What is Bereavement Therapy?

Losing a loved one is always difficult and can be very traumatic, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes we need help to understand and process our grief, and we can do that with bereavement therapy.

Why Do You Need Bereavement Therapy?

Grief is a process and isn’t something that can just be ‘cured’ with therapy, but bereavement therapy can help you find healthy coping methods to get you through the five stages of grief.

Initially popularised by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, it has become one of the most popular stages to break down grief theory in today’s culture. They are:

  1. Denial,
  2. Anger,
  3. Bargaining,
  4. Depression,
  5. Acceptance.

It’s important to know that it does not matter when you lost someone or who it is you have lost. If you feel like you need help to accept that loss, please don’t feel embarrassed about deciding to speak to a trained professional.

What Different Types of Bereavement Therapy Are There?

There are many different kinds of bereavement therapy that you can try depending on what feels best for you.

Art Therapy

Art therapy helps participants by using painting, sculpting, drawing and many more creative outlets to help them express their feelings. With the help of a therapist, they will help you analyse the thoughts and feelings behind your art piece, which will lead you to come to terms with the grief you are feeling.

Support Groups

Support groups allow you to attend regular meetings with people who have experienced similar if not the same type of grief. These support groups can help you with your grief because we understand that the worst feeling is the feeling of being alone. With these support groups, you can talk to other people and help each other through your collective grief.

Counselling

Counselling is one-on-one with you and your therapist; these sessions will help unpack all your problems in a non-judgemental environment and give you the tools to get through the grief process.

Pet Therapy

Animals are amazing creatures, from detecting cancers to being able to help soldiers in warzones. But one thing they are also excellent at is therapy. Certain animals, such as dogs and horses, are certified and trained to help and comfort those who need it. For example, some dogs and cats are trained to provide company for mourners during funerals.

Should I Take Part in Bereavement Therapy?

Unfortunately, grief is an unavoidable although a natural part of life, and you may never “get over it”, but you can learn to manage and cope with it. If you start to feel that the grief affects you more than you can handle, it is time to seek help.

Grief is having an adverse effect on you if you experience:

  • Intense sadness and sorrow,
  • Your only focus is on your lost loved one,
  • Either uncontrollable fixation or avoidance of any reminders of that person.

With that, if you are starting to have suicidal thoughts or feeling as if you cannot go on without the person you have lost, then you must talk to a therapist in a safe, supportive space.