Grief involves a set of emotions that follow a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, a divorce or even following a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado. Grief counseling helps a bereaved person understand and process the stages of grief. The best grief counselors become a teacher or guide to people experiencing the mourning process. Rather than telling people how they should feel following a loss, the counselor helps them identify the emotions they are feeling.
A counselor provides information and support throughout the states of bereavement. Often a grieving person doen't understand the grieving process. Well-meaning people may try to convince the person that grieving won't help or suggest it's time to move on, but these approaches rarely help. To this end, the counselor becomes the compassionate companion that the bereaved needs to work through the process.
The grief counselor can help with practical matters such as giving advice about dealing with everyday tasks, which can be overwhelming during this period. The counselor may also refer the grieving person to a professional like a medical doctor or nutritionist if his or her health is suffering as a result of grief.
Finally, the grieving person learns how to express grief in a healthy way through counseling. Many people are confused and overwhelmed by the grieving process. Counseling helps the client understand that the feelings of sadness, guilt, isolation, numbness and loneliness associated with grief are very normal and that they fade with time.