• Therapy for Grief

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    Grief is a universal human experience.
    It is also one of the most painful experiences we will ever endure.

    Within the shadows of grief, there is a transformative power that can lead us to a place of healing and growth. 

    In our darkest moments, we discover the strength we never knew existed. 

    We learn to embrace vulnerability, to lean on others for support, and to find solace in the beauty of human connection.

    Grief invites us to reflect on the preciousness of life and the fragility of our existence. It reminds us to cherish the moments we have and to cultivate gratitude for the love and connections we share. It compels us to reevaluate our priorities, to let go of what no longer serves us, and to embrace the opportunities for growth and transformation that arise from loss.

    What are the symptoms of grief?

    Grief is a natural and complex response to loss, however, it affects everyone differently. There are common symptoms that many individuals experience when navigating the process of grief:

    Intense Sadness: One of the most common symptoms of grief is a profound sense of sadness. It can feel overwhelming and may come in waves, with moments of deep sorrow interspersed with periods of relative calm.

    Difficult Emotions: Grief is also associated with a range of emotions including anger, guilt, confusion, fear, longing, sorrow and even relief. It’s important to remember that these emotions are all valid and part of the grieving process.

    Physical Sensations: Grief can manifest physically. It’s not uncommon to experience fatigue, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, physical pain or tightness in the chest.

    Cognitive Challenges: Grief can affect our ability to concentrate, make decisions, and remember things. Our minds may feel foggy or preoccupied, making it difficult to focus on daily tasks or work.

    Other common symptoms of grief may include:

    • Feelings of emptiness or numbness
    • Social withdrawal or isolation
    • Irritability or restlessness
    • Changes in appetite or weight
    • Difficulty accepting the loss

    These symptoms are a normal part of the grieving process, and it’s essential to give yourself permission to feel and process them at your own pace. A trained therapist can help you through the process. 

    What are different forms of grief?

    Loss of a loved one: Grief which occurs following the death of a loved one (eg. family member, friend, or pet). It involves navigating through the emotions and adjustments that arise from the permanent absence of someone important to us.

    Anticipatory grief: A deeply emotional experience that many individuals face when they know that a loved one’s death or a significant loss is imminent. Anticipatory grief often emerges when we are faced with the impending loss of someone we deeply care about, such as a terminally ill family member or dear friend. It can also arise in other situations where we anticipate significant life changes, such as the loss of a job, a divorce, or a relocation. It’s a natural response attempting to prepare us for the inevitable.

    Ambiguous grief: Grief which occurs when we experience loss without clear closure or acknowledgment. It can happen in situations such as the disappearance of a loved one, a strained relationship, or when someone is physically present but emotionally absent.

    Complicated grief: Complicated grief is a prolonged and intense form of grief that is characterized by persistent and severe grief symptoms. Unlike typical grief, which lessens in intensity over time, complicated grief persists and interferes with daily functioning and overall wellbeing.

    Trauma related grief: A grieving response that stems from the loss or changes caused by a traumatic event. Trauma survivors may grieve the loss of safety, trust, or normalcy. It can involve mourning the loss of relationships, identity, or a sense of control. Trauma related grief often involves trauma processing and grief support because it intertwines with traumatic memories and experiences. It is a complex and challenging experience that can affect individuals in profound ways, both emotionally and physically.

    Disenfranchised grief: Grief that is hidden, is not openly acknowledged, validated, supported by social norms. For example, grieving the loss of a non-legitimate relationship (Eg. Extramarital affair, ex-spouse, colleague, suicide loss, abuser, abortion, etc.). This form of grief often results in experiences of invalidation and isolation, as people may not understand or are unsupportive of disclosures.

    Ecological grief: grief that occurs in response to witnessing or anticipating the loss of ecosystems and species due to environmental degradation, climate change, and other ecological crises. People often report feeling sadness, anger, or a sense of helplessness related to witnessing the destruction of ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, or the impact of natural disasters. It can also evoke a deep concern for future generations and the planet they will inherit.

    Collective grief: Sometimes, grief is experienced on a larger scale by a community or society due to a shared loss, such as a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, or a pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic This type of grief can be complex and may involve feelings of collective trauma, loss of safety, and a need for collective healing and support.

    How can New Moon Psychotherapy help?

    Somatic Therapy

    A mind-body approach, recognizing the integral connection between our physical and emotional experiences. By exploring bodily sensations, movement, and breath, somatic therapy helps release emotional tension and trauma stored in the body. This approach can provide a safe space to explore and process grief, offering support and facilitating healing.

    Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy

    A powerful approach that helps navigate the complexities of grief. IFS views the mind as a system composed of different parts, each with its own unique perspectives and roles. By understanding and befriending these parts, IFS allows for healing and integration. Through this gentle process of self-exploration and compassion, individuals can find solace and move forward in their grief journey.

    Mindfulness-Based Therapies

    Mindfulness-based approaches such as meditation and breathwork, can also be valuable tools in processing grief. Mindfulness helps us cultivate awareness of the present moment, allowing us to acknowledge and accept our emotions without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, we can develop a compassionate and resilient mindset, enabling us to cope more effectively with the challenges of grief.

    Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

    This approach can help individuals uncover and understand the deeper emotions and psychological dynamics that underlie grief and help them integrate the loss to their personal narrative to find meaning and acceptance. It is also useful when working through complicated grief.

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

    EMDR can help individuals process and resolve emotional distress related to traumatic experiences, including grief. Through guided eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation, EMDR helps reprogram the brain’s response to the traumatic memories associated with grief.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    An evidence-based therapeutic approach that can be beneficial in navigating the grief journey. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be perpetuating their grief symptoms. By replacing unhelpful thoughts with healthier ones, CBT can promote healing and facilitate the development of effective coping skills.

    What if I don’t know what therapy is right for me?

    Starting therapy and choosing the right therapist can be overwhelming. We want to make this process as stress free as possible. If you choose to meet with a therapist at New Moon Psychotherapy, you will first have a brief call with our administrative assistant or be asked to complete a brief intake form. The information that you share will help us determine which therapist would be a good fit for you.

    You will then have an option to meet with the therapist for a complimentary 15-minute consultation. This is a chance for you to ask questions that will help you decide if they are the right fit for you.

    Once you get started the therapist will perform an assessment and discuss your therapeutic goals. The information that you provide will be used to formulate a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique background and needs.

    Meet our team

    Ready to get started? Reach out to us today!

    This part can feel uncomfortable and it’s the first step to finding relief from your symptoms of grief.

    Call, text, or email using the information/form below. Our administrative team will answer any questions you might have and learn how we can help you.

    Prefer to book on your own? Don’t want to wait for the office to open? Click the link below to schedule a consultation.

    You will then be connected with a therapist for a free 15-minute consultation.

    This is a chance for you to meet the therapist, ask questions and learn about their approach so that you can determine if they’re the right fit for you.

    Schedule your first therapy appointment and begin your healing journey!

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