Grief and Loss

Our counsellors at Curio Counselling work in a variety of different therapeutic modalities that can be adapted to best suit your needs as you work through your grief.

What is Grief?

Grief is a complex and sometimes complicated experience. Grief will mean and look like many different things to different people; grief is as unique as each human being.

 

However, there are some common experiences and definitions of grief that can help us understand and communicate about the process of grief and loss.

Grief can be defined as the internal experience or process following a significant loss (this can include death, changes in health, job loss, changes in identity, loss of relationships, among others).

 

Grief includes the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual reactions we experience as a result of this loss.

 

Grief has no defined timeline, and does not eventually disappear somehow, but it can be integrated into our lives through healing, processing, and coping.

What is Grief?

What are the Effects of Grief?

There are many different ways that people react to grief in their minds, bodies, and emotions. Although grief will manifest itself differently in each person, and for each loss, here are some common effects people can experience during the grieving process:

  • A wide range of emotions including shock, numbness, disbelief, confusion, yearning, anxiety, panic, fear, anger, resentment, blame, guilt, regret, emptiness, sadness, depression, relief, and release.
  • People may also experience sudden mood changes that could be subtle or extreme.
  • Changes in cognition and thinking can include disconnected or racing thoughts, forgetfulness, trouble focusing, preoccupation on thoughts or memories of the loss/deceased, awareness of your own mortality, and rumination on “what if?” or “if only” thoughts.
  • Physical responses to experiencing grief include: difficulty sleeping, low energy, muscle pain or tightness, digestive issues, nausea, headaches, changes in appetite, or changes in physical intimacy.
  • In response to loss, spiritual or religious beliefs may deepen, change, or be questioned. People may search for meaning, ask why this loss happened, or find themselves reevaluating their lives.
  • People may experience changes in relationships as grief can draw some people closer together, while it can also cause isolation or withdrawal in other cases.

​There are many theories and stage models of grief that may be helpful for some, but may leave others feeling like their grief is not normal. Your grief is valid, whether it looks like someone else’s grief or not.

How Can Therapy Help with Grief?

Counselling can be very helpful for those going through the grieving process.

 

There are many types of therapy that are either grief-specific, or can be adapted to support those experiencing grief and loss.

 

Going to therapy can give people the space to talk about their loss/person they lost, the effects of the loss, work through their thoughts/emotions, and be validated and witnessed in their grief.

 

Therapy is also a great place to learn coping skills to help you through your grief.

 

Counselling can also help with any trauma or complicated grief that may be associated with a loss.

 

The aim of grief therapy is to help you find ways to integrate your grief so that you can continue living a meaningful life, while also honouring the loss you have experienced.

 

Our counsellors at Curio Counselling work in a variety of different therapeutic modalities that can be adapted to best suit your needs as you work through your grief.

 

We also offer group therapy for grief, and workshops for those wanting to support a grieving person.

 

Book a free consultation or group intake session today to take the first steps in receiving the support you deserve for your grief.

Book a Free,
20 Minute Consultation

Whether you are considering accessing counselling services for the first time, or hoping to find a therapist who is new to you, we want to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

 

That is why we offer a free, no-obligation, 20-minute phone or video consultation with the Calgary therapist of your choice.

References & Further Reading

Center for Loss (n.d.). Grief and mourning basics. https://www.centerforloss.com/grief/grief-mourning-basics/

 

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (n.d.). Coping with loss and grief. https://www.camh.ca/en/camh-news-and-stories/coping-with-loss-and-grief

 

Cherry, K. (2022, May 12). What is bereavement? Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/bereavement-definition-symptoms-causes-traits-treatment-5197038

 

Wolfelt, A. D. (2013). Understanding your grief: Helping yourself heal. Routledge.