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Grief Counseling: What to Expect During Your First Session

Updated on December 12, 2013

Loss is always going to be a part of life. It is only one side of the same coin. And with loss, inevitably, comes grief. Grief accompanies all kinds of loss, whether that is the passing of a loved one, loss of our health or the health of a loved on, or having to let go of a long-held dream, everyone grieves for these losses in their own personal ways. The grieving process is a very difficult one, and sometimes the best thing you can do is go to grief counseling to help you when a significant loss comes into your life.

The Benefits of Grief Counseling

When experiencing grief, there are a lot of reactions that can occur that are normal but do not feel normal to the griever. Feelings can range from feeling sad, depressed, to numb and ambivalent, to anger, anxiety and feeling like you are “going crazy”. As you can imagine, this whole range of emotions can be very tough for people to deal with in their everyday lives. One of the many benefits that people may experience from grief counseling is help with exploring their feelings, and coming to terms with the loss. It can be beneficial to you to have a third-party person to talk to that is not friends or family, since friends and family know about your loss, and may be grieving themselves. A counselor will usually be patient, and will let you talk as much as you want, and are trained to help people make sense of this turbulent time, and come out on the other side alright.

Counseling Approaches

Counseling will happen in session, usually around an hour long. How often these sessions happen, and for how many weeks, months, or years they continue is going to be completely up to you. A grief counselor will not tell you what to do. They will usually attempt to help you see things in a different light, or to better understand and make sense of your feelings, and ultimately help you to find peace with your loss. They will be a person for you to talk openly, and completely confidentially with, which you may not have outside of the counseling sessions. During this time it can be easy to bottle up all of your feelings and emotions, to try to be strong for you family and friends. A counselor can try to help you to release those feelings, to lighten the burden.

How to Prepare For Your First Visit

The feelings that come alongside grief can be very intense, and make day-to-day living harder than it was before the loss. It may feel like the grief will never end, like these feelings will never go away. But people go through this process all the time. There is a life on the other side of grief. If you think you could benefit from counseling, the first thing to do is call and make an appointment. Some hospitals will have counselors on staff to help with grief counseling needs. All you can to do to prepare for your visit is perhaps try to have an open mind, to try to be ready to open up and talk the way you may not have felt comfortable talking with others around you. Deciding to go to grief counseling can be a good first step to making your way through the grieving process.

To learn more about grief counseling, visit today, or click here.


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