Effective Techniques Used in Grief Counseling

Woman grieving a lost loved oneMost people, unfortunately, do not know how to deal with a grieving person. Some avoid them altogether out of awkwardness or embarrassment. Grief is natural but very personal. Everybody deals with the demise of a loved one differently.

Grief support services in Indiana provided by institutions such as Hospice of the Calumet Area can help those grieving a loss cope with their grief and avoid grave mental and physical consequences.

Support groups and counseling services are the common methods used in grief support. Here are a few of the most effective counseling techniques.

Cognitive Restructuring

This approach has the underlying assumption that your constant thoughts, particularly constant secret self-scripts, influence your feelings. Some of the common self-scripts include “I’m all alone” or “I will never get through this.” The counselor’s role is to help the clients recognize these thoughts and challenge them.

He or she will then help the grieving person replace these self-scripted thoughts with realistic and functional ones.

Evocative Language

In this technique, the counselor uses “tough” words to encourage the client to gain a revelation of their loss. Using ‘your spouse is dead’ instead of’ you lost your spouse’ is one example.

Timing is a fundamental element in this technique, and it is only used once the counselor and client have created a healthy rapport after several sessions. Evocative language promotes acknowledgment and builds the acceptance of loss.


This technique helps clients adjust to their new environment after a loss. The counselor is involved in role-playing as a facilitator to mold new behaviors. Role-playing enables the client to build their skills of coping with grief and make the necessary adjustments to move on with life.

Writing can also help people cope with grief as they can freely express their thoughts and feelings in words. This free expression is vital in grief recovery. Memory books created by the grieving family can give them a chance to adequately express themselves and support each other hence easing their grief.