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The Clinic on Dupont Toronto

Grief and Bereavement Counselling

Grief is a normal response to the experience of loss, encompassing feelings of intense sadness, anger, numbness, and/or despair. The process of grieving can vary greatly from person to person, and is impacted by the support a person receives and his or her individual coping style. Bereavement, or the period of mourning following the death of a loved one, can be an extremely difficult and overwhelming experience, and can involve many of the same distressing symptoms as depression. It is also possible to grieve other forms of loss, such as the ending of a significant relationship or job, the loss of finances or health, or the anticipation of losing one’s life or independence following a terminal diagnosis. Having the support of a clinician who specializes in grief and bereavement issues can help the grieving person to develop productive ways to cope, to process the loss and to move forward.

Are you looking for help with your grief? Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) professionals are here for you. Call us at (416) 515-2649 to speak with one of our psychologists.

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BEREAVEMENT AND GRIEF COUNSELLING IN TORONTO

What are grief and bereavement?

Grief is the emotional reaction and process of coping with a loss. Bereavement is the period of grief that follows the death of a loved one.

What is the usual amount of time it takes to grieve?

The process of grieving varies from person-to-person. It may last for days, weeks, or months, often with no clearly defined beginning, middle, or end. However, that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to speed your recovery. Healing from grief is less about ‘time’ and more about ‘action’ to move through and beyond it.

For some, however, grief can become a disorder. If grief or bereavement extends beyond six months and/or if particular symptoms are severe, it might indicate a bereavement, grief, or mood disorder.

How does grief affect people's lives?

Grief can negatively affect both your mental and physical health. It can lead to depression, anxiety, loneliness, and an inability to function. Grief also reduces your immunity. This can lead to digestive issues, sleep problems, fatigue, aches and pains, and even heart trouble.

Our experienced therapists at The Clinic on Dupont can help you move through your grief or bereavement to a healthy emotional state. As a result, you’ll likely experience a return to a healthier physical state as well.

What are the signs and symptoms of grief?

There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. So the symptoms of grief may depend on your stage in the grieving process. Symptoms typically correlate to those expected for the particular emotional state, or stage. However, it’s possible to experience more than one stage simultaneously, or move back and forth between stages.

What causes grief?

Often, grief is associated with the loss of a loved one. However, grief can have many causes. The loss of a job, dream, passion, pet, romantic relationship or friendship can all cause grief. People may also experience grief when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or a child is diagnosed with a severe disability or serious mental illness.

How is grief diagnosed?

At your initial visit, one of our multi-disciplinary therapists will do an assessment to determine whether you’re experiencing normal grief or perhaps a depressive disorder. During the interview, your grief therapy counsellor will ask if you’ve experienced a recent loss. Your therapist will also ask about your symptoms and how long they’ve persisted.

The results of your assessment will help your therapist determine the best approach to your bereavement therapy or grief treatment.

How are grief and bereavement treated?

Our results-oriented therapists help clients work through their grief using proven methods. These may include interpersonal therapy (IP), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and complicated grief therapy (CGT). Your grief or bereavement therapy counsellor will choose an evidence-based grief treatment plan tailored for you and your condition.

How long does bereavement or grief treatment take?

Grief counselling in Toronto, at The Clinic on Dupont, may take only a few sessions for recovery. For some clients, however, it may take longer to recover completely.

What are the symptoms of grief or bereavement in kids?

Kids don’t always know how to talk about the grief they’re experiencing, or sometimes aren’t comfortable opening up to parents. Signs that might indicate your child is grieving include clinginess, developmental regression, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, anxiety, academic troubles, and behavioural issues. If your child expresses feelings of abandonment or guilt, this may also indicate your child is grieving.

What type of grief counselling methods are used to treat kids?

Grief therapy approaches depend, in part, on your child’s age. Some methods our therapists use to treat kids include cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy. Play therapy can also be beneficial to younger children.

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