To call coping loss ‘challenging’ is an understatement. The simple fact of the matter is that losing a friend or family member can be the single most devastating and emotionally painful experience anyone will ever go through. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom in general has a longstanding culture of bottling-up emotions and avoiding these kinds of difficult subjects, which as most already know can be quite seriously counterproductive.
Along with looking into professional grief counselling in Canterbury, an increasingly popular choice is that of the grief support group. Organised on a regular basis and usually accessible in most towns and cities across the UK, it’s a simple yet effective strategy where those going through similar circumstances are brought together to share and converse. Even when compared to professional counselling, the benefits of grief support groups are unique in both quantity and strength.
After all, you often need to be reminded that you are not alone in your struggle.
So for those who may be considering attending a grief support group in their locality, what exactly can be expected in terms of unique and helpful benefits?
1. First of all, the fact that grief support groups represent safe, open and non-judgmental events can be extremely beneficial and indeed liberating. You can say what you want, allow your emotions complete freedom and both give and receive emotional support with those in exactly the same situation as you.
2. Even in the case of friends and family members, it can be difficult to really open up to an individual when you are aware of the fact that they are not feeling the same grief as you. Talking about exactly what’s going on inside represents the first and most important step toward coping with loss, but it can be much easier said than done, so to speak. When surrounded only by those facing the same circumstances as you, opening up becomes considerably easier.
3. While everybody feels and moves on in their own unique way and at their own unique pace, it is sometimes beneficial to hear of the ways in which other people are addressing and coping with their own personal grief. Chances are you will pick up a number of ideas along the way that could be incredibly helpful, along with a variety of inspiring stories that may assist your own grieving process.
4. Because these events and gatherings tend to be rather emotionally charged to say the least, they can also be quite exceptionally powerful experiences. While grief in its own right may be a quite awful thing to deal with, it also has the potential to unite people in a manner almost nothing else can. You meet others going through exactly what you’re going through, you share stories, you help each other and before you know it, you’ve made some of the most incredibly wonderful and valuable friends you’ll ever meet.
5. People from many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds attend grief support groups, which can be both lightening and comforting in equal measures. During the sessions, there’s every possibility you’ll learn about a variety of traditions, rituals and personal approaches to coping with loss, along with new perspectives from which to look at the whole subject. The grieving process for some means extensive periods of mourning – for others, it’s a period of celebrating life.
6. Support groups like these are also attended by people of all ages, which can once again be both helpful and educational. It’s a unique opportunity to learn more about the ways in which people of different ages approach grief and the mourning process in general, which can also help gain new perspectives on things.
7. Another important benefit of attending grief support groups is the way in which the sessions in their own right represent a good reason to get up, get out of the house and once again get together with other people. Obviously the circumstances are less than ideal, but it can nonetheless serve an important stepping stone on the way to returning to life.
8. Last but not least, grief support groups make a fantastic supplementary in addition to standard grief counselling and can enormously enhance the beneficial effects of professional counselling in general. Grief support groups are almost always offered 100% free of charge and are open to anyone, so there’s really absolutely nothing to lose and perhaps a lot to gain.