Grief Support Groups in Des Moines, IA

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Photo of Emberly J. Lashley, Counselor in Des Moines, IA
Grief and Loss
Counselor, MS, NCC, LMHC
"This group provides information and support from others who have experienced the loss of a loved one. You will be encouraged to share your loss and process your experience while learning about what to expect during and after you have ..."
(515) 303-3516
Group meets in:
Clive, IA 50325

Grief Support Groups

How long does therapy take for grief?

There is no exact timeline for grief counseling. Some people may start to feel better after just a few sessions, while others may take months or longer to feel relief. Some specific approaches, including some types of CBT, may involve a set number of sessions, or therapy may be open-ended until the patient determines they are ready to wrap up. Just as there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is no right or wrong way to seek therapy for grief.

When should you seek therapy for grief?

Many people mistakenly believe that their grief needs to be debilitating or all-encompassing to warrant therapy. This is not the case. While people who experience severe, prolonged grief—particularly those who are considering self-harm or engaging in unhealthy substance use—are especially likely to benefit from therapy, so too are people whose grief is less intense but still interfering with well-being or daily functioning. In practice, almost anyone struggling to process a loss could benefit from grief counseling.

Can grief be managed without therapy?

Oftentimes, yes. Grief is a near-universal part of being human, and many find that their grief, while profound, does not stop them from participating in day-to-day life and steadily eases over time without outside help. For others, however, the harsh pain of early grief persists for months or years or leaves them unable to function. This group is especially likely to benefit from seeing a therapist, who can guide them through their grief and help them reconnect with the world.

What happens if grief is left untreated?

Because grief does not in itself necessitate therapy, untreated grief will often resolve on its own. However, for some people—particularly those who would qualify for a diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder—untreated grief can be a source of seemingly endless pain or lead them to withdraw from the world. In such cases, treatment can be indispensable, as it can help an individual adapt to the loss and start living again.

What is the difference between Group Therapy and a Support Group?
Des Moines Support Groups and Group Therapy both offer a safe place to explore important issues. It is important, however, to understand the difference between the two.

Group therapy in Des Moines is led by a therapist, group psychotherapist, or group counselor, and is generally structured around an issue. The therapist guides the group through a program as the group works together to better understand thoughts and feelings. Experienced therapists lead psychotherapy groups for various ages, such as adults, and specific issues including anger management, anxiety, and coping skills.

Support groups in Des Moines are usually facilitated by a therapist or counselor, but can also be led by members with lived experiences. Generally, a support group is less structured than a therapy group. Support groups bring together members to provide support and strength to each other, often around a common challenge such as addiction or grief.

Most therapy groups will meet for a fixed length of time with a consistent group of members, while many support groups meet for an indefinite period of time with members coming and going.