Teen Grief and Loss Treatment
Teen grief and loss treatment is indicated for people who are experiencing grief to a severity where it is crippling their normal every day lives and ability to function. Often, teen grief is associated with a death or other traumatic incident that overwhelms teens and adolescents emotionally, causing an ability for them to move past the event in what’s considered a normal time frame of grief.
What Grief Looks Like
Everyone experiences times of grieving in life and this is a healthy, necessary part of the process. However, sometimes the severity of grieving can paralyze a person, making normal, every day functioning extremely difficult or even impossible. In this sense, these people do not move through the normal stages of grief, but become stuck in some stage, along the way. Sometimes people can just assume that this level of paralyzing sadness and grief is a normal and inevitable part of the process, but in reality, can lead to serious long-term effects that don’t have to be a part of the aftermath of such an already difficult time.
In some cases, people will also seek Grief Therapy in anticipation of grief, such as when a loved one has a terminal illness.
Some of the most common symptoms people who seek Teen Grief Therapy face include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nightmares or vivid dreams
- Change in appetite/weight
- A sense of being disorganized
- Inability to concentrate
- Substance abuse
Occasionally, people will also experience symptoms related to PTSD, including:
- Avoiding reminders of the incident or loved one
- Emotional numbness and/or apathy toward life
Teen Grief and Loss Treatment
It’s important for anyone experiencing grief to have support, and perhaps especially important for adolescents, who are in such formative years of their lives. Therefore, if teens who are experiencing grief become “stuck” in some part of their grieving, this can have wide ramifications upon a number of other parts of their lives.
Because of this, and also because it can be overwhelming to try to address the pain and loss you’re feeling alone, we strongly recommend looking into treatment as soon as possible, and not waiting until things get “bad enough” to warrant getting help.
Teen Grief and loss treatment, because it addresses such delicate circumstances, is perhaps the most individualized treatment, maintaining a very intentional sense of gentleness and sensitivity, in both designing the treatment and carrying it out. Grief treatment isn’t about getting people “on track” to grieving the right way, because there is no right way. Rather, it’s about providing people with the most supportive environment and resources possible, to help them address their experience, their feelings, the initial event, and the future.
At a time when often people find it too difficult to organize their thoughts, no less their lives, therapists can help provide necessary, helpful structure, both to daily life, and also, the process of grief. This, in and of itself, can provide relief to people and help them gain a sense of manageability.
Talk therapy is a necessary part of Grief treatment, and is often as incredibly helpful as it is, difficult. People often find it very hard to begin talking about what has happened, but it becomes easier with time, regularity, and especially, with the professional, sensitive guidance of a therapist.
First of all, therapists can provide a safe, open environment where people can be honest about whatever it is they’re feeling. They can also help prevent false ideas from developing (such as perhaps feeling a sense of guilt) and help lead people through their feelings, so they don’t become lost in what can feel like an endless spiral of emotion. Even if it’s hard to talk about at first, people gain tremendous relief from being free and open, and especially, from the reminder that they’re not in this alone.
At times, medication can be a good option for people addressing grief, especially those who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. Sometimes medication can help provide a much-needed “boost” back toward level ground, from which they can begin addressing things.
My loved one has already died and talking about it isn’t going to change that, so why should I get treatment?
It’s true that treatment won’t change the devastating loss you’ve already experienced. But seeking treatment isn’t about changing the past; it’s about trying to protect and cultivate your future. The future can be a painful and difficult idea after loss, in and of itself. And so, while we would never want to hurry you forward into the future, we do want you to get there. We can’t change yesterday; that’s part of the hurt you’re feeling. But we do have today, and with it, we can try to create tomorrow.