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.
Be Careful of Spending Too Much Time on Grief Forums.
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.
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.
There are also excellent online grief counseling services now, which are convenient and totally confidential. We recommend BetterHelp.com for their expert guidance.
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. Read more about whether online grief support groups work here.
The following online grief support groups are some of the best we have found because they are led by a professional, so you are less likely to fall into the pitfalls we mentioned above. At present only available for USA time zones.
Internet support groups for grief and loss:
Grief Support Groups - Face to Face
The Hospice Foundation of America has a useful list of face to face support groups:
For USA Residents:
Please help our colleagues at Yeshiva University, USA by joining in their research study:
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Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.
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