different for everyone. That’s why there are different types of therapy.
Often times, the person grieving has the desire to tell, and retell, their story. Individual therapy provides a safe space for the person to discuss their story ad nauseam. Additionally, a qualified mental health therapist can teach the person grieving tools to manage their grief. Critical to success in individual therapy is establishing a good rapport with the therapist. If you do not have a good rapport with your therapist, seek another therapist. If you are mourning the loss of a family member, it may be appropriate to try family therapy. This can be as simple as inviting a family member to the individual session or finding a new therapist to share joint sessions with a family member.
Group therapy is not for everyone. It is ideal for those that want to connect and share thoughts and feelings with similarly situated people – the ability to connect with others who also have experienced grief. This is a good reminder that you are not alone. There are different types of group therapy that offer different structures and goals. Just like individual therapy, the group culture may not be a good fit, so seek out a different group as some groups are going to be a different than others.
Hypnosis does not mean the therapist puts you in a deep sleep and makes you meow like a cat. It makes you more susceptible to suggestion, which can help you cope with grief. The process of hypnosis involves the induction of a trance-like condition where the patient is in an enhanced state of awareness. The ability to enter a unique state of mind creates unique opportunities for healing. Hypnosis has been used to treat pain, depression, stress, anxiety and other medical problems. Some people will find it easier to be hypnotized than others. But, even a person that cannot enter a light trance, will still benefit from relaxation and constructive suggestions from the therapist.
Words are a wonderful way to express your thoughts and grief. You can keep a grief journal or write letters to your loved one. Both serve different purposes. Journaling grief in a journal helps unload the emotional by putting all your thoughts into the journal. Sometimes just the exercise of writing the words down helps clarify and accept emotions. If you are used to speaking with your loved one everyday about mundane parts of your day, writing letters to your loved one about things you are used to discussing with them can help fulfill that void of communicating to your loved one.
If journaling isn’t something you are interested in, try art. Art is a way to express your feelings without words. Whether you are a beginner or expert, art is a way to use artistic expression to convey your grief. There are many types of art, such as song writing, poetry, sculpting, painting, or any other art form.
Typically, the practice of yoga is known for increased flexibility and weight loss. But, practicing yoga has been shown to effectively treat stress and depression, which can be associated with loss. Yoga as well as other mind-body activities requires you to be present while practicing. That requirement forces you to let go of the grief for a short while during the practice.
There is no magic way around grief except to explore the depths of your own grief. Sometimes the best way to manage that grief, is to grieve. It does not matter whether the loss occurred recently, a year ago, or ten years ago, at the end of the day, there is no rushing grief. It will be at its own pace.
Want to read more about therapy? Check out Family Therapy: The Benefits and Reasons to Consider