It’s hard to reach out for help when you’re grieving. Sometimes friends and families, no matter how well-intentioned, just don’t understand. A bereavement counselor can help you sort through your feelings, allow you to mourn without interference, and guide you in healthy ways to grieve that promote healing.
Hospice Austin offers one-on-one short-term grief counseling with licensed therapists and masters level interns for adults and children ages 4 and up. Up to eight sessions are free for loved ones of Hospice Austin patients; a sliding scale fee is available for all others. Counseling in Spanish is available. Appropriate referrals to additional counseling resources are made when necessary. Please call (512) 342-4700 or contact us to learn more. **During COVID-19 counseling is taking place through video and phone sessions.
You may want to seek a bereavement counselor if:
- you feel that you’re unable to function normally
- you wonder if your responses are normal or if they’ve gone on too long
- you have reactions from which you can get no relief, or over which you have no control
- you have thoughts or feelings that you feel guilty about or you’re reluctant to share with anyone else
Seek professional help immediately if:
- you feel no grief reaction at all after a major loss
- you have a history of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse
- you have few sources of support
- you see life as hopeless and are feeling suicidal
Grieving advice from people who have been there:
- Counseling helps.
- You’re not alone.
- Let it come when it comes – ride the waves.
- Don’t hide from it.
- Take it five minutes at a time if you have to.
- Figure out skillful ways to go to the hard places.
- Be mindful of unskillful coping mechanisms: comfort eating, excessive drinking, etc.
- Accomplish little things.
- The more people you can talk to, the better.
- Be mindful of holidays and significant anniversaries.
- Don’t waste time on “should have” and “could have.”
- Be gentle with yourself.
- Everyone has a different way of handling grief – be patient with each other.
- Postpone major life decisions for at least a year, if possible.
- Give yourself room to grieve.
- Take care of yourself: try to eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
- Develop new family traditions.
- Don’t let anyone rush you.
- Find a hobby.
- The first year is the hardest – it gets easier.