Grief Support Groups, Counselor or Friend?
If you are having trouble coping with grief and loss, you may need some extra support. The best advice is to find someone with understanding and empathy to confide in and talk to. Someone who can really help you.
It might be a friend, neighbour, family member, doctor, minister or grief counselor. You might not need professional grief counseling if you are lucky enough to have a sympathetic friend or family member.
Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy
Most hospitals, medical centres, doctors or funeral directors will be able to put you in touch with a local grief counseling program. Or check your local directory or the Internet. Don't be distressed if it doesn't help at first. You might not have found the right person for you. Don't be afraid to move on and find someone else if you are not feeling better after a few sessions.
Sometimes group sessions are helpful.
But do move on if you don’t find them helpful. Some are excellent,
others may not be for you. Group dynamics matter. Some work and
Listening to other very sad people, can be confronting, and difficult. Even counselors have to debrief sometimes as they take on board so much tragedy. When you are fragile it can be even harder.
There is also a danger in attending these groups that it can turn into a competition over who is suffering the most. “At least you didn’t have to watch her suffer”, “At least you got to say goodbye”.
Although it can be good to feel you are not alone, be careful with these groups. If you feel that it is making it worse and you are taking on too much of other people’s grief, then move on. Find a cheerful strong friend to talk to, and who can do more pleasurable activities with you.
The same goes for the Internet. There are many forums for the bereaved these days, including specialised ones for different types of loss. These can be very useful, but again be careful. Don’t spend hours and hours reading other people’s tragedies. It can be too draining and depressing for you. Take comfort that you are not alone in your grief and then move on.
Internet support groups for grief and loss:
KidsAid - specially for children
Grief Support Groups - Face to Face
The Hospice Foundation of America has a useful list of face to face support groups:
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Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.
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