I got half-a-dozen paintings from that shattered plate.
Georgia O'Keeffe

Sometimes no matter how hard we try to work on our grief, the work required  becomes too hard for us to handle by ourselves or with the support of those around us.  It is those times when some professional help may be of great benefit.   To help you know if you, or someone you know, might benefit from professional help, here are some signs to look for:

  • Do you feel “stuck” and unable to got forward in your mourning?
  • Are you strongly grieving over a death that occurred in the distant past?
  • Are your grief reactions exaggerated?
  • Are you having physical, psychological, or behavioral problems that have no other explanation?
A question that sometimes arises is: Can professional help benefit a bereaved person?  Based on a research study that appeared in 2000, there has been some discussion in the popular press and on television programs that “grief counseling” can be more harmful than beneficial.  However, close scrutiny and statistical analysis by a couple of independent psychologists showed that there was no basis for that conclusion.  Here is a copy of the ADEC Statement: Grief Counseling Helpful or Harmful regarding the study.

As of today, I know of no studies that statistically prove that “grief counseling” is beneficial.  However, I have a wealth of anecdotal evidence that demonstrates that “grief counseling” is at least as effective as other forms of counseling.