Work through your grief healthily to live on with healing and growth.

Grief is a natural response to loss or change of any kind. Individual experiences of grief vary and they are dependent on the nature and extent of the change.

Coping with the loss can be emotionally exhausting. This is when you may benefit from brief counselling as it can help you find healthy resolutions to deal with these feelings.

It will guide you to come to terms with life changes and eventually move on.

Therapist providing grief counselling to client

Types of Grief Counselling

1. Grief Counselling

Grief is a common response that affects individuals temporarily. Counselling is meant to provide empathetic support and guidance for you to move through the mourning process.

It helps to address the psychological and physical pains faced in the aftermath of a loss or change. The aim is for you to gradually return to normalcy over time without having to forget or disregard what happened. Through counselling, you can learn how to cope with these changes.

2. Complicated Grief Counselling

Complicated grief is also known as Prolonged Grief Disorder. It occurs when the usual responses to grief lasts over a period of time, potentially evolving into other mental health conditions. 

This type of counselling involves short-term psychotherapy techniques that are specifically used for traumatic grief. The goal is to reduce avoidance of reminders of the event and to find new strength after it has happened.

3. Traumatic Grief Counselling

Traumatic grief is an emotional response to an unexpected and/or violent loss of a loved one. The passing could be due to a violent murder, natural disaster, horrific accident, or illness. If left untreated, this may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder

Traumatic grief counselling addresses both trauma response and grief associated with a traumatic event at the same time. The objective is to help you to regulate your emotions and manage your symptoms.

Examples of Life Events That May Lead To Grief

Some examples of life events that may lead to feelings of grief include:

  • Passing of a loved one
  • Divorce or relationship break up
  • Traumatic injury or accident
  • Loss of health
  • Retrenchment
  • Suffering a miscarriage
  • Passing of a pet
  • Loss of a friendship
  • Loss of normalcy with the ongoing pandemic
  • Moving away from home 
  • Changing careers
  • Passing of a loved one
  • Divorce or relationship break up
  • Traumatic injury or accident
  • Loss of health
  • Retrenchment
  • Suffering a miscarriage
  • Passing of a pet
  • Loss of a friendship
  • Loss of normalcy with the ongoing pandemic
  • Moving away from home 
  • Changing careers

While there are different stages in the grieving process, everyone goes through it in their own way and at their own time. Grief can show up in the form of different emotions, such as sadness, guilt, anger or regret. 

Some are able to resume their normal routine while occasionally feeling moments of sadness. Some may find comfort in having company and talking about what happened, while others may prefer to spend time alone. Some may even grieve for years without seeming to find any relief.

Work through the intense feelings in healthy, adaptive ways together with a counsellor.

Signs of Complicated Grief

While the feelings of grief usually lessen as time passes, they may not improve even after some time for certain individuals. In such cases, grief escalates into complicated grief, otherwise known as Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD).

PGD is a condition where grief grips onto one tightly and some of the common symptoms are:

  • Intense sadness and emotional pain
  • Difficulty engaging in happy memories of the lost person
  • Excessively avoiding reminders of their loss
  • Obsessively thinking about their loss
  • Experiencing persistent and intrusive thoughts about their loss
  • Social isolation
  • Feeling a sense of purposelessness in life
  • Intense sadness and emotional pain
  • Difficulty engaging in happy memories of the lost person
  • Excessively avoiding reminders of their loss
  • Obsessively thinking about their loss
  • Experiencing persistent and intrusive thoughts about their loss
  • Social isolation
  • Feeling a sense of purposelessness in life

If you or your loved one is experiencing the above symptoms, you may want to seek professional help for grief counselling.

5 Stages of Grief (Kubler-Ross Model 1969)

A renowned psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, developed the 5 Stages of Grief Theory in 1969. The different stages do not happen in any particular order as grieving processes are unique to everyone. 

Some may experience all stages while others may not. These 5 stages will help you understand and process these difficult emotions when you experience them.

1. Denial

Denial is when you act as if the event did not occur. It is a defence mechanism that helps to numb you and gives you more time to gradually process the news. 

Healing begins when your denial starts to fade and you feel all the suppressions starting to surface.

2. Anger

Anger is another natural reaction when you suffer from loss or change. When it first occurs, anger will mask the pain you suffer. 

It is a strength that binds you to reality, and a natural step in healing. The more you feel anger, the quicker it will dissipate and the faster you heal. 

You are encouraged to feel and express this in healthy ways, such as exercising or boxing a punching bag.

3. Bargaining

Bargaining happens when you are vulnerable and unable to accept that you cannot change the outcome of the event. 

At this stage, you may be caught up with regrets about what was not done enough. 

This is a normal way to deal with grief, and also a sign that you may be ready to accept the truth. 

To manage potential feelings of guilt during this stage, it is important to share your thoughts with people who will support you.

4. Depression

Depression is a deep, long-lasting sadness that is difficult to get away from. 

This is a normal part of the healing process; you can consider activities such as exercise or listening to music to help manage this.

If you feel that you can no longer function normally, you may want to seek help from a grief counsellor.

5. Acceptance

Acceptance happens when you have accepted that you cannot change what happened. 

It does not mean that you have moved past the loss or change. It means that there will be more good days than bad days. 

Acceptance gives you a way to move forward with your life and opens yourself up to hope of a “new” life. 

Be patient with yourself as time taken to reach acceptance is unique to every individual.

Grieving has many stages, but there is no exact order of how it should or will take place. Instead, it is important to remember that it is a process that is different for everyone.

What Grief Counselling Can Help With

Express Emotions Healthily

Grief counselling offers a safe space for you to express and process your emotions so that you can begin healing. 

This will guide you to express your feelings healthily, such as crying or even stomping your feet when angry.

Through this, you will also learn to be patient with yourself as you grieve.

Reestablish Routines and Habits

Building new routines independently will help you while navigating grief. 

During the counselling sessions, you will be supported with tools to help you incorporate good habits in your diet, exercise and sleep to rebuild your life. 

By establishing a new routine, your confidence will improve and you may progress more easily through your grief journey.

Rediscover Your Identity

When you go through loss or change, you may feel that you have lost a part of your identity. 

Grief counselling will equip you with skills to explore other interests and reach out to other people.  

By channelling your emotions to work the best for you, you will be able to adopt a new identity and find closure to the loss of your old one.

Overcome Guilt

The best way to deal with guilt is to hold on to the good memories and go easier on yourself. 

Counselling sessions will guide you to overcome the persistent guilt that you feel after the incident. 

You will learn to seek new perspectives, build a support system around you, look at the big picture and redirect guilt.

During the counselling sessions, you will be encouraged to share your emotions to process grief. The counsellors will help you understand more about grief and what to expect when processing it. Going through this process will allow you to live on with healing and growth.

Our Psychotherapists for Grief Counselling

Alexandra Bohnen

M.A. in Counselling, Australia

Profile picture of Alexandra Bohnen, counsellor at Sofia Wellness Clinic

Alexandra is well-versed with depression, anxiety, stress management, low self-esteem and other issues. 

She believes in helping her clients understand themselves better so that they are able to heal healthily.

Kathleen Chong

M.A. in Counselling and Guidance, Singapore

Profile picture of Kathleen Chong, counsellor at Sofia Wellness Clinic

Kathleen specialises in working with adults who are struggling with life changes, grief, anxiety and others. 

She is a strong advocate for and is passionate about helping clients prioritise both mental and physical health.

Why Choose Sofia Wellness Clinic For Grief Counselling?

Safe Environment

We strive to create a safe and comfortable environment for our clients to express their thoughts and feelings freely.

By creating this non-judgmental environment, we hope that our clients can process their grief as comfortably as possible.

Confidentiality

We believe in upholding the highest standards of confidentiality between counsellors and clients. 

All our sessions are designed to provide our clients with security where they can share all their feelings weightlessly.

Our Counselling Fees

ConsultationDurationSenior CounsellorCounsellor
Individual Session (Initial)75 min$250$220
Individual Session (Subsequent)50 min$180$150
Out-of-Session Phone Call / EmailPer 10 min block$35$35

We understand that processing grief is a continual process that will take time. Work hand-in-hand with our counsellors through in-office or online sessions for as long as you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pre-grieving?

Pre-grief is a set of feelings you experience as you await an impending loss of a loved one. This set of feelings may include sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, anxiety and guilt. 

This does not substitute the grief that you feel when a loved one is gone; it provides the opportunity to prepare for a closure when the actual loss happens.

What is considered grief?

Grief is a normal and natural process of reacting to loss or change. It covers a wide range of emotions including increased irritability, numbness, bitterness, detachment and the inability to experience joy.

What are some healthy ways to deal with grief?

Here are some tips to deal with grief healthily: 

  • Be with people who care about your well-being 
  • Be gentle on yourself 
  • Embrace all emotions you feel 
  • Have sufficient rest
  • Move your body

There are many ways of going about it but it is important to remember that different individuals process grief differently. The best way to manage it is to speak to trusted friends and counsellors to work through it together.

How long does grief last?

There is no fixed timeline for grief to end. Some people may feel better in a few weeks, while others get better only after years. Coping with grief does not mean you forget about the event; it is about finding ways to live and adapt to the changes it has brought. 

Grief does not go away but becomes less overwhelming over time — that is when you may start to feel enthusiastic about life again.

What happens when you do not grieve?

If you do not go through the grief process, the pain will remain. When you have unresolved grief over a prolonged period, complications such as depression may develop. 

Some symptoms of unresolved grief are: 

  • Refusal to talk about the loss 
  • Increased use of alcohol
  • Withdrawal from friends and family 
  • Digestive problems
  • Lack of concentration

It is important to ensure grievers reconcile their losses and process their grief so that they can live life healthily. 

If you need help with processing the complicated feelings from a loss, our therapists can help. Speak with one of us today.

Grief Counselling in Singapore

If you have recently gone through a life-changing event stemming from loss or change, seek help from a therapist to work through your grief today.