While grieving you might be feeling lonely because it seems like no one understands your pain. This might lead you to withdrawal from family and friends, contributing further to those feelings of isolation. However, humans are wired for connection and the people in our support systems contribute to our resilience after stressful life events. Group therapy can provide emotional and social support in the face of loss. It can also be a cost effective alternative to individual counseling.
Grief therapy groups offer a unique opportunity to provide catharsis as they bring together a common group of people working to overcome similar struggles. Here are 3 reasons why joining a grief counseling group after losing a loved one can help assist in your grieving process.
1. Safety to Openly Talk About Emotions
A counseling group provides refuge for those seeking to understand how to adapt to life in the absence of their loved one. Having a group of people who care about you and listen to your experience provides a safety net for individuals to open up. As members listen and learn from those who have experienced similar grief, relationships are fostered, common bonds are created, and safety, trust, and security develops. There is mutual support and encouragement as individuals receive and provide support to each other. Since death can often be a taboo topic, a grief counseling group may relieve someone of any discomfort talking about death and how their experiences have affected them.
2. Imparts Education
A licensed professional is able to help normalize the grieving process, which reduces feelings of isolation. While grieving, it might feel like you can’t survive the situation you’ve found yourself in. A counselor helps to educate members that what they are experiencing is both hard and expected. Group therapy not only provides space to process emotions, but also guidance through psychoeducation and interventions to help learn healthy ways to cope. A counseling group also teaches people that while their loss brings about sadness and anger from the injustices, it’s okay to feel an array of emotions.
3. Provides Validation
The group setting provides validation normalizing the emotions one experiences. Oftentimes, group members feel relieved and less isolated listening to others speak openly about their grief struggles, realizing they are not alone in what they are going through. Validation helps individuals move through a situation, letting them honor and acknowledge their emotions as real, present, and important. Validation starts the process towards healing. When someone feels validated they can truly then begin to work towards understanding and moving forward.
If you’d like to join my 6 week grief counseling group, you can sign up or find more information about it here.