How Virtual Therapy Can Help with Grief

Virtual Therapy and grief

Grief is a normal part of living that most people experience after a significant loss. If the deceased is a loved one, the anguish and pain can be so intense that normal life functioning and personal well-being suffer. Online grief therapy may be a convenient, practical, and extremely beneficial way to get professional support during this time of sorrow.

The Role of Online Grief Therapy

Virtual therapy plays an essential role in grief support, just as virtual treatment is valuable for other mental health concerns. Furthermore, the popularity of online counseling continues to increase. Four in 10 Americans use online therapy platforms to connect with their counselors and therapists.

When someone is grieving, they desperately need to find comfort and peace. Often, they are unaware of online grief therapy. If they’ve heard of it, they’re confused about where to get the best online therapy for grief.

For some, cost concerns may hold them back, or they may be unclear about whether their insurance covers online grief therapy. The benefit of virtual therapy is that it is often more cost-effective than in-person therapy.

The essence of grief counseling is helping individuals move through the grieving process and begin to cope with their loss. Without counseling, grieving individuals may be stuck:

  • Feeling like no one else can relate to what they’re going through or do anything to make them feel better.
  • Trying to cope with grief using unhelpful advice and methods that don’t work.
  • Worrying about pressure from others who attempt to cheer them up, think positive thoughts, or avoid talking about their loss.
  • Isolating themselves to be away from others’ scrutiny.

Grief Counseling Online: Convenient for Remote Access

For many, especially those living in remote areas, virtual grief counseling makes connecting with professionals for support more accessible.

If you live hundreds of miles from the nearest town, it could take hours to get to an appointment with a grief counselor in person. However, grief counseling online offers convenient access to individuals wherever they live or work, as long as they have a stable Internet connection.

Ways Online Grief Therapy Is Convenient

For someone with small children to care for, who can’t get to an in-person appointment, they can get the best online therapy for their grief.
Those who are ill and aren’t able to travel can access grief counseling online.

Elderly individuals may not have a car, be afraid or unable to travel, or prefer privacy. For them, the convenient access to online grief therapy means they can get quality support to process their emotions.

Problems scheduling traditional in-person counseling are easily solved with 24/7 online grief therapy. It’s easy to secure an online appointment and get the support needed.

Grieving individuals may be unable to take time off from work. Yet, they’re not doing well processing their grief and need counseling. However, with virtual grief counseling, they can receive the therapy they need quickly and conveniently.

When someone loses a spouse, particularly an elderly one, the surviving spouse often doesn’t feel they’re ready or doesn’t want to travel to in-person therapy. Online grief therapy provides a convenient way to talk with professional grief therapists to ease their mental health pain.

Online Grief Therapy: A Safe Space to Process Grief

When you’re in emotional turmoil after losing a loved one, where do you go for support? Online grief therapy can often provide a safe space for you to begin to process your grief.

Grief Counselors Help Individuals Cope with Powerful Emotions

Besides the gut-wrenching pain of grief, it’s challenging to find a place to cry, vent, or process other frightening and confusing feelings. They’re in desperate need of a safe space to process their grief.

Some individuals are so emotionally closed off that they barely utter a word. They’ve withdrawn from interacting with others and suffer alone.
Others may be inwardly stewing or lash out in an angry tirade. They subconsciously blame the person or circumstance for their grief and cannot express it any other way.

Extreme guilt, self-blame, and regret are other powerful emotions many grieving individuals experience. Excessive crying or the inability to cry at all are also common responses to grief. In these cases, the best online therapist is someone who makes them feel comfortable and safe and who they feel they can trust. This trust and confidence in the therapist and online grief therapy is crucial to ensuring grief processing can continue.

Having someone to talk with and confide in is essential in processing grief. So is understanding your feelings, without dismissing, denying, or ignoring those emotions.

Virtual Grief Counseling: Therapeutic Techniques

Virtual therapy has many practical tools for grief counseling, regardless of the grief stage a person is experiencing. A skilled grief therapist can help them navigate the emotional landscape and restore a sense of calm and stability.

Navigating the Stages of Grief

When someone dies, the surviving family, friends, loved ones, neighbors, co-workers, and others experience grief through stages. Yet, not everyone knows about the various stages of grief, what to expect during them, or how to best cope with their loss at each stage and throughout the grieving process.

Furthermore, it’s essential to remember that grief is a non-linear experience. It is often messy and erratic, with grieving individuals moving back and forth among the stages of grief. Significant dates, such as the deceased person’s birthday, anniversaries, and other memorable dates, can precipitate an emotional grief crisis, including depression.

What Are the Stages of Grief?

Two models describe the stages of grief. One involves seven stages, while the other, proposed in 1969 by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss psychologist, involves five stages.

The seven-stage grief model includes:

  1. Shock, disbelief
  2. Denial
  3. Anger
  4. Bargaining
  5. Guilt
  6. Depression
  7. Acceptance, hope

The five-stage grief model includes:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

A skilled grief counselor helps individuals through the process of accepting and coming to terms with their loss. The various stages of grief are explored, along with helpful coping strategies.

Self-Care and Nutrition

Grief-stricken individuals often fail to take good care of themselves. They’re consumed with painful emotions and constantly replay the last discussions and activities they had with the now-deceased person. Furthermore, they’re so emotionally distraught that they neglect self-care for themselves and often others. Instruction and resources on healthy self-care and nutritional guidance are vital in helping individuals through their grieving process.

Finding Ways to Promote Healthy Brain Rewiring

Everyone has different ways of processing grief, yet some experience nearly identical grief experiences. These include having the same kinds of dreams. Online grief counseling can help individuals understand that untreated grief can reinforce the wiring of the brain, locking the brain into a permanent stress response.

Counseling for grieving individuals may involve learning about and practicing activities that strengthen wiring in those parts of the brain to regulate the stress response. These include meditation, painting, journaling, exploring spirituality, exercise, and other therapeutic approaches.

Other Therapeutic Treatment Approaches to Grief

Among the therapeutic approaches to treating grief through online grief therapy, the following may be included:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Self-observation and reflection
  • Natural healing
  • The importance of companionship and interaction with others
  • Imagery exercises
  • Promoting positive emotions to foster memory system learning
  • Group therapy
  • Adjunctive antidepressant medication, as necessary

Seeking Help to Cope with Grief

Experiencing grief is expected following the death of someone close. Many people grieve over a loss that doesn’t involve death or before the anticipated death of another. When it comes to coping with grief, whether it’s the normal grieving following a loved one’s death, complicated or prolonged grief, anticipatory grief, or disenfranchised grief, professional help has helped many people move through their grief, restore emotional balance, and return to everyday living.