Grief Counselling Calgary
What is Grief Counselling?
“Grief is a mountain that crushes you when it first occurs and over time, it is a stone you carry in your pocket the rest of your life” —Author unknown
Grief is your mind’s way of coping with change, and grief counselling in Calgary will help you address any kind of loss that you may have experienced and the symptoms that arise throughout the grieving process.
There are many types of loss:
This is grief that follows a challenging event with many different elements. Examples of complicated loss may include the unexpected loss of an infant, the loss of a child through an accident, the murder of a family member by another family member, and other sudden losses.
This type of loss is one where you aren’t sure whether the loss has occurred. Examples include not knowing the medical results of an advanced illness or not knowing whether a person will survive an addiction.
Anticipatory loss is one that you know is coming. Common examples include the impending death of a loved one and knowing a relationship is over but being unsure about how to end it.
Disenfranchised losses are those that others do not honour. Your heart may be grieving but you’re unable to talk about or share your pain due to stigma. You may feel sad or miserable, but the world doesn’t think you should—either because you’re not “entitled” or because it isn’t “worth it.” This is the type of grief that most clients face.
Examples of disenfranchised loss include miscarriages, suicide, and the loss of pregnancy through an abortion.
The Stages of Grief After Losing a Loved One
The trauma of loss gives way to the different stages of grief. Each person’s pattern of grief reflects their unique way of viewing and dealing with the loss they’re experiencing.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, an expert on death and dying, explains that people pass through five different stages of grief:
”This isn’t happening to me”
“How could she leave me like that? I hate her!”
“I’ll be a better daughter/son if…”
“I have to get on with my life”
Common Signs & Symptoms of Grief
Some of the most prominent signs and symptoms of grief include:
In some individuals, behaviour changes may indicate that they’re upset more than their words.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help determine whether someone may be experiencing grief:
Is Grief & Loss Counselling Right for You?
After experiencing a loss, many people wonder whether grief and loss counselling can help them. Usually, the answer is yes—when the time is right.
It’s important to understand that everyone experiences and heals from grief differently; there is no set timeline for it.
Dealing with loss and grief requires specialized support—it’s the most difficult psychological pain you can go through. Whether it’s the loss of a friendship, a pet, a miscarriage or young child, a stillbirth, or the death of a loved one, professional counselling and referral services can help you move through the stages of grief.
Finding a grief counsellor in southern Alberta can be difficult. Take time to find the right match. You should feel compassion, non-judgment, and understanding from your therapist.
About Our Grief Support Program
Our grief support programs are always personalized to meet you where you’re at in the stages of grief. We honour the timing and pace of the grief process and allow you to access sadness in a calm, supportive environment.
Sometimes, grief may become too overwhelming. EMDR can help to eliminate intrusive images and body sensations related to the loss—things like the look on someone’s face or the last words they spoke.
Get the Grief Support You Need
Think of your counsellor as a helper. We’re here to listen and support, but we can’t solve the problem.
We will create a grief program designed specifically for you. As you move through the grieving process, we will offer reassurance so that you don’t feel alone during this difficult time. We’ll walk beside you for as long as it takes, remaining curious and patient.
If you’re looking for grief counselling in Calgary, Alberta, reach out to us to see if we are a good fit for your needs.
Book an Appointment for Grief Counselling
Our Grief Counselling is led by highly-trained registered psychologists from our office in Calgary, Alberta.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s look at this question another way—from the perspective of what not to do. Here are some common things you should avoid saying to someone who is grieving:
- Cheer up, they’re in a better place now and wouldn’t want you to be sad.
- Focus on all your blessings!
- God has a plan.
- It’s been a while—it’s time you get over it.
- Cherish the memories and they will bring you peace.
- Pull yourself together because you need to be there for your family.
- I can’t imagine what you’re going through.
- So, how ‘bout them Flames?
Yes. There is often a function in dysfunction—and this is also true with grief. While it can be excruciatingly painful, the purpose of grief is to help us psychologically adjust to change and move forward. Particularly in situations where we do not have control, we must adjust in order to survive.
There are five stages of grief:
- Denial —” This isn’t happening to me”
- Anger — “How could she leave me like that? I hate her!”
- Bargaining — “I’ll be a better daughter/son if…”
- Depression — “I don’t feel like doing anything or seeing anyone”
- Acceptance — “I have to get on with my life”
Grief affects the body physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s so important to take care of yourself throughout the grieving process, even when you might not want to. Creating a routine can help you make time for this each day.
Here are some ways that grief commonly affects the body:
- Body aches and pains
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Muscle soreness
- Foggy brain / cognitive functional impairments
- Poor posture
- Abdominal pain
- Eating disturbances
- Emotional fluctuations
- Exacerbated medical issues
When we don’t grieve, we often face other conditions like anxiety, depression, or addiction.
Grief feels awful, but there’s a common saying: what you resist persists. If you let yourself feel those feelings of sadness, anger, shame, bargaining, and depression, they tend to subside. If you fight them, they stay locked in your nervous system, behaviours, dreams, and beliefs.
Grief takes time to heal, and everyone experiences it differently. Most people grieve in relation to the intensity of the love they had for the person or situation. One person might grieve for two months, another for a year. Some may not shed their first tear until five years later.
It’s important not to rush yourself through the grieving process—and certainly not to let others rush you through it.
Grief is a bit like a fingerprint in that it’s as unique as you are. Don’t tell yourself (or let other people tell you) how you should or shouldn’t feel. Instead, honour the emotions you have as they come. It’s healthy to sit with the grief—to feel all the feelings, letting the grief work its way through to help you adjust to change.