Grief comes in many different forms and in response to many kinds of losses. Sometimes an existential crisis occurs in the context of loss and grief. In addition to returning to their pre-loss functioning and what has been good and satisfying in the past, many clients find that grief counseling helps them reflect on areas of the self that may need fleshing out and development. For some individuals, loss can become a call for fuller development of their humanness. Since life truly is not the same after a significant loss, external definitions of the self may be either less satisfying and/or no longer applicable. We tend to want to put ourselves back together again in the same way, but the trauma of loss brings up close our interior life as never before. That is, the experience of loss cannot help but bring one’s emotional life closer to the surface. Grief counseling provides a needed framework to cope with the disorientation of loss, while at the same time helps individuals begin to regain their balance and search for new ways of being and creating personal meaning in the world.
Growing social, cultural, and technological trends in Western society are complicating healthy grief and mourning responses. The rapidity of change in all of these areas exerts a significant impact. Just to name a few: the breakdown of the nuclear family, increases in single parent and blended families, rising rates of abuse, violence, availability of guns, unemployment, poverty, addictions, parental absence, etc. These and other factors have tended to thin out and even sever the connections between generations, institutions and communities, increase violence and expose individuals to more traumatic and unnatural deaths.
The mental health field, while trying to keep up with these trends, has problems of its own when it comes to understanding a treating bereavement. In general, our understanding of bereavement is insufficient.
The Center’s grief counseling service is grounded in a deep understanding of the grief and mourning processes. Through our decades of leadership in the field, we can help clients distinguish between uncomplicated and complicated mourning. Our individual counseling therapists teach their knowledge of the phases of grief and mourning, as well as professionally assess the many factors influencing each individual’s reaction to loss. Through various treatment modalities our grief counselors sensitively help mourners confront and experience emotional expression and cognitive understanding. Specialized techniques are tailored to the individual’s needs. Our trained therapists avoid some of the common therapeutic errors (mainly due to incorrect or insufficient information and/or emotional blocks) about the complications that often accompany and distort natural grief and mourning responses.
To make a referral or to schedule an intake appointment,
please call the Center for Grief Recovery at 773-274-4600
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center Expands Again! Please join us in welcoming Megan Kelleher, LCSW who comes to us with wonderfully empathic presence, and a broad range of helping skills. You can learn more about her by visiting our Therapists section or clicking on this link.
Community Walk for Grief Support: Celebrating 25 Years of Transformation
The Center celebrated its 25th year anniversary with a fund raiser walk in Rogers Park, Chicago on June 4. [read more]
New interview on ideas for what to say and do to support the bereaved, by the Center's Meg Kelleher, LCSW.[read here]
Pain Bonds Us - I feel close to you when you let your pain show. A protective shield inside me slides away.[read more]
Private Practice: Dynamic Psychotherapy and Bereavement Counseling (CEU)[read more]
You Know Therapy Is Working When . . . - You feel increasingly uncomfortable with the status quo when it is causing harm. [read more]
Ideas About Mourning - For the griever the future feels shattered; everything hoped for is broken and gone/ lost like a broken mirror. [read more]
Myths and Realities of Mourning - Regrettably, our society maintains a host of unrealistic assumptions and inappropriate expectations when it comes to the work of grief and mourning. Here are some myths to consider:[read more]
The Difference Between Grief and Mourning - It is critical to know the difference between grief and mourning. Both processes are there to help the bereaved face the reality that their loved one is gone and then to slowly begin to accommodate to that fact. [read more]