Survivors Guilt Counseling

Grief therapists in Alabama are seeing a rise in the number of clients seeking guilt counseling. There are many reasons you might feel guilt after losing a loved one. The impact of COVID-19 has caused a significant amount of grief among countless families. Overcoming guilt is possible through the help of guilt counseling.

Guilt counseling

Defining Survivor’s Guilt

When a traumatic event occurs and one person survives while others did not, survivor’s guilt ensues. Common questions that plague the survivor’s mind include “Why them?” “Why not me?” “Why did I survive?” Survivor’s guilt is now actually considered a form of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Certain professions or natural occurrences that commonly result in survivor’s guilt include the following:

  • Veterans of war
  • Survivors of 9/11
  • Those who have beat cancer and watched others lose their battle
  • First responders
  • Patients who receive transplants from organ donors
  • Those who have lost a loved one to suicide
  • A parent who has lost a child
  • Victims of accidents where others died
  • Survivors of a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, or tsunami
  • Family members not allowed to be in the hospital while their loved one suffered and passed with COVID

Survivor’s guilt can manifest whether you actually caused the tragic event to happen or not. Maybe you were the driver of a vehicle when an accident occurred that resulted in a fatality due to no fault of your own. Just being involved and living through a tragic event can cause PTSD symptoms related to survivor’s guilt. Be encouraged that there is hope. With guilt counseling, you can find freedom.

Garrett Has Grief Therapists in Alabama

Get the care you need with virtual or in-person appointments with grief therapists in Alabama. Our team is standing by to help in all three of our convenient locations, Jacksonville, Boaz, and Huntsville. Follow this link to complete a brief “contact us” form, or call (256) 239-5662 today.


How Grief Counseling Helps You Heal

Grief is an intense emotion that can be very difficult to shake off. It is perfectly normal to mourn the loss of a loved one. However, when the grief feels like it’s too much to bear and is lingering longer than you feel it should, grief counseling in Huntsville, AL is available to you.

grief counseling huntsville al

Grief is Normal, Right?

Merriam-Webster defines grief as “a deep sadness.” It is a normal reaction to the loss of a loved one, a pet, or even a job. Although there are stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) there is no right or wrong way to grieve. However, if the symptoms of grief are interfering with your life, you need a grief counselor. Read below for symptoms that would warrant grief therapy.

  • Grief that interferes with activities of daily living
  • Feelings of depression or guilt
  • When you find carrying on with your normal life is difficult
  • Symptoms as above that begin to cause problems in your personal relationships

How Grief Counseling in Huntsville, AL can Help

A grief counselor will support and guide you through coping skills and a deeper understanding of how to process your feelings. Additionally, counseling can help with expressing how you feel, utilizing or building a support system, dealing with any feelings of guilt you may have, and accepting what is now your new reality. If you harbor the pain of loss without seeking help, that can ultimately lead to more serious issues psychologically as well as physically.

Compassionate Grief Counselors at Garrett

Working with a grief counselor can help guide you through each stage of grief and achieve the healing you need and deserve. Contact Garrett today and begin the journey out of the darkness and into a brighter tomorrow with grief counseling in Huntsville, AL, Boaz, AL or Jacksonville, AL. You can reach us at (256) 239-5662, or click here, and one of our professional staff members will be in touch with you shortly.


Reasons for and Types of Grief

Grief is most notably linked to the loss of a loved one or a pet. However, Merriam-Webster defines grief as “deep and poignant distress” and “a cause of such suffering.” A deep suffering can therefore also be categorized as one of the many types of grief. No matter what the source of your grieving, grief counseling can help.

types of grief

Reasons for Grief

As all humans are different, so are the perspectives of each individual. What might be the source of distress or suffering for one might not necessarily be the case for your friend, your neighbor, or even a family member. Triggers for grief other than death include things like divorce, moving to a new city or state away from friends and loved ones, the loss of a job, a change in relationship or friendship, and changes in your health. As such, there are many types of grief you may suffer in your life.

Types of Grief 

You might find it surprising that there are 14 types of grief. We will briefly touch on them below:

  1. Abbreviated – Simply put, grief that doesn’t last as long as one would expect.
  2. Absent – When you don’t see someone showing signs of grief.
  3. Anticipatory – Knowing that impending loss is going to happen.
  4. Chronic – Long-lasting grief.
  5. Collective – Grief experienced by a group of people. For example, when Princess Diana died, it affected the entire world.
  6. Complicated – Long-term grief that affects day-to-day activities.
  7. Cumulative – Multiple losses within a short period of time.
  8. Delayed – When there is a period of time after the loss before grief appears.
  9. Disenfranchised – When there is no acknowledgement for the loss of your loved one.
  10. Distorted – Extreme reaction accompanied often by anger or guilt.
  11. Exaggerated – Grief reaction that leads to self-destructive behavior.
  12. Inhibited – “Stuffing” your grief.
  13. Masked – When physical symptoms occur in the place of mourning.
  14. Normal – Dissipating reactions such as crying and sadness.

If you or a loved one fall into any of the above types of grief, grief counseling might be just what you need.

Compassionate Counselors at Garrett

Grief counseling is available to you at any of our three locations, Jacksonville, Huntsville, or Boaz. For your safety and convenience, we also offer video counseling online. Click here to reach us online, or call us at (256) 239-5662. Let our compassionate counselors at Garrett walk through the grieving process or help you learn to cope with your loss. Start your healing today.


How Grief Counseling Helps with the Loss of a Loved One

No words can describe the pain someone feels when they have lost a parent, a child, or a spouse. Grief counseling plays an important role in the grieving process. It helps to work through each step and restore some level of normalcy to life as it was before.

grief counseling after a loss

What is Grief Counseling?

Grief counseling is a form of talk therapy that focuses on emotional, physical, cognitive, and social responses to a loss. Because each individual is unique, grief is not experienced the same by everyone. Your counselor will take time getting to know you and understanding your situation. They will then tailor sessions to meet your specific needs. Ultimately, the goal is to process through all stages of grief. Again, because everyone reacts differently to loss, every stage of grief may not be experienced by every single person.

Stages of Grief

The most commonly known and accepted stages of grief were developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Let’s take a closer look at each of the five stages.

  1. Denial – Commonly known as shock, this stage helps with surviving the loss kind of like a defense mechanism.
  2. Anger – Dealing with the “why me” or “this isn’t fair.”
  3. Bargaining – The stage where you make a deal with God or say things like, “If only, I promise…”
  4. Depression – Feelings of hopelessness and sadness.
  5. Acceptance – Getting to a point where you understand life can go on beyond the loss of your loved one.

Common symptoms of grief that accompany these stages listed above include crying, detachment or isolating from family or friends, trouble sleeping, frustration, and even physical symptoms like headaches. If you are experiencing emotional or physical symptoms following the loss of a loved one, it may be time for you to try grief counseling.

Choose Garrett Counseling

Our compassionate counselors have the experience you deserve. To serve you better, we offer online and in-person appointments with convenient hours. Fill out the online information form here, or call (256) 239-5662 today.


Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One

grief therapy can help youLosing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences in life we will encounter. Whether you have lost a spouse, a parent, a child, a grandparent, another family member, or even a close friend, grief can feel unbearable at times. Because grieving is a process, there is no quick cure. Grief therapy is an important part of the grieving process giving you the support and coping skills necessary for a healthy recovery through your grief.

Stages of Grief

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a psychiatrist born in Switzerland, outlined the five psychological stages of death in her book “On Death and Dying” published in 1969. She described the five stages of grief as follows:

  1. Denial – “This isn’t happening.”
  2. Anger – “Why is this happening?”
  3. Bargaining – “If you change this, then I’ll…”
  4. Depression – “Too sad to function.”
  5. Acceptance – “I have found peace with this.”

It is important to note that not everyone will go through each of the above stages, nor will the emotions be experienced in any particular order. They are all normal emotions to experience when dealing with the loss of a loved one. However, if you find that any of these emotions are hindering your performance at work, interfering with your family life or social circle, (i.e. you find yourself withdrawing from those around you and isolating yourself), affecting your sleep and/or eating habits, grief therapy should be the next step for you.

Grief Therapy with the Garrett Team

Grief therapy is beneficial for anyone experiencing any level of grief, not just for those encountering life-altering grieving patterns. Our compassionate and experienced counselors at Garrett Counseling are available in three locations: Jacksonville, Boaz, and Huntsville. Let us help you cope with the loss of your loved one. Contact us today at (256) 239-5662 and let our amazing team help you through this difficult time.