Grief and Trauma
Grief presents itself to us in many forms. The common component to grief is that we all deal with it differently. One form of grief comes from the loss of a loved one. While other forms such as the loss of a job, divorce, sudden changes or disruptions in friendships often leave us grieving a different form of loss. Ironically, even exciting new beginnings such as a birth or our friends’ lives changing can leave us feeling happy for them, yet we experience a sense of loss. Grief counselling is a form of psychotherapy that helps people move through the dark times that can provoke negative thoughts, feelings, and even self-destructive behaviors.
Because the grieving process is unique to individuals, we have seen the most success with an integrative approach loosely based on Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief which are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The grief therapist uses various techniques, sharing knowledge and skills to help you through the various stages of grief. Fundamental to your healing comes the ability to move through the stages with the help of a grief counsellor. Your therapist will help you incorporate goal-setting. Grief encapsulates so many aspects of our lives that changes will be inevitable. Learning how to cope with your emotions while moving toward the future is paramount for healthy healing.
Grief can be crippling. Cultural & spiritual beliefs may play a role in your process, adding to your support network. Others may isolate or find self-destructive outlets to try and quelch emotions. If you’re overwhelmed with feelings & emotions that affect the way you function in your daily life, grief counselling is one of best coping tools to process your grief and find a positive path forward.
We all sustain traumas over a lifetime. From a child bullied in school to a person violently attacked in a parking lot. What some consider small traumas, accumulate over a lifetime, impacting one’s overall personality and healthy development. The big traumas/immediate life-altering events impact a person differently. All forms of trauma are serious and can alter our personalities and coping mechanisms.
Some clients talk about extreme rage, or not knowing why they snap so easily. Further exploration with a trained counsellor can help you undercover what’s going on for you and why. Many of us forget over time the associations we have with things such as music, smells, voices, items of clothing, or many other distinctive triggers.
Why is it important to discuss little issues? The little issues compile. For example, if you were left with a caregiver who made you feel unwanted or disregarded, emotional repair may help you regain that empathetic, nurturing sense of self that so badly wanted to feel love and acceptance as a child. While this may appear as a small example, a larger implication from traumas can develop over time from external exposures, such as violence, addiction, abuse, or other environmental factors that leave you questioning right from wrong. Many of us want to do the right thing and live healthy lives, but how do you do that if you have not been exposed to modeled healthy interactions? Counselling can help you discover a healthy way of living while developing the relationships you long for.
Our integrated therapeutic approach aims to help you face traumatic events without getting stuck:
- Reduce or eliminate traumatic symptoms
- Shift your focus from past to present
- Rake back your power in all forms
- Eliminate addictions resulting from traumatic events,
- Incorporate new skills moving forward, and more
The end goal is to navigate through traumatic events as you resume your life while maximizing your potential.
What I expect from you
I expect a serious commitment from you in our collaborative work together. I appreciate how hard it is to work through grief & trauma. It can be emotionally challenging at times, and often unsettling. I ask that you fully commit and lean into the process of counselling, especially if you feel overwhelmed, your counsellor will calibrate to your needs.
That said, I expect you to make a serious commitment from yourself in our work together. I expect you to dedicate yourself to be open to learning, growing, and yearning for feedback as it directly relates to your role in life. I expect you to lower your defenses and communicate when you feel defensive, and to commit to changing the behaviors and patterns that are hindering your growth. Meeting these conditions gives us the opportunity to discover who you are under the grief and traumas. It is one of the most amazing experiences to free yourself from the hurt and pain that weighs so heavy.