Grief Management Treatment Program Options
Grief is often associated with the loss of a loved one, but it is actually the emotional reaction to any major loss. Job loss, the death of a loved one or a divorce can all trigger grief. While grieving is a necessary process, it can also develop into unhealthy mental and emotional states. Knowing how to recognize a grief-related problem and understanding how to find grief management treatment program options can help you or someone you love cope with life after a significant loss.
What Are the Main Causes of Grief-Related Problems?
Grief is caused by loss, including loss associated with:
- The death of a loved one
- A romantic breakup
- A divorce
- A miscarriage
- A move away from a familiar locations
- The loss of a job
Individuals who face loss situations react in very personal manners, but experts agree there are general stages to most grief processes. One breakdown of the grief process indicates that individuals first feel isolated because they block out what is happening; denial is a way to protect oneself from feeling the loss. Next, grieving individuals feel anger at upsetting situations and wonder why they are happening to them. Anger often gives way to thoughts of “What if?” Grieving individuals can spend hours, days and even weeks trying to make logical sense out of their situations or bargaining with a higher power to make things different.
Once you realize that the situation is happening and isn’t going to change, you may experience a period of depression or intense sorrow. Finally, grief moves into the stage of acceptance. It’s in this stage that you begin to cope with grief, heal and move on. Grief problems occur when someone is stuck in the grief process. An individual can remain angry, be unable to move past denial or be stuck in a worsening depression. Sometimes, professional intervention via therapy, inpatient treatment or medication may be required to assist with recovery from grief-related problems. If you or someone you know is struggling to deal with loss, call us at 1-888-997-3147(Who Answers?) for information on how to find help on treating grief management problem.
Is There a Cure for Grief?
Grief is a natural response to normal, but upsetting, events in life; the only cure for grief would be to avoid living your life altogether by shutting yourself away. Even then, you might succumb to grief related to the fact that you’re losing out on everything the world has to offer.
Many people say that time is the only thing that heals grief, but even time doesn’t work without further assistance in some cases. There is not an average statistic for the time it should take you to grieve. Taking a long time to grieve doesn’t mean you have a grief-related problem, but unresolved grief or mental, emotional or physical complications from grief may mean you need help dealing with your loss. Some situations that might trigger grief-related problems include:
- The loss of someone very close to you, such as a spouse
- An unexpected loss, such as a child
- A violent or traumatic loss, as might be experienced with a suicide, homicide or violent accident
- Permanent loss of freedom or lifestyle due to chronic disease progression
Grief problems can also be precipitated by a history of anxiety, depression or mental illness. If you return to work or start carrying out other obligations without allowing time for the grief process, you can create an obstacle that might result in unresolved emotional issues. While all of these issues can be addressed through therapy and other treatments, there isn’t a magic pill or procedure that will cure your grief immediately.
Therapies for Grief Management Issues
Mental health and medical professionals use a number of therapies for grief management issues. Options include individual counseling, group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, and participation in inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs. Because grief is a very personal reaction to a situation in your life, treatment planning should be equally personal.
Speak with your physician or a mental health counselor about your options before you decide on treatment. If you don’t know where to get information about treatment for grief-related issues, call 1-888-997-3147(Who Answers?). Our trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find information about programs in your area.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment for Grief Disorders
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an umbrella term for several therapy processes that are based on the idea that behaviors, including emotions, are caused by our thoughts. Because people can change their thoughts, those who use this method of therapy believe they can therefore change their behaviors and emotions. Cognitive behavioral therapy for a grief disorder involves a limited-time engagement between a therapist and a patient. The goal of the therapy isn’t to instruct you on how you should feel; the aim is to help you learn how to react to your thoughts and external stimuli in ways that deliver the behavioral and emotional results you desire. According to a study cited by the National Cancer Institute, cognitive behavioral therapy was more successful than counseling in relieving mental distress related to grief.
Medically Assisted Grief Therapy
Experts are divided regarding medically assisted grief therapy. There isn’t a pill that will get rid of your grief, but there are medications available that can assist with symptoms of the grief process. Some individuals experience trouble sleeping, have bouts of anxiety, or develop other physical or mental symptoms related to grief. Some healthcare professionals believe prescribing medication to deal with these symptoms clears the way for individuals to deal with the emotional and mental aspects of loss. Dealing temporarily with symptoms can also help you function on a daily basis while you are going through the grief process.
Other professionals disagree with the use of medications in grief therapy. Because medications can impact emotional processes, some experts argue that they could stall or slow the grief process. The decision to introduce medication into treatment for a grief problem should be made on a case-by-case basis by the patient and their healthcare team. If you feel like sleep problems or other issues are getting in the way of dealing with your grief, talk to your doctor about medication options.
Other Therapeutic Methods
Individual counseling, group therapy and complicated grief treatment are other therapeutic models that could assist with grief-related problems. Complicated grief treatment involves a three-phase process that includes setting goals for recovery, coping with and sharing the loss, and reviewing progress and planning for the future. A clinical trial that compared complicated grief treatment (CGT) to psychotherapy found that CGT was more advantageous in helping individuals deal with grief.
Residential Inpatient Grief Management Treatment Centers
Some grief-related problems may be severe enough to warrant inpatient grief management treatment; a stay in a residential treatment center may be particularly helpful for individuals who are experiencing substance abuse problems, depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts associated with their grief.
The Benefits of Residential Grieving Treatments
One benefit of a residential grief treatment program is that it removes you from your current situation. A change of setting can remove certain triggers for grief bursts, which are short episodes of intense mental or emotional distress. Grief bursts are often triggered by something that reminds you of your loss, such as clothing that belongs to a deceased loved one. Seeking treatment in a residential facility also temporarily removes your need to comply with the rigors of life. Several days or weeks without the need to attend to other family members, go to work, or participate in other social requirements gives you time to concentrate on yourself and your healing process.
Luxury Grief Management Facilities
There are different types of residential grief management programs. Luxury programs are more expensive but tend to come with accommodations that are more comfortable. In a regular residential facility, you might be given a small room or be required to share a basic hotel-style room with someone else. A luxury facility usually offers private rooms with extras such as workspaces, couches and king-size beds. Some luxury programs double as spas, offering massages and other extras alongside group therapy and counseling.
Executive Grief Management Programs
Some programs offer grief management resources to certain groups of individuals. It can be beneficial to look into specialty facilities because programs at these facilities will be targeted to your specific requirements and issues. For example, executive grief management programs offer support to upper-level businesspersons. Business leaders may deal with job-related grief or need to learn to cope with personal losses and the stress of running their businesses.
Outpatient Grief Rehab and Treatment Programs
Not all grief rehab programs require inpatient stays. There are a number of outpatient resources that require attendance on a daily or biweekly basis. Some programs provide afterhours treatment for individuals who can’t afford to leave their jobs or have other obligations during the day. Although such programs don’t come with the same benefits as inpatient treatment, they can offer assistance for your grief management issues.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
Common medications used in grief treatment regimens include antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds and medications to promote sleep. You might also talk to your doctor about medications to control blood pressure and other physical stress symptoms, especially if you have a history of such issues or are already on related medications. Some individuals in a grief situation take over-the-counter medications such as sleeping pills to promote rest and vitamin C or other vitamins to help with energy levels or to bolster the immune system. It’s a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional before deciding on a course of over-the-counter medications, particularly if you are involving pain or sleeping pills in your regime.
How to Find the Best Grief Disorder Treatment Facility
Grief isn’t like a sprained ankle or sore throat. There may not be a day when you can declare that you are cured and your grief is gone. By finding the best grief disorder treatment facility or therapy option, you can reduce any grief-related problems in your life. A good therapy or treatment facility will help you learn how to cope with your loss, manage reactions to triggers and face life again.
You can find out about treatment facilities in your area by talking to your doctor, speaking with a grief counselor, or picking up literature at a local mental health clinic or hospital. Community centers, funeral homes and even the local library may have literature available regarding the grief process and how you can get help.
If you can’t find a local resource for treatment for your grief-related problems, call us today at 1-888-997-3147(Who Answers?). Our counselors are standing by; don’t put off the phone call. Reaching out today is the first step toward rediscovering the joy of living.