Grief Counseling vs Grief Therapy Explained

Are you wondering what the difference is between Grief counseling vs Grief therapy? You are not the only one! Although many people use these terms rather interchangeably- Let’s start with exploring the differences between the terms therapy and counseling. 

Counseling tends to be shorter term and more directed and goal oriented. There tends to be a specific focus and geared for more specific results. Grief is often used in connecting to counseling as in Grief Counseling as there is something specific the client is being supported and guided on. In counseling one may be given more specific support, tools, and guidance than therapy is typically although this in many ways is more in theory than necessarily in practicality the case. 

Therapy is often used more for longer term, more holistic, and deeper therapeutic work. In therapy one is more likely to explore more interconnections and allow space for deeper dives that get to more to the root and allow for more lasting change. However many times given where someone is in their life they may benefit from more counseling type of services since “it is all they can take at the moment.” This is often true with those struggling with grieving. A good grief therapist is able to make the adjustments to what the client is needing in the journey and allow for room for both more counseling and therapy support. This is often why the terms Grief counseling and grief therapy are interchangeable. 

Man stares out into the lake. Explore grief therapy Simi Valley.

At Simi Psychological Group we offer both Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy in Simi Valley. Our team of qualified Simi Valley grief counselors have expertise in grief and are able to provide you with the support you need at the level you need it. 

Here is another thing to consider when exploring the differences of Grief Counseling vs Grief Therapy. At what stage of the grieving process are you? 

When someone first experiences a loss there is often much shock and time that goes into just being in a state of disbelief and anguish. This part of the grieving process lends for more grief counseling than therapy per sa. The reason being that we would want to support the client in just allowing themselves to experience the pain as is while having the coping and tools to get through day to day life.Often times there is difficulty in finding the balance with work, relationships and self care while Grieving. During this time it is essential to take the time to allow all the feelings to be while not judging or bringing criticism to oneself. 

When you first experience a loss you may not be ready for what traditional therapy may entail which is a deeper dive or more holistic approach. Keep in mind however that most therapists are able to provide more council support and move into more of a therapy approach when some time has passed and you are ready to explore deeper. 

Family walking down a nature path. Explore therapy for grief in simi valley

What are some of the counseling strategies that would be involved in grief counseling in Simi Valley specifically? 

We would explore many ideas to help you in the midst of the initial and mid stages of grieving (and throughout as needed). 

We would explore you sharing your feelings with someone that you can trust and that would allow you some comfort. It is important to be open to the process without expecting a specific response. 

Many people find value in keeping a journal and wiring their thoughts and feelings inside. It is a safe spot to write down all that you are holding so it doesn’t swim in your mind. 

You may want to bring in other hobbies that generally are helpful for you including getting creative and making art, crafting or playing music. Moving your body is helpful, including exercising. This is an excellent way to get your body feeling stronger and then in turn this will help you handle the emotional and psychological turmoil you experience. 

Make sure you set the time aside to grieve. We need to give ourselves the space and time to feel all that comes up. This is not the best time to make big changes in your life or big decisions. Give yourself the space and time to just be as much as possible. 

Do you practice any spiritual or religious practices? Spirituality can be a very helpful means to come during grief. Finding meaning and purpose while connecting with source is a great means to support you through a hard time. A Christian or spiritual therapist in Simi Valley can support you on this journey. 

What are some grief therapy approaches?

We may explore things like the relationship you have with spirituality, within your family, and within yourself. We would want to get deeper in your journey of self love and boundaries that you place that are needed and helpful for your growth. In Grief therapy there will be exploration of visions you have for your life to be your most authentic and best self so that you can wake up in the morning knowing you are living out your true self path. 

At Simi Psychological Group we make sure to get to the root of your struggles so you can create real lasting change in your life. 

Counseling will involve providing you with resources to get through difficulty in the midst of the storm. Therapy will be there for the longer term guidance and deeper more holistic support. The same Grief counselor near you in Simi Valley is able to offer you both of these depending on what you are needing at the moment. 

We are here to support you. 

Written by, 

Donna Novak, Psy.D. 

Simi Psychological Group is a therapy practice located in Simi Valley offering an array of services including anxiety therapy, marriage counseling, trauma therapy and more. Reach out today for a free consultation at (805) 842-1994.