Grief Counseling for Children in Grand Rapids
Understanding Children’s Grief
Grief is a reaction that someone has when they a type of loss, in any form. While most people associate grief with the loss of a loved one, grief can also be experienced if the child changes schools, if a child’s parents get a divorce and one parent is no longer in the picture, or any other major life change. Just as loss may come in many different forms, the reactions that children may have coping with grief can also take many different forms. There is no right way for a child to react to grief, or a specific emotion that they should feel. Children can experience a range of emotions such as anger, sadness, regret, guilt, meaninglessness, and many others.
Grief Counseling Options for Kids
While some kids are able to cope with their grief on their own, there are instances when the grief a child is experiencing is distressing enough that is begins to have a negative effect on their day to day lives. Grief counseling for children is an effective way to help these kids cope with their grief and overcome the negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviors associated to grief. Along with the many forms of loss and reactions a child may have, there are also many different grief counseling options that our counselors will use to meet the needs of the child. Some examples of grief counseling treatments are helping the child find closure with the loss or helping the child find a way to stay connected to the loss. Our grief counselors for kids may also help the child work on improving symptoms associated to the loss through mindfulness techniques such as relaxation or meditation.
Helping Children Cope with Grief
When kids experience a loss, they often have many questions about what has happened. It is important to allow them to ask these questions and to answer in an age-appropriate but truthful manner. It can be hard for children to ask and parents to answer these kinds of questions alone. At Sollars & Associates in Grand Rapids, we provide a place where children feel safe and free to ask any questions they may have about the grief they are experiencing. Kids also grieve in cycles, meaning that although they may present themselves as being “over it”, they may truly just be needing a break from their negative feelings for the time being and they will resurface. It is always important to allow children to grieve in their own way and to take as much time as they need through the grieving process. During this time the child is likely to feel different, alone, or misunderstood by peers and family members. Giving kids a place to talk about their grief and not feel judged can help them have a better outcome. Grief counseling for children offers this place for kids to talk about their grief and the feelings that come with it, but is also a place that parents can learn how to also help their child cope with these feelings at home. Many parents feel as if they should not talk about the loss, however, reminiscing about these losses with the child can help them overcome their grief. For example, when a child mentions the deceased, it is important to make them feel heard and give them the opportunity to talk about that person as much as they need to.
If your family or child has experienced a loss, setting up a grief counseling appointment for your child might be beneficial. Our grief counselors in Grand Rapids offer a variety of grief counseling options for kids and would be happy to help your family navigate any loss. Give us a call to set up an appointment today!