Grief Therapy in North Vancouver

Are you feeling the weight of losing someone or something you valued?

Navigating the complicated path of grief

Experiencing grief can be one of life’s most profound and challenging journeys. Whether you’re navigating the loss of a family member, a partner, someone close to you, or a situation or experience, grief can present many complicated feelings and can be a tough process to navigate. If you are struggling with the stages and emotions that accompany grief, reaching out for help can be extremely beneficial to your healing process.

The 5 stages of Grief

The well known Kübler-Ross model of grief, commonly known as the 5 stages of grief are a mix of thoughts and feelings that you will have during the grieving process. They do not present in any specific order, and will come and go throughout the process, more intense and pronounced at the beginning, and less so as time carries on.

Denial

In this stage, individuals tend to try and believe the loss they’ve experience or diagnosis they’ve recieved is somehow mistaken, and can cling to a false, preferable reality. Denial is a common defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock of the loss, numbing us to our emotions. It can be seen as a survival mechanism that helps us cope with the intense flood of emotions that accompany tragic news. When we’re in denial, we might isolate ourselves from the reality of the situation and the emotions associated with it. This is often a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.

Bartering

A torturous dance of “what-ifs” and “if only’s.” Trying to grapple with the unfairness of loss, life and death. During the bartering stage, our mind attempts to find a solution to prevent the pain from ever occuring in the first place. The mind might ruminate on things unsaid, deeds undone, or even imagined scenarios relating to the loss. By talking through these feelings we can form more positive ways of thinking about the past and work to resolve these thought patterns that don’t serve us.

Sadness

Sadness is an integral part of the grieving process. Waves of emotional pain that surge without warning can be distressing and greatly hinder our day-to-day lives. It is a natural response to loss, and it’s essential to allow yourself to feel this emotion. Trying to avoid or suppress sadness can make the grieving process more difficult and prolong the pain. It’s essential to understand that it’s okay to feel this way and that there’s no need to rush through your grief.

Anger

A burning sense of the unfairness of it all. The world continues to turn, but for the griever, there’s a sense of being stuck in a moment of time. Anger is a completely normal and very common feeling that many people experience when they are going through loss. By finding a counselor you can trust and feel comfortable with, we can work on healing these feelings and learning how to cope with these difficult emotions.

Acceptance

“It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it; I may as well prepare for it.” In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or the inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or another tragic event. The acceptance stage of grief typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions regarding the loss they experienced.

According to the DSM-5, symptoms that occur longer than 6 months is considered a disorder and may need outside help. If you are struggling through the grief process seaking counselling can help you learn how to cope with these feelings and how to work through them.

Modalities for healing from loss

Loss is unfortunately an inherent part of our human experience. The first step towards healing is to find a therapist you resonate with and discuss the therapeutic options available. With a compassionate and understanding therapist by your side, you can be guided toward the therapeutic method that aligns best with your needs, communication style, and comfort zone.

ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

Life brings moments of joy, but also times of profound loss and pain. Our natural instinct is to evade this pain or control it, but this evasion can cause us more pain in the long run. ACT for grief offers an insightful approach to handling life’s losses, advocating for acceptance and emphasizing personal growth. Instead of trying to push away or overlook feelings of grief, ACT helps individuals to acknowledge these emotions and aid them in moving forward in a meaningful manner.

EMDR Therapy

Losses, particularly traumatic ones, can create lasting marks on our psyche. EMDR therapy is a transformative tool for addressing these traumas and helps to enable a pathway for healing. EMDR stimulates eye movements in a deliberate way, helping the brain process traumatic memories more effectively. The ultimate objective is to soften the emotional charge around the memory and make it less distressing.

Breathwork

Breathwork has tangible benefits for both mental and physical well-being. In the wake of loss, centering oneself through intentional breathing can lead to relaxation and grounding in the present. This practice can aid in managing physical manifestations of grief and instilling a sense of calmness.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Grief can often disrupt our emotional balance. DBT, with its roots in cognitive therapy, teaches individuals the skills to regulate their emotions during tumultuous times. With a blend of in-session learning and homework, participants master core skills like mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

Many therapeutic modalities can aid in navigating the grief process. However, the connection you foster with your therapist will be the most important aspect of your journey.

Grief therapy for children

Play therapy

As a parent, it may be difficult to know how to help a child who is grieving. Children, in their innocence, face the challenge of processing loss differently. Play therapy offers a gateway to healing and understanding. Playing is a child’s main form of communication. Just as adults find solace in therapy, play therapy offers children an avenue to express their emotions and confusions surrounding loss, often without solely relying on words. Our team has helped many children with processing their grief. Our main goal is to create a space where they feel safe and comfortable to explore these feelings at their own pace.

You can be supported through your grief

Grief can be one of the most painful experiences of your life. If constant rumination, anguish, confusion and pain are ailing your heart or mind, therapy with Boomerang Counselling Center offers you the opportunity to work through the grieving process and feel more comfortable within yourself.

To get started, please book a free, 20-minute consultation or call us at (778) 836-4772 for more details.

Therapists specializing in Grief

mental health counselor near me

Brandys Evans, MA, RCC

REGISTERED CLINICAL COUNSELLOR

Kristin Sickavish, M. Ed.

MASTER OF ARTS IN COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY INTERN COUNSELLOR

Cristina Higgins, MEd, RCC

REGISTERED CLINICAL COUNSELLOR

Specialties

We specialize in a variety of neurodiversity, behavioural, anxiety, attention, learning, social, and emotional problems. We also provide family support through parent coaching, counselling, and reunification.