Grief Therapists in San Francisco, CA

Photo of Christine Tomasello | Therapy For Highly Sensitive People, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Christine Tomasello | Therapy For Highly Sensitive People
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94110  (Online Only)
If you’re a sensitive person who’s grieving a major loss, getting over a breakup or divorce, adjusting to a major life transition, or coping with ongoing relationship issues, please reach out… you deserve to feel supported in whatever struggles you’re facing.
DAYTIME & EVENING appointments available. I am a sensitivity expert who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People, empaths, and other sensitive types. My work helps individuals move past painful emotions like shame, low self-esteem, and self-judgment to cultivate self-compassion, learn how to honor their needs in relationships, and discover the gifts that lie within their sensitivity. I also specialize in grief and loss, major life transitions, and therapy for fellow therapists, and am passionate about supporting people who are struggling in the tender intersection between sensitivity and grief.
If you’re a sensitive person who’s grieving a major loss, getting over a breakup or divorce, adjusting to a major life transition, or coping with ongoing relationship issues, please reach out… you deserve to feel supported in whatever struggles you’re facing.
DAYTIME & EVENING appointments available. I am a sensitivity expert who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People, empaths, and other sensitive types. My work helps individuals move past painful emotions like shame, low self-esteem, and self-judgment to cultivate self-compassion, learn how to honor their needs in relationships, and discover the gifts that lie within their sensitivity. I also specialize in grief and loss, major life transitions, and therapy for fellow therapists, and am passionate about supporting people who are struggling in the tender intersection between sensitivity and grief.
(707) 402-1593 View (707) 402-1593
Photo of Valerie True, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Valerie True
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94109
Valerie True, LCSW, working with adults 18 and older, focuses on life transitions, chronic and new medical diagnoses, grief and loss, caregiver issues, aging-related issues, work-related issues, stress, depression, and the growing pains of life. My approach is client-based, through talk and exercises we will work together to find the path that helps you gain insight and develop skills to support your goals.
Valerie True, LCSW, working with adults 18 and older, focuses on life transitions, chronic and new medical diagnoses, grief and loss, caregiver issues, aging-related issues, work-related issues, stress, depression, and the growing pains of life. My approach is client-based, through talk and exercises we will work together to find the path that helps you gain insight and develop skills to support your goals.
(415) 849-4986 View (415) 849-4986
Photo of Andrea Bass, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Andrea Bass
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT, ATR-BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94118
I have also been a hospice bereavement counselor and provide consultation and trainings in various settings.
Making positive changes in our lives is not always easy. It takes courage and strength to reach out for support during challenging times. In our healing journey together, connection to our emotions, our body (somatic mindfulness), our creativity and our life force brings deeper relationships with others leading to a greater connection to ourselves. If we have experienced trauma we can find new ways to self-regulate and build resilience. We can learn to love and accept all the different parts of who we are. I feel honored to accompany you on this journey while providing skillful guidance, attunement and resources along the way.
I have also been a hospice bereavement counselor and provide consultation and trainings in various settings.
Making positive changes in our lives is not always easy. It takes courage and strength to reach out for support during challenging times. In our healing journey together, connection to our emotions, our body (somatic mindfulness), our creativity and our life force brings deeper relationships with others leading to a greater connection to ourselves. If we have experienced trauma we can find new ways to self-regulate and build resilience. We can learn to love and accept all the different parts of who we are. I feel honored to accompany you on this journey while providing skillful guidance, attunement and resources along the way.
(415) 877-1964 View (415) 877-1964
Photo of Cecilie Herring, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Cecilie Herring
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94118
I specialize in working with pre and postnatal moms, supporting parents as they navigate and adjust to parenthood, strengthening the parent-child connection, grief surrounding the loss of a loved one, coping with a chronic illness and/or pain, and working with the challenges of anxiety and depression.
I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist offering psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, and children. My training focuses on helping my clients improve their relationships with themselves and others, navigate life transitions, and heal from traumatic experiences. My overall approach seeks to provide a warm, trusting, nonjudgemental relationship in which you are deeply listened to and can safely and freely discuss your challenges, concerns, and vulnerabilities.
I specialize in working with pre and postnatal moms, supporting parents as they navigate and adjust to parenthood, strengthening the parent-child connection, grief surrounding the loss of a loved one, coping with a chronic illness and/or pain, and working with the challenges of anxiety and depression.
I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist offering psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, and children. My training focuses on helping my clients improve their relationships with themselves and others, navigate life transitions, and heal from traumatic experiences. My overall approach seeks to provide a warm, trusting, nonjudgemental relationship in which you are deeply listened to and can safely and freely discuss your challenges, concerns, and vulnerabilities.
(415) 517-9319 View (415) 517-9319
Photo of Pam Miller, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Pam Miller
Marriage & Family Therapist, MFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94117
I work well with individuals going through life transitions, in love, work, identity, grief, parenting, infertility. Psychotherapy is not one size fits all, but a relationship finely tailored to each individual(s). Your needs determine the approach I take. I have over 30 years of experience and a wide variety of approaches to choose from. My main tools are good listening, and a strong belief people can learn from their past and current experiences, if they have the support to face themselves honestly. No one is too old to learn new strategies to make life more fulfilling.
I work well with individuals going through life transitions, in love, work, identity, grief, parenting, infertility. Psychotherapy is not one size fits all, but a relationship finely tailored to each individual(s). Your needs determine the approach I take. I have over 30 years of experience and a wide variety of approaches to choose from. My main tools are good listening, and a strong belief people can learn from their past and current experiences, if they have the support to face themselves honestly. No one is too old to learn new strategies to make life more fulfilling.
(415) 766-9030 View (415) 766-9030
Photo of Domonique Casper Shaw, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
Domonique Casper Shaw
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94109
I specialize in treating grief, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, and trauma.
What season of your personal and/or love life are you in? Are you in spring- full of hope and anticipation, summer- relaxed and enjoying life, fall- grappling with uncertainty, or winter- discouraged and disconnected? Unresolved or unaddressed grief and conflict can rob us of the ability to live life fully. Have you experienced disconnection in your relationship, breakup, divorce, loss of a loved one, health decline/medical issues, aging; or change associated with a move, new job, or COVID that is causing stress, anxiety, or depression? I can help you find inner peace while weathering the storm.
I specialize in treating grief, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, and trauma.
What season of your personal and/or love life are you in? Are you in spring- full of hope and anticipation, summer- relaxed and enjoying life, fall- grappling with uncertainty, or winter- discouraged and disconnected? Unresolved or unaddressed grief and conflict can rob us of the ability to live life fully. Have you experienced disconnection in your relationship, breakup, divorce, loss of a loved one, health decline/medical issues, aging; or change associated with a move, new job, or COVID that is causing stress, anxiety, or depression? I can help you find inner peace while weathering the storm.
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Photo of Jennifer Chance, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Jennifer Chance
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT
Verified Verified
7 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94122  (Online Only)
Some specific areas of interest are all issues related to fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and postpartum transitions, grief, and working with Highly Sensitive People.
Starting therapy is a tremendous gesture of hope and self-love. It can also be scary or daunting to know where to begin. Whatever is bringing you to therapy right now- a break up, a loss, the overwhelm of being highly sensitive, the gut wrenching challenges of fertility struggles, the anticipation and transitions of pregnancy- will be explored with openness, curiosity and acceptance. We all struggle in life and are not meant to do it alone. Things really do get easier when we share what is hard with others.
Some specific areas of interest are all issues related to fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and postpartum transitions, grief, and working with Highly Sensitive People.
Starting therapy is a tremendous gesture of hope and self-love. It can also be scary or daunting to know where to begin. Whatever is bringing you to therapy right now- a break up, a loss, the overwhelm of being highly sensitive, the gut wrenching challenges of fertility struggles, the anticipation and transitions of pregnancy- will be explored with openness, curiosity and acceptance. We all struggle in life and are not meant to do it alone. Things really do get easier when we share what is hard with others.
(415) 687-3567 View (415) 687-3567
Photo of Jennifer Roy @ The Connective, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Jennifer Roy @ The Connective
Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, AMFT
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94102
I work with individuals and couples who are struggling with such things as a major life transition, trauma, difficult relationship dynamics, illness, grief and loss, climate change anxiety, or isolation. Together we can reach your goals of building upon the resilience you have and adjusting any beliefs and patterns of behavior that are causing you distress in order to help you learn how to better navigate the challenges of life.
I work with individuals and couples who are struggling with such things as a major life transition, trauma, difficult relationship dynamics, illness, grief and loss, climate change anxiety, or isolation. Together we can reach your goals of building upon the resilience you have and adjusting any beliefs and patterns of behavior that are causing you distress in order to help you learn how to better navigate the challenges of life.
(628) 345-2767 View (628) 345-2767
Photo of Alexandra Berkman, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in San Francisco, CA
Alexandra Berkman
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, MA, AMFT, RYT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94118
Together, we will explore what parts of your human experience you have kept hidden away, possibly due to shame, fear, anxiety, grief, or the uncertainty of how to transcend and transform old habits.
Hello! I am a psychotherapist practicing in the Bay Area, who specializes in working with adolescents and adults. I specialize in working with anxiety, grief, and relational and systemic trauma. At the root of my work is supporting clients in connecting with their own intuition and nurturing their relationship to self. My hope is to support you in straying grounded in yourself through transitions and to build sufficient self-support to make real, lasting changes. I believe making time to get curious about your experiences in therapy may help life feel better.
Together, we will explore what parts of your human experience you have kept hidden away, possibly due to shame, fear, anxiety, grief, or the uncertainty of how to transcend and transform old habits.
Hello! I am a psychotherapist practicing in the Bay Area, who specializes in working with adolescents and adults. I specialize in working with anxiety, grief, and relational and systemic trauma. At the root of my work is supporting clients in connecting with their own intuition and nurturing their relationship to self. My hope is to support you in straying grounded in yourself through transitions and to build sufficient self-support to make real, lasting changes. I believe making time to get curious about your experiences in therapy may help life feel better.
(415) 886-0506 View (415) 886-0506
Photo of Brie Pierquet, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Brie Pierquet
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, EMDR-T
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94123
I have over 100 hours of specific training in responder culture and mental health in addition to over 10 years of experience in trauma and grief.
The average person will experience 3-5 traumatic events in their life. The average first responder will experience 188 in their career. We live in a society that has normalized “suck it up” as a coping strategy and that doesn’t work. Are you a first responder (law enforcement , fire, EMS, dispatch)? Is the job itself and/or organizational stress feeling heavier than it once did? Are you noticing changes in yourself that you don’t understand or need help with? Post-traumatic stress injuries are extremely common in first responders and they are treatable. Let’s talk.
I have over 100 hours of specific training in responder culture and mental health in addition to over 10 years of experience in trauma and grief.
The average person will experience 3-5 traumatic events in their life. The average first responder will experience 188 in their career. We live in a society that has normalized “suck it up” as a coping strategy and that doesn’t work. Are you a first responder (law enforcement , fire, EMS, dispatch)? Is the job itself and/or organizational stress feeling heavier than it once did? Are you noticing changes in yourself that you don’t understand or need help with? Post-traumatic stress injuries are extremely common in first responders and they are treatable. Let’s talk.
(415) 792-1818 View (415) 792-1818
Photo of Penn Barbosa, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
Penn Barbosa
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94123
I also treat those who are grieving a major loss in their lives.
The goal of therapy is for you be happy in your love and work. At the heart of it, therapy is about increasing your capacity to alleviate your suffering; feel more connected with yourself and others; expand and enrich yourself; recognize what you want; and recognize the internal and external forces that keep you from getting what you want. These are powerful antidotes to anxiety and depression.
I also treat those who are grieving a major loss in their lives.
The goal of therapy is for you be happy in your love and work. At the heart of it, therapy is about increasing your capacity to alleviate your suffering; feel more connected with yourself and others; expand and enrich yourself; recognize what you want; and recognize the internal and external forces that keep you from getting what you want. These are powerful antidotes to anxiety and depression.
(415) 992-6047 View (415) 992-6047
Photo of Melodie Del Rio, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Melodie Del Rio
Marriage & Family Therapist, MFT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94122
I work with adults (individual and couple's therapy), children, and adolescents. Special interests include: life transitions, relationship problems, loss and grief (including pregnancy loss), stress and anxiety, depression, parenting concerns, children/ adolescents and identity.
I work with adults (individual and couple's therapy), children, and adolescents. Special interests include: life transitions, relationship problems, loss and grief (including pregnancy loss), stress and anxiety, depression, parenting concerns, children/ adolescents and identity.
(415) 390-5620 View (415) 390-5620
Photo of Karen Briceno, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Karen Briceno
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94118
I am versed in working with adults, ages 18-50 who are experiencing an Adjustment period, Trauma- Related symptoms, Grief/Loss, Depression, and/or Anxiety.
Hello, my name is Karen Briceno and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 10 years of experience. My therapeutic approach is Trauma Informed, Client-Centered, Holistic, and Strength-based. My training includes but is not limited to the following evidence base practices: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Seeking Safety. My approach will include creating an environment where you can be open about your ideas and experiences without judgment. I will be genuine in my interactions with you.
I am versed in working with adults, ages 18-50 who are experiencing an Adjustment period, Trauma- Related symptoms, Grief/Loss, Depression, and/or Anxiety.
Hello, my name is Karen Briceno and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 10 years of experience. My therapeutic approach is Trauma Informed, Client-Centered, Holistic, and Strength-based. My training includes but is not limited to the following evidence base practices: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Seeking Safety. My approach will include creating an environment where you can be open about your ideas and experiences without judgment. I will be genuine in my interactions with you.
(415) 877-9659 View (415) 877-9659
Photo of Loryn Hicks, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Loryn Hicks
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94117  (Online Only)
I offer warmth and love created by a safe and welcoming environment. I have a passion for working with those who have been told they are “too much”. From working with teens and families to those struggling through trauma or grief, I am here. I work with intersectionality and identity, cultural explorations and difficulties, as well as difference and sensitivity. I have worked extensively with those with eating struggles. I have worked in restorative justice and enjoy working with the formerly incarcerated, Please ask me anything
I offer warmth and love created by a safe and welcoming environment. I have a passion for working with those who have been told they are “too much”. From working with teens and families to those struggling through trauma or grief, I am here. I work with intersectionality and identity, cultural explorations and difficulties, as well as difference and sensitivity. I have worked extensively with those with eating struggles. I have worked in restorative justice and enjoy working with the formerly incarcerated, Please ask me anything
(415) 831-7691 View (415) 831-7691
Photo of Nate Hinerman, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Nate Hinerman
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, MFT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94118
Hinerman's research and treatment approaches often intermingle philosophical and psychological approaches to topics such as human suffering, dying, loss, grief, depression, and anxiety.
Nate Hinerman, PhD, LMFT, is Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Golden Gate University, San Francisco, where he is also a tenured Professor of Psychology, as well as the Chair of the Psychology Department. He is also on the faculty at the University of San Francisco, teaching in the Nursing School, and in the Religious Studies Department. He serves as Chair of the San Francisco End of Life Network, a community-based support and education group for hospice and palliative care professionals and patients, now in its 23rd year (www.sfeol.org).
Hinerman's research and treatment approaches often intermingle philosophical and psychological approaches to topics such as human suffering, dying, loss, grief, depression, and anxiety.
Nate Hinerman, PhD, LMFT, is Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Golden Gate University, San Francisco, where he is also a tenured Professor of Psychology, as well as the Chair of the Psychology Department. He is also on the faculty at the University of San Francisco, teaching in the Nursing School, and in the Religious Studies Department. He serves as Chair of the San Francisco End of Life Network, a community-based support and education group for hospice and palliative care professionals and patients, now in its 23rd year (www.sfeol.org).
(628) 215-8084 View (628) 215-8084
Photo of Patrick J. Norton, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
Patrick J. Norton
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94102
As a seasoned depth psychologist formally trained in exploring the depths of being human, I will work collaboratively with you to get to the root of what ails you. I find cultivating an affirming, caring stance allows an individual to move more readily towards healing and the resolution of problems and difficulties. Consequently, you can be the person you want to be thereby realizing greater personal agency and generating more successful relationships. The heart and soul of my practice involves working with chronic shame, gender and sexuality issues, life transitions, grief, loss, trauma, dissociated self-states, self exploration.
As a seasoned depth psychologist formally trained in exploring the depths of being human, I will work collaboratively with you to get to the root of what ails you. I find cultivating an affirming, caring stance allows an individual to move more readily towards healing and the resolution of problems and difficulties. Consequently, you can be the person you want to be thereby realizing greater personal agency and generating more successful relationships. The heart and soul of my practice involves working with chronic shame, gender and sexuality issues, life transitions, grief, loss, trauma, dissociated self-states, self exploration.
(415) 697-2988 View (415) 697-2988
Photo of Esther Ehrensaft, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
Esther Ehrensaft
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94123
I have a particular expertise in attachment issues, and specialize in helping to resolve early trauma and grief in adults and children.
Most people seek out a psychologist when they have truly done their best to resolve their difficulties on their own. When you can't see your own emotional blind spots, feeling stuck and distressed can ripple through many areas of your life. Perhaps this is your first time seeking out a therapist, or perhaps you are returning to psychotherapy for a fresh perspective. As a psychologist with over 17 years of experience, I have a seasoned understanding of what leads people to hit roadblocks in their lives, in areas including work, school, marriage, parenting, family, and intimate relationships.
I have a particular expertise in attachment issues, and specialize in helping to resolve early trauma and grief in adults and children.
Most people seek out a psychologist when they have truly done their best to resolve their difficulties on their own. When you can't see your own emotional blind spots, feeling stuck and distressed can ripple through many areas of your life. Perhaps this is your first time seeking out a therapist, or perhaps you are returning to psychotherapy for a fresh perspective. As a psychologist with over 17 years of experience, I have a seasoned understanding of what leads people to hit roadblocks in their lives, in areas including work, school, marriage, parenting, family, and intimate relationships.
(415) 578-7673 View (415) 578-7673
Photo of Stephanie Yuen, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Stephanie Yuen
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT
Verified Verified
9 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94115
I specialize in working with individuals, couples, teens and families who are navigating the stages of grief and loss, processing unresolved childhood traumas, or those seeking guidance through personal growth and transformation.
Are you feeling more overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious and/or isolated than usual? Are you feeling less motivated? Are you feeling less connected? Are your typical coping strategies not working for you? I’m here to offer a safe space and to support you during this time. Together, we shall explore the wisdom of the mind, body & spirit connection to find new ways to cope, heal and flourish. I am passionate about your mental well being.
I specialize in working with individuals, couples, teens and families who are navigating the stages of grief and loss, processing unresolved childhood traumas, or those seeking guidance through personal growth and transformation.
Are you feeling more overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious and/or isolated than usual? Are you feeling less motivated? Are you feeling less connected? Are your typical coping strategies not working for you? I’m here to offer a safe space and to support you during this time. Together, we shall explore the wisdom of the mind, body & spirit connection to find new ways to cope, heal and flourish. I am passionate about your mental well being.
(415) 663-5907 View (415) 663-5907
Photo of Tessa Sugarbaker MD MFT, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Tessa Sugarbaker MD MFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
Verified Verified
6 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94121  (Online Only)
With regards to grief and trauma work, I have extensive experience working with individuals who have experienced a pregnancy loss from an abortion, termination for fetal diagnosis, selective reduction (and those anticipating such decisions), miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, or other causes.
I offer you an empathetic, direct, and practical presence in your journey towards healing. After becoming a physician (I am a licensed Obstetrician Gynecologist), I discovered another calling of mine is working with people and their emotions. As a therapist who is also a physician, I bring knowledge and wisdom of medicine, the body, and the mind-body connection. With this background, I offer you a unique, experienced, and well-rounded therapist. (For safety reasons, I am currently only offering online therapy sessions.)
With regards to grief and trauma work, I have extensive experience working with individuals who have experienced a pregnancy loss from an abortion, termination for fetal diagnosis, selective reduction (and those anticipating such decisions), miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, or other causes.
I offer you an empathetic, direct, and practical presence in your journey towards healing. After becoming a physician (I am a licensed Obstetrician Gynecologist), I discovered another calling of mine is working with people and their emotions. As a therapist who is also a physician, I bring knowledge and wisdom of medicine, the body, and the mind-body connection. With this background, I offer you a unique, experienced, and well-rounded therapist. (For safety reasons, I am currently only offering online therapy sessions.)
(415) 326-7726 View (415) 326-7726
Photo of Kimberly Koljat, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Kimberly Koljat
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, IMFT-S, RPT-S, RDT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94131
I'm a certified grief professional through Megan Devine's grief work perspective.
Looking for the right fit in therapy is everything, & I gladly meet my clients where they are & help them move towards the change they want to see in their lives. I provide insight-oriented therapy to those who want to work on how they show up in relationship, looking at behavioral patterns and unpacking how we can change the scripts that influence how you interact with others. I help those navigating the world as a Highly Sensitive Person or with neurodivergence, and are interested in therapy for the betterment of their relationship to self and others. I specialize in working with grieving clients navigating life altering change.
I'm a certified grief professional through Megan Devine's grief work perspective.
Looking for the right fit in therapy is everything, & I gladly meet my clients where they are & help them move towards the change they want to see in their lives. I provide insight-oriented therapy to those who want to work on how they show up in relationship, looking at behavioral patterns and unpacking how we can change the scripts that influence how you interact with others. I help those navigating the world as a Highly Sensitive Person or with neurodivergence, and are interested in therapy for the betterment of their relationship to self and others. I specialize in working with grieving clients navigating life altering change.
(216) 238-6815 View (216) 238-6815

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Grief Therapists

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.