How Grief Group Therapy Can Help You Heal

No matter what it is you’re going through, if you’re in need of support and guidance, group therapy can be a wonderful option in conjunction with individual therapy, or on its own. This is why the clinical team at Valera Health is excited to announce and expand our group therapy options, starting with a virtual Grief Support Group* in New York. If you’re interested in learning more or signing-up, fill out this form to get started. 

Read on to learn more about how group therapy works, its benefits and some warning signs you may be experiencing complicated grief.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy (a.k.a. “talk therapy”) in which multiple patients are treated at once by one or more mental healthcare providers. While it can be an effective treatment for a wide array of things, group therapy is most commonly used to treat conditions such as trauma/PTSD, anxiety, depression and substance use disorders. 

As opposed to more traditional psychotherapy with one provider seeing one patient at a time, group therapy can create a sense of community for patients. Other benefits of group therapy can include—but are not limited to—growing your support system, improving your self-expression skills (such as learning how to talk openly about your emotions), finding others going through similar issues to relate to, learning from others, and learning you are not alone in whatever you are going through.  

Grief Support Group

Valera Health is excited to now offer a Grief Support Group. By joining a group of peers who have also lost a significant person in their lives, you can receive and give support during the healing processes. 

Some of the several benefits of joining a grief support group include:

  • Hope

In a group setting, the experience of loss is shared. Meeting with and talking to others who have experienced a similar loss shows that it is possible to feel a sense of joy again. For those who are further along in their healing process, sharing reassurance and encouragement can provide affirmation to themselves and further convey group as a helpful resource.

  • Support

Experiencing grief can feel extremely isolating, especially when those around you seem to be ‘getting on with their lives.’ Hearing the affirming statements of ‘We’ve been there’ or ‘We understand you’ is extremely powerful.

  • Learning from Different Perspectives

Every single person grieves differently. By listening to others you may come to various different perspectives and different levels of understanding of your own healing process. 

  • Finding Your Sense of Purpose

Giving back to others can help people feel a sense of purpose and meaning. At times, it may be difficult to fully realize how far along you are in your grief journey until you are able to guide and support someone else.

  • Acceptance

As humans we have an innate need to belong. Research has shown that a sense of belonging can contribute to our overall happiness. With loss, we can sometimes feel alone or left out, and different from others. Finding a group that understands and accepts you can be critical to your healing process.

Signs & Symptoms of Complicated Grief

During the first few months after a loss, many signs and symptoms of normal grief can look the same as those of complicated grief. Complicated grief is defined by a prolonged heightened state of mourning that can keep you from healing. With time, normal grief symptoms start to fade while symptoms of complicated grief linger and can get worse. But with grief support group therapy, symptoms of complicated grief can improve significantly. 

Here are some warning signs of complicated grief:

  • Intense sorrow and rumination
  • Problems accepting the death
  • Bitterness about your loss
  • Lack of trust in others
  • Inability to enjoy life or think back on positive experiences with your loved one
  • Numbness or detachment
  • Having trouble carrying out normal routines
  • Isolation from others
  • Self-blame or guilt

To learn more about complicated grief, click here

(source: Generations Senior Living)

How To Sign-Up For Valera Health’s Grief Support Group

If you’re interested in signing up for Valera Health’s virtual Grief Support Group, or would like to learn more, please fill out this quick form to schedule a consultation with a designated Health Connector. Make sure to select “group therapy” under the “What brings you to therapy today?” section. Please note that at this current time, our virtual Grief Support Group* is only available to those in New York. Stay tuned for more group therapy offerings from Valera Health in the future. 

*VH’s Grief Support Group is only offered in New York at this time.

*HealthFirst patients are ineligible for insurance coverage at this time.