Online Grief Counselling. How Online Therapy Can Help You Manage Grief.
Life is full of ups and downs. Unfortunately, some downs can be particularly bad and difficult to cope with, for example when we experience the loss of a loved one. However, we can also experience grief in many other situations.
The children have left home and now the house is quiet every day, maybe you have received news regarding infertility or another life impacting medical diagnosis, it could be you have divorced and are struggling to cope. These situations can also bring on grief, although they may not be as obvious.
In these times people would typically turn to those around them for support. However, the way modern society is organised means it is not uncommon to not have people close to you when you need them, or maybe you don’t feel you can open up to friends and family.
Furthermore, when experiencing grief, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to go out and seek help, perhaps starting with your GP or a local support group. You may also feel uncomfortable being vulnerable in front of people.
Fortunately, there are still options, such as online grief counselling. Online grief counselling offers an accessible, confidential and convenient alternate to more traditional grief counselling methods.
Why do I feel this way?
It is normal to have a strong emotional response to extreme situations in your life, such as the death of a love one.
Grief is not simply sadness. It is a far more complex mix of emotions that can be difficult to control and can also make it hard to maintain a normal life.
How does online grief therapy work?
Online grief counselling, or as it is sometimes referred to, online grief therapy can take many forms, meaning there is sure to be a format you are comfortable with.
It is possible to maintain a comfortable level of anonymity if that is what you desire. Common methods which allow this are email and online chat, either through an app or a website.
If you desire a more personal experience, video or telephone call are also available, but even then you do not have to use your real name if you so choose.
Sessions can be scheduled around you, meaning they are convenient, and because you can do them from anywhere, you need not let anyone know if you feel that is for the best.
Online grief counselling, just like the face to face methods, means being honest about your emotions and trusting the person you are with.
It can be difficult to feel so vulnerable, but remember, a therapist is not her to judge you, only support you through what is a difficult time.
Exploring your thoughts and emotions may lead to crying, shouting or other emotional outbursts. These are welcomed if they are needed, as long as not directed at the therapist.
Having a safe space to really feel is not common and so the therapist is also there to guide you as your emotions come to the surface.
How long does it take?
There is no set time for grief counselling and no two people or situations are the same. The amount of time the online grief therapy continues is normally agreed upon by the you and your counsellor.
Whilst grief can take many paths, there are some well-known stages. The 5 most common stages were outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Some stage may pass quickly, if be experienced at all, others may be more difficult and ongoing. However, whilst therapists are experienced in helping with these stages, the focus is on you and how you feel rather than trying to fit your feelings into a scientific model.
Is online grief counselling effective?
There have been a number for studies carried out into the efficacy of online based counselling methods*. These have continuously demonstrated that online based grief therapy has similar levels of effectiveness as more traditional methods.
In some ways, online grief therapy can be better too. For example, when writing down how you feel you are forced to be more reflective whilst also creating a personal record you can then look back on to see our progress.
Online grief counselling can also be beneficial for those living in abroad who may feel more comfortable talking to someone in their native language.
Remember, seeking help does not mean you are weak, it means you are human just like everyone else. It takes courage to admit you are having difficulties and find help.
There is no need to suffer alone. Many have been though similar experiences and we all need to help each other; you are never alone.