Tips for coping with grief

Westminster-based service provider offers thoughts on coping in light of loss

Posted 2/22/16

The first step to coping with grief is to seek help, such as books, groups or a personal therapist, said social worker Vickie J. Kulinski of Autumn Skye Counseling in Westminster.

“Grief can manifest in many ways — crying, anger, disbelief or …

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Tips for coping with grief

Westminster-based service provider offers thoughts on coping in light of loss

Posted

The first step to coping with grief is to seek help, such as books, groups or a personal therapist, said social worker Vickie J. Kulinski of Autumn Skye Counseling in Westminster.

“Grief can manifest in many ways — crying, anger, disbelief or denial and shock,” Kulinski said. “Many times people will move from one stage to another of the stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). We tend to not go through the stages from one to the next, but often move around among them.

“In other words, grief is not a step-by-step process,” she said. “The grief process is very personalized and people express that grief very differently. It can be difficult when we don’t understand someone’s process. We all grieve in our own way, in our own time.”

Grief resources include:

• Books. One suggestion is “Good Grief” by Granger E. Westberg, Kulinski said. “I’d recommend looking to see what feels right to you. Read descriptions and see what speaks to you.”

• Employee Assistance Programs.“Many employers offer (a program) which often provides a set number of free counseling sessions, usually to everyone in the household of the employee,” she said. “Check with the Human Resources department.”

• Therapy. “A therapist can help with moving through the grief process,” Kulinski said. “Certainly, searching through your insurance would work. But I would encourage people to look up the therapist and read about them online (on sites like www.psychologytoday.com, www.theravive.com and www.networktherapy.com) prior to choosing one. Finding a therapist who is a good fit for you is crucial to success in therapy.”

• Hospices. They “often host support groups for people experiencing a loss,” Kulinski said.

• Faith. “Reach out to your spiritual leader,” she said. “They can be a great source of support and comfort.”

• Crisis services. “If you need someone to talk to immediately or if you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, please reach out,” Kulinski said. Call the Colorado Crisis line at 844-493-8255, or go online to www.ColoradoCrisisServices.org.

• Self-care. Kulinski defines self care as seeking professional therapy, taking a walk, or allowing yourself space to cry and grieve. “Self-care is crucial during difficult times,” she said. “What recharges you? What helps? It is also, important to take care of ourselves if we want to be there for others.

“We can’t give what we don’t have,” Kulinski said, “so make sure to recharge yourself if you hope to be there to comfort others,.”

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