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Grief & Bereavement Counseling Montgomery, AL - artwork titled "Pieta", depicting Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus

Grief & Bereavement

Image Credit: Catherine Chambers ((Image Credit: Artwork titled "Pieta, oil on wood, 11 x 13" by Catherine Chambers, visit her website at Catherine Chambers »

About Catherine Chambers: "As with iconography, where the viewer is called to meditate, contemplate and reflect, I use the visual as a spiritual point of departure to both examine and question the constructs of culture and history, and how they inform our all too brief journey in this material world." (excerpted from website) ))

If you or someone you know is suffering grief due to a bereavement or loss, know that help is available.

Mental health professionals with special training and certification can help you cope, heal, and recover. Please contact Montgomery Psychiatry & Associates for more information.

What Is Grief?

Grief is typically a response to bereavement, or a period of mourning after a significant loss.

Grief can come through various means.

The most common form of grief is due to a death in the family. However, grief can also stem from other life events, including:

  • Physical or personality changes
  • Illness
  • Loss of a home
  • Attacks on security
  • Loss of faith
  • Unachieved goals

Grieving Process

Coping with loss is often one of life's most stressful events.

The process takes time and must not be hurried, suppressed, or ignored.

Unfortunately, many well-meaning parents and surrounding adults often try to protect those grieving from further harm by:

  • Creating distractions
  • Telling half-truths or even outright lies

Typically, these ploys only serve to further confuse those who are grieving and fail to address the emotions that are causing the grief in the first place.

It is much better for the patient, as well as parents and other caregivers, if they seek professional grief counseling that addresses deep emotions and heals internal wounds.

Identifying Grieving Individuals

People that have experienced loss or other traumatic events leading to grief will express it in various ways.

Although a major loss may affect people differently, grief and bereavement issues can take their toll on anyone, including children, adolescents, and adults.

Grieving Children

Children can manifest their grief any number of ways.

Signs and behaviors demonstrated by a grieving child might include:

  • Sucking their thumbs
  • Wetting the bed
  • Crying or becoming clingy
  • Withdrawing in mild shock
  • Losing concentration
  • Demonstrating extreme emotional highs and lows
  • Throwing tantrums at home or school
  • Suddenly plummeting in school performance
  • Disturbances in sleep patterns
  • Changes in eating habits

These are all common ways in which children deal with grief and they normally subside within weeks after the triggering event.

Bereavement in Adult Life

Adults are just as vulnerable to grief, especially after the loss of a loved one.

While many think they can handle the grieving process on their own, they often don't notice the signs indicating their need for help.

These warning signs can include:

  • Chronic health problems
  • Depressed mood
  • Withdrawal from social circles and activities
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Frequent bad dreams
  • The expression of strange, flighty thoughts that could include extreme fantasies and suicide

Grief Counseling

After any traumatic event that causes someone to deeply grieve, it is advisable to seek out help!

Grief counselors are professional counseling therapists specifically trained in dealing with grief and bereavement issues. Grief counseling can help patients cope with their inner emotions.

You can also start the process by speaking with:

  • School officials
  • Religious authorities
  • Primary care physicians

These people are often trained in the basics of grief counseling.

However, if problems persist or any of the above warning signs occur, sufferers should get help from professional mental health providers such as:

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Licensed professional counselors (LPC)
  • Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW)

For more information about treatment and therapy options for grief and bereavement issues, please contact Montgomery Psychiatry & Associates.