Should I Use Free Grief Counseling Near Me? Where Can I Find It?
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated August 03, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC
Unfortunately, life is full of ups and downs. Some days you’ll experience a lot of joy and happiness, and then there are other times when you will have deep sadness. Some of the lowest times can be those that are spent in grief. And, while it’s perfectly normal to work through the stages of grief, sometimes it’s helpful to have someone to walk through the process with. One option to do this is to do a quick search of “free grief counseling near me.” But, you may be wondering how effective it is. We’ll cover that throughout this article.
What Is Grief?
It’s helpful to have a good understanding of what grief is. Grief is “a cause of such suffering” or “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement.” Some people think of grief as sadness, but it’s more than that.
Grief does not just happen when you lose a loved one, although that’s one of the times when people experience it the most. Other circumstances that can lead to grief include losing a job, ending a relationship, moving, or dealing with chronic illness. It’s important to remember that everyone handles situations in life differently. While some may take the end of a relationship in stride, others will experience grief because of it.
Symptoms of grief include:
- Anger and irritability
- Deep sadness
These are just several of a long list of symptoms that you may experience. While some people feel deep feelings of sadness, others struggle to feel anything at all. Thinking that grief is supposed to look one specific way can make it hard for you to identify when you are experiencing it if your symptoms aren’t what you think they are “supposed” to be.
Options For Free Grief Counseling Near You
Many people think of paying a therapist when they think of counseling. And that’s a very effective way to get help with your grief. However, there are also options for free grief counseling that can help you as well. Here are some of the options.
Hospice is an organization that comes in to care for those that are terminally ill. They also offer support for the family members when a patient passes away. Those that take advantage of the counseling can receive free counseling for just over a year after the death of their family member. This can be incredibly helpful as you work through all those “firsts” without your loved one.
TAPS National Military Survivor Helpline
TAPS is a great place for getting therapy when you cannot meet in person with a counselor. This could be because you’re just not comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, or it could be because it’s 1 am, and there’s no one awake for you to talk to. This hotline has someone waiting to answer your call 24 hours a day. You can reach it at 800-959-TAPS (8277).
College Or School Counselor
Many times schools, colleges, and universities provide free counseling for students. If you’re in school and have experienced an event that has left you dealing with grief, reach out to your school to see what options are available to you. There may be options for one-on-one counseling sessions or even group sessions that you can attend.
If you attend a church, there’s a good chance that there is an option for free grief counseling. It could be through a pastor or priest or with a trained church member. When your faith is an important part of your life, you might prefer to receive counseling from someone that shares your faith with you. During difficult times, your faith can help you along with the information that you gain from counseling.
If you don’t have a church that you attend, many will also allow you to do counseling with one pastor. Contact churches in your area to find an option that works for you.
Funeral homes are experienced in dealing with grief. Many have created options for free grief counseling. And, if they don’t have any counseling that they offer, they will be able to provide you with options in your local area. If you’re dealing with grief, you can try contacting a local funeral home to see what’s available to you.
You may be able to find group counseling in your area that deals directly with grief. A simple search of “free grief counseling near me” online can help turn up the available results. You can also try searching the term “bereavement group” to see if that brings up any options for you.
Is Free Grief Counseling Effective?
You may be wondering if free grief counseling can really be effective. The simple answer yes. Bereavement counseling has been found to have a long-term benefit for those that participate. That’s the keyword. For grief counseling to work, you have to give it a try.
Many groups or therapists will have exercises or recommendations on things that you can do to help with the stage that you’re at. Sometimes the only thing that you’ll be able to handle is simply showing up and listening, and that’s OK too.
How Grief Counseling Helps
When you are experiencing grief, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone in your struggles. It can be incredibly helpful during grief counseling to find out that the symptoms you’re experiencing are normal. Sometimes just knowing this is enough to provide you with a little bit of comfort.
During grief counseling, you can also learn strategies that you can use to help you work through the stages of grief. Sometimes you need someone helping you to continue moving through the process so you don’t get stuck on one stage.
And, sometimes, you need someone to listen to you. It may be that you’re still sorting out your emotions and feelings and need a sounding board to list to you and help validate your feelings. Or, it may be that you want the reassurance of having a listening ear. There are many difficult things that you can go through when you’re experiencing grief.
For example, if you are grieving over the death of a loved one or the ending of a long-term relationship, you will have to go through all of the first holidays without that other person. It may be difficult to decide how to handle things like holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries if you don’t have the guidance of an experienced professional. You may feel like forgetting all about the holidays for the year, but grief counseling can help you work through that and find a healthy way to move forward.
How To Find Help With Your Grief
If you’re looking for grief counseling in your area, you can start with a simple search online. You can check for churches, schools, community organizations, or similar groups that might offer free grief counseling. You can also ask for recommendations. If you know someone that’s been through a similar situation as you, they may be the perfect person to ask for advice. They may be able to point you in the right direction to find grief counseling.
Now, if you’re struggling to find free grief counseling or if the options you’re not comfortable with options that you’ve found, there are other things that you can do.
The first is to meet one-on-one with a therapist. This will cost you, but there are times when it’s worth it to spend the money. It might be that you couldn’t find a free option that would work for you or that you gave one a try and didn’t have the success that you were hoping for. Check for local therapists to find one that’s right for you.
Try Online Counseling
Online counseling services like those offered by ReGain can make it easy and convenient to get the grief counseling you need, especially if it affects your relationship with your significant other. Online services mean that you can have access to a licensed therapist from anywhere you are comfortable. It could be from your home, your office, or even in your car. It’s what works best for you.
Sometimes grief can be overwhelming and make it hard to get through your daily tasks. If you feel like this, then the idea of going to sit in a therapist’s office seems like it’s just too much. If you’re feeling this way, then online counseling might be the best option for you. And, it allows you to contact your therapist when you need their assistance instead of waiting for days or weeks to get an appointment.
Don’t Stay Stuck In Your Grief
There’s no denying that grief is difficult to work through. But, the last thing you want is to get stuck in your grief. Attending counseling can help you see what steps you can take to work past your grief healthily.
“Michelle has been a wonderful listening ear as I have worked through the grief of losing my mother and issues in my relationship. She is very calm and understanding, letting me talk through my thoughts and not condemning at all. I have appreciated her responding to me in a timely manner, especially when I wasn't expecting a response.”
“Buddy helped us get through a rough patch of our relationship. He listened to both sides and helped us bridge the gap. He is extremely compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. He has a wide scope of experience and was able to provide insight into other topics as well, such as grief and loss. Talking to Buddy feels like talking to a good friend who really cares about you. I am so thankful to Buddy for how he helped us, and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a counselor.”
Previous ArticleWhat You Should Know About Telephone Counseling Therapy (And Who it’s Good For)
Next ArticleCan Relationship Counselors Help You And Your Partner?
Anxiety Attachment Attraction Chat Counseling Dating Depression Divorce Domestic Violence Engagement Family Friendship General How To Infidelity Intimacy Love Marriage Online Dating Parenting Psychology Relationship Singleness Therapist