Has a Recent Death in the Family or the Decline in a Loved One’s Health Left You with Feelings of Emptiness, Grief or Despair?
Have you recently lost someone you love to an illness or accident? Has this sudden separation left a void in your life, and you’re struggling to feel whole again? Perhaps a loved one has taken his or her life and you are trying to deal with feelings of guilt and depression as a survivor of suicide. Has a loved one’s absence either through illness or death created a hole that you cannot or do not want to fill? Is there a stillness in your life that keeps you awake, tossing and turning at night? Perhaps you are caring for someone whose health is slipping away everyday, and you are struggling to balance hope with the reality of impermanence. Do you wish you could feel like you were standing on solid ground again, seeing the world as it is, and not through the veil of grief and loss?
Loss floods us with emotions of fear, guilt, anger, grief and despair. Suddenly the person who you thought would always be there is gone, yet reminders of him or her are everywhere you look. The house feels a lot bigger than it once did, and an incredible stillness and silence lingers uninterrupted in every room. You might see the world without color, in shades of gray. Food has no flavor. Pleasure has no appeal. The sun shines and you can’t see it. The rain falls and you can’t feel it. You might feel trapped in quicksand, and every effort to escape only drags you deeper down. You wait for time to heal all, but it doesn’t, and everyday becomes more difficult, confusing and meaningless than the last. There is a gaping wound in your soul that you either can’t close or do not want to heal. And while you want to feel whole again, the physical emptiness left by your loss has been replaced with a greater, existential emptiness.
Grief and Loss Affects Almost Everyone at Some Point in Their Lives
Grief is one of the most common emotions humans feel. At some point in life, we all experience feelings of emptiness, loneliness and even abandonment as a result of a loved one’s death. But, feelings of grief and loss can also be a result of a dramatic social change. Leaving everyone you love to move to a new city or country, having a spouse abandon the family or losing your home and possessions to a fire or natural disaster can cause significant emotional trauma. While grieving is a natural and healthy part of the healing process, many people can begin to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety and trauma. The fear of the new unknown, the stress of facing the world alone or the sheer sadness caused by of a loved one’s absence can erode your strength and perseverance and even adversely affect your health. The good news is that grief is a natural part of life, and there is help and hope. With the support and guidance of a compassionate and understanding therapist, you can work through your loss and resolve feelings of confusion, grief and even anger.
Grief Counseling and Emotional Trauma Therapy Can Help You Find Strength and Wholeness Again
The sudden absence of a family member, friend or significant other can elicit extreme grief, fear, depression, anxiety, apathy and even anger and resentment. Despite our knowledge of our own mortality, actually witnessing the decline of life and death can be a world-shaking experience, especially when someone is ripped out of our lives. Fortunately, grieving is a normal and healthy healing mechanism. And, in warm, safe and confidential grief therapy sessions, I can help you sort through challenging emotions and regain a sense of normalcy and wholeness again.
I believe in inclusivity, and will meet you where you are regardless of religion, spiritual practice, sexual orientation, culture or political position. In a comfortable and safe, living room-style environment, we can explore the thoughts, feelings and problems that are burdening you daily. By addressing your loss directly, I can help you regain a sense of clarity and help you develop ways to re-engage and reconnect with life. Through a combination of conversational techniques and a mindfulness approach, I can help you confront your grief, manage your loss and renew your engagement in the present moment.
I have been providing grief and loss counseling as a standard part of my practice since I began helping people with cancer and medical trauma in 1992. I understand the devastating impact that loss can have on individuals and families. But, I also know that there is help, healing and hope. With a kind, conversational and mindfully guided approach, I can help you process your loss and regain your sense of self and wholeness.
You Still May Have Questions or Concerns About Grief Counseling…
I’m afraid of the emotions I might encounter if I talk about my loved one’s absence.
Confronting death can be a terribly frightening ordeal that requires incredible courage and strength. Whether watching someone slowly decline in health or having a loved one pass suddenly, the emotions we experience can be so overwhelming that we want to avoid thinking about them. But, avoidance can create other problems. Despair, depression, anxiety and apathy can cause you to withdrawal from those still around you, slowly eroding at the wonderful life you still have. By gently confronting your vulnerabilities and exploring your emotions, I can help gain clarity and confidence about the future.
If therapy is successful, am I erasing the person I lost from my life?
Grief therapy will never erase someone from your life. Loss is like a deep scar. It heals and it even fades, but it never goes away. It lives with us as a reminder of the past. Even though it is always there, eventually the pain of the wound subsides, and even the sight of the scar fades. Grief and emotional trauma therapy can help you to understand the difference between forgetting someone and letting him or her go. In our sessions I can help you move forward with your own life while acknowledging and celebrating the precious one you lost.
I don’t need counseling; I should be able to work through this on my own.
Loss is one of the many powerful things that make us equal. And, it takes strength and resilience to face death or loss. Just by seeking grief counseling you are already taking the first bold step toward healing yourself. Seeking help is a sign of not being broken or weak. Rather, it truly is a sign of strength. With grief and loss counseling I can help you empower yourself, and find strength, hope and peace in the present moment.
You Can Find Purpose, Healing and Wholeness in the Midst of Sorrow…
You don’t have to work through these difficult times alone. I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute consultation at (713)-489-3329. I would be happy to talk through any questions you have about my practice or grief and loss counseling.
Ben Carrettin is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). He is the owner of Practice Improvement Resources, LLC; a private business which offers an array of specialized counseling, evidenced-based clinical consultation, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and targeted ESI-based services to individuals and businesses.