Grief Therapists in Portland, OR

Photo of Tamara Webb, MA, LPC, LMHC, CMHC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Tamara Webb
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LMHC, CMHC
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97212
Grief, ambiguous loss, trauma and end-of-life concerns are the heart of my work.
I provide holistic psychotherapy to help clients in Oregon, Washington and Utah explore, understand and address diverse challenges in life, helping clients become empowered stewards of their own well-being. I integrate common psychotherapy approaches, including cognitive, narrative and expressive-creative therapies, with holistic approaches based in the traditions underlying yoga, Buddhism and other Eastern philosophical practices. My goal is to help clients achieve health, balance and harmony, and to embrace life.
Grief, ambiguous loss, trauma and end-of-life concerns are the heart of my work.
I provide holistic psychotherapy to help clients in Oregon, Washington and Utah explore, understand and address diverse challenges in life, helping clients become empowered stewards of their own well-being. I integrate common psychotherapy approaches, including cognitive, narrative and expressive-creative therapies, with holistic approaches based in the traditions underlying yoga, Buddhism and other Eastern philosophical practices. My goal is to help clients achieve health, balance and harmony, and to embrace life.
(971) 248-3981 View (971) 248-3981
Photo of Megan Elizabeth Irving, LPC, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor
Megan Elizabeth Irving
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, MA
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97201  (Online Only)
I have extensive experience working with grief and loss, complex relationships, self-esteem building, and body image issues.
If you are thinking about starting therapy, you've already taken the first step toward making a beneficial change. I work with individuals to help them take positive steps toward leading more fulfilling lives. When you are ready to examine your life in a safe, supportive environment, I invite you to get in touch with me. Together we'll take a look at your past in order to understand how you got to where you are presently and work to make changes that will enhance your life.
I have extensive experience working with grief and loss, complex relationships, self-esteem building, and body image issues.
If you are thinking about starting therapy, you've already taken the first step toward making a beneficial change. I work with individuals to help them take positive steps toward leading more fulfilling lives. When you are ready to examine your life in a safe, supportive environment, I invite you to get in touch with me. Together we'll take a look at your past in order to understand how you got to where you are presently and work to make changes that will enhance your life.
(503) 451-6185 View (503) 451-6185
Photo of Sally Foster Rudolph, LCAT, ART-BC, Art Therapist
Sally Foster Rudolph
Art Therapist, LCAT, ART-BC
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97206
Do you seek emotional healing, spiritual transformation, or support through your grief? Perhaps you feel stuck in sadness, anger or anxiety, and need a way to express yourself and integrate your experiences. Perhaps you have lost a loved one, or your health, or a job, or an important relationship. Maybe the past is not allowing you to move forward. As a therapist, I strive to provide an accepting, genuine, creative, and hands-on way to process confusion, loss and trauma. I offer individual therapy, as well as grief groups.
Do you seek emotional healing, spiritual transformation, or support through your grief? Perhaps you feel stuck in sadness, anger or anxiety, and need a way to express yourself and integrate your experiences. Perhaps you have lost a loved one, or your health, or a job, or an important relationship. Maybe the past is not allowing you to move forward. As a therapist, I strive to provide an accepting, genuine, creative, and hands-on way to process confusion, loss and trauma. I offer individual therapy, as well as grief groups.
(503) 832-5061 View (503) 832-5061
Photo of Catherine Chapman, MS, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Catherine Chapman
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, NCC
Verified Verified
6 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97212
Waitlist for new clients
It is easy, and normal, to get stuck based on ongoing pain caused by trauma and grief.
I entered the mental health field based on my own life-changing experience when I went through therapy to address the impact of childhood traumas.  With the help of my counselors my life transformed from hopeless and stuck to empowered and whole.  I had no idea this kind of transformation was even possible.  Now, it is my turn to give back and walk alongside those who choose the difficult path of recovery.  I won't have your answers since your story and personality are unique.  What I do have is familiarity with the path, faith in your ability to find your answers, and professional experience guiding individuals toward wholeness.
It is easy, and normal, to get stuck based on ongoing pain caused by trauma and grief.
I entered the mental health field based on my own life-changing experience when I went through therapy to address the impact of childhood traumas.  With the help of my counselors my life transformed from hopeless and stuck to empowered and whole.  I had no idea this kind of transformation was even possible.  Now, it is my turn to give back and walk alongside those who choose the difficult path of recovery.  I won't have your answers since your story and personality are unique.  What I do have is familiarity with the path, faith in your ability to find your answers, and professional experience guiding individuals toward wholeness.
(971) 247-9974 View (971) 247-9974
Photo of Karen St Clair, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Karen St Clair
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97214
Not accepting new clients
Please consider working with me if you are experiencing any of the following: adjustment to life changes, complicated grief and loss, anxiety or depression, life stage transitions, maintaining healthy recovery habits, relationship distress and management, and trauma survival.
Given that you are reading this, you may be experiencing stress and feeling distress. As you take this courageous step toward solving a problem, consider the following: as your therapist, I strive to support you in being your authentic self in the context of a complex and multifaceted world. You are your own expert; I want to work with that expert. You care about balance and harmony; I offer you professional therapeutic services that consider all your permutations - physical, emotions, mind, and spiritual. Together, we can find clarity in understanding while building emotional strength and flexibility.
Please consider working with me if you are experiencing any of the following: adjustment to life changes, complicated grief and loss, anxiety or depression, life stage transitions, maintaining healthy recovery habits, relationship distress and management, and trauma survival.
Given that you are reading this, you may be experiencing stress and feeling distress. As you take this courageous step toward solving a problem, consider the following: as your therapist, I strive to support you in being your authentic self in the context of a complex and multifaceted world. You are your own expert; I want to work with that expert. You care about balance and harmony; I offer you professional therapeutic services that consider all your permutations - physical, emotions, mind, and spiritual. Together, we can find clarity in understanding while building emotional strength and flexibility.
(503) 489-9426 View (503) 489-9426
Photo of Tara Palansky, MA, LMFT, LPCC, Marriage & Family Therapist
Tara Palansky
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, LPCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97221  (Online Only)
I have worked extensively in all aspects of mental and emotional challenges with a specialty in life’s most profound loss: death and dying.
"Only when we are brave enough to explore darkness will we discover infinite power of our light - B.B". Through a healthier understanding of our patterns and past we will gain the ultimate goal of therapy: unconditional self-acceptance. I create a safe and respectful space for us to explore ways to reduce your suffering, while creating alignment and joy in yourself and your relationships. I continue to be inspired by the work and the progress I see my clients make every day. My goal is to empower my clients and provide them with the support and tools they need to move forward, feeling more insightful, intentional, and fulfilled.
I have worked extensively in all aspects of mental and emotional challenges with a specialty in life’s most profound loss: death and dying.
"Only when we are brave enough to explore darkness will we discover infinite power of our light - B.B". Through a healthier understanding of our patterns and past we will gain the ultimate goal of therapy: unconditional self-acceptance. I create a safe and respectful space for us to explore ways to reduce your suffering, while creating alignment and joy in yourself and your relationships. I continue to be inspired by the work and the progress I see my clients make every day. My goal is to empower my clients and provide them with the support and tools they need to move forward, feeling more insightful, intentional, and fulfilled.
(503) 907-9900 View (503) 907-9900
Photo of Terra Midgett Clark, LPC, NCC, MS, Licensed Professional Counselor
Terra Midgett Clark
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, NCC, MS
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97205
I specialize in working with people experiencing depression, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, perfectionism, people pleasing, grief and loss, life changes, trauma, low self worth, self-criticism, communication, identifying needs and boundary issues.
I believe in the strength and resilience of people. Facing the parts of us that are scared, in pain, angry or that we are ashamed of is hard work and it is rewarding work. We have the opportunity to ​increase self-awareness, understand and accept patterns, and learn new skills and ways of engaging in the world. I prioritize building a genuine, empathetic, safe relationship. I want you to experience me as an authentic person in the room. I find this is the essential key to progress. As a therapist, I ground my work in Internal Family Systems Theory and Person-Centered Theory.
I specialize in working with people experiencing depression, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, perfectionism, people pleasing, grief and loss, life changes, trauma, low self worth, self-criticism, communication, identifying needs and boundary issues.
I believe in the strength and resilience of people. Facing the parts of us that are scared, in pain, angry or that we are ashamed of is hard work and it is rewarding work. We have the opportunity to ​increase self-awareness, understand and accept patterns, and learn new skills and ways of engaging in the world. I prioritize building a genuine, empathetic, safe relationship. I want you to experience me as an authentic person in the room. I find this is the essential key to progress. As a therapist, I ground my work in Internal Family Systems Theory and Person-Centered Theory.
(844) 510-0314 View (844) 510-0314
Photo of Aletha Eastwood, LPC, CHT, Licensed Professional Counselor
Aletha Eastwood
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, CHT
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97217
Hi, I am glad you are here. Whether you are looking for relief from anxiety or depression, or navigating grief, trauma, a challenging relationship, or other difficult life circumstances, it is so good that you are seeking support. Having support is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself to heal. In working together, I endeavor to meet you where you are with warmth, acceptance, and respect to create a healing relationship with you that provides a safe space to move towards new experiences of trust, belonging, and authentic fulfillment.
Hi, I am glad you are here. Whether you are looking for relief from anxiety or depression, or navigating grief, trauma, a challenging relationship, or other difficult life circumstances, it is so good that you are seeking support. Having support is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself to heal. In working together, I endeavor to meet you where you are with warmth, acceptance, and respect to create a healing relationship with you that provides a safe space to move towards new experiences of trust, belonging, and authentic fulfillment.
(503) 664-9727 View (503) 664-9727
Photo of Heather Mitchell, LPC, LMHC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Heather Mitchell
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, LMHC
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97202
Waitlist for new clients
Heather is a compassionate guide who listens deeply and accepts you where you’re at. She helps you explore your strengths and limitations within a safe context where your thoughts and emotions can be felt, communicated, and understood. Heather is experienced in working with clients struggling with depression, grief and loss, trauma, anxiety, relationship stress, and personal growth/exploration. She is specialized in helping women who have experienced infertility or loss due to miscarriage & is an Enneagram expert.
Heather is a compassionate guide who listens deeply and accepts you where you’re at. She helps you explore your strengths and limitations within a safe context where your thoughts and emotions can be felt, communicated, and understood. Heather is experienced in working with clients struggling with depression, grief and loss, trauma, anxiety, relationship stress, and personal growth/exploration. She is specialized in helping women who have experienced infertility or loss due to miscarriage & is an Enneagram expert.
(503) 741-2593 View (503) 741-2593
Photo of Jennie Hayes, MS, NCC, LPC, Intern, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jennie Hayes
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, NCC, LPC, Intern
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97205
Not accepting new clients
I work with couples, individuals and teens ages 13 and up who are facing challenges like: job stress, creative blocks, relationship struggles, self esteem, depression, anger, anxiety, gender identity, spirituality, sexuality, major life transitions, and grief and loss.
I think counseling is always useful, even when there's nothing "wrong." We get a lot of chances to go, go, go but not a lot to slow down and reflect. Usually it takes some crisis of feeling or relationship to tell us it's time. I see those crises as opportunities, doorways to deeper understanding. And because we're not fixed individuals, they come and go as we change and grow.
I work with couples, individuals and teens ages 13 and up who are facing challenges like: job stress, creative blocks, relationship struggles, self esteem, depression, anger, anxiety, gender identity, spirituality, sexuality, major life transitions, and grief and loss.
I think counseling is always useful, even when there's nothing "wrong." We get a lot of chances to go, go, go but not a lot to slow down and reflect. Usually it takes some crisis of feeling or relationship to tell us it's time. I see those crises as opportunities, doorways to deeper understanding. And because we're not fixed individuals, they come and go as we change and grow.
(971) 273-5297 View (971) 273-5297
Photo of Dr. Claire Boyer, PsyD, Psychologist
Dr. Claire Boyer
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97202
Waitlist for new clients
I work with individuals and couples navigating unforeseen or difficult life circumstances. If you're struggling to process or adapt to a loss, medical condition, transition or stressor, you're in the right place. I aim to not only understand and support you, but challenge and empower you to examine the deeper parts of your experience that may feel daunting. Doing so can help rebuild a sense of identity, connection and purpose in the wake of hardship.
I work with individuals and couples navigating unforeseen or difficult life circumstances. If you're struggling to process or adapt to a loss, medical condition, transition or stressor, you're in the right place. I aim to not only understand and support you, but challenge and empower you to examine the deeper parts of your experience that may feel daunting. Doing so can help rebuild a sense of identity, connection and purpose in the wake of hardship.
View
Photo of Jonathan Clarke, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jonathan Clarke
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97214  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Hi there! Im Jonathan! If you are looking for therapy that includes aspects of mindfulness, wellness, self-discovery and learning about your strengths, values and resilience, I can help! My approach to counseling is client-centered and involves a collaborative process between client and counselor. I use evidence based techniques to help you in your journey so that together we can come up with goals and utilize interventions that will help you to grow. Come see me for Grief & Loss, trauma, parenting, addiction, boundary setting, personal growth and self esteem. I'm here to support you!
Hi there! Im Jonathan! If you are looking for therapy that includes aspects of mindfulness, wellness, self-discovery and learning about your strengths, values and resilience, I can help! My approach to counseling is client-centered and involves a collaborative process between client and counselor. I use evidence based techniques to help you in your journey so that together we can come up with goals and utilize interventions that will help you to grow. Come see me for Grief & Loss, trauma, parenting, addiction, boundary setting, personal growth and self esteem. I'm here to support you!
(503) 676-5480 View (503) 676-5480
Photo of Melissa Soll, PhD, Psychologist
Melissa Soll
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97202
Not accepting new clients
I treat individuals with anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use disorders, and medical/terminal diagnoses and I have particular interest/expertise in working with individuals/couples who present with: * Relationship difficulties * Intimacy concerns * Grief (including anticipatory grief, pregnancy loss, death of child) * Professional burnout and/or trauma at work (e.
It is challenging to thrive in any aspect of our lives when there is conflict in our most important relationships. Our relationships provide a stable base from which we can explore and succeed in the world. My mission is to create a warm and compassionate environment and use the latest evidence-based practices to foster greater self-awareness and growth in individuals/couples with richly diverse backgrounds. Together we will clarify your values/goals and work toward the change you want for your life or relationship.
I treat individuals with anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use disorders, and medical/terminal diagnoses and I have particular interest/expertise in working with individuals/couples who present with: * Relationship difficulties * Intimacy concerns * Grief (including anticipatory grief, pregnancy loss, death of child) * Professional burnout and/or trauma at work (e.
It is challenging to thrive in any aspect of our lives when there is conflict in our most important relationships. Our relationships provide a stable base from which we can explore and succeed in the world. My mission is to create a warm and compassionate environment and use the latest evidence-based practices to foster greater self-awareness and growth in individuals/couples with richly diverse backgrounds. Together we will clarify your values/goals and work toward the change you want for your life or relationship.
(503) 563-7523 View (503) 563-7523
Photo of Kathy Zimmerman, MA, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Kathy Zimmerman
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97230
Not accepting new clients
Working with those who struggle in the areas of relationship, self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Often times this is the result of some type of unprocessed life event or trauma that may include dysfunctional families, sex abuse, abandonment, grief, loss, shame, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Bipolar Disorder,or other disorders. My purpose as a counselor is to provide a safe place where together we will explore your conscious and unconscious awareness. I believe this may provide insight into the areas of life where you may be having difficulty. Let me help you find happiness and overall well being. -Kathy
Working with those who struggle in the areas of relationship, self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Often times this is the result of some type of unprocessed life event or trauma that may include dysfunctional families, sex abuse, abandonment, grief, loss, shame, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Bipolar Disorder,or other disorders. My purpose as a counselor is to provide a safe place where together we will explore your conscious and unconscious awareness. I believe this may provide insight into the areas of life where you may be having difficulty. Let me help you find happiness and overall well being. -Kathy
(855) 979-8941 View (855) 979-8941
Photo of Ryan Zakovics, MA, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Ryan Zakovics
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC
Verified Verified
8 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97214
We all can benefit from the support therapy offers from time to time. Some reasons people come to me: they may feel stuck in some area of their life; feel confused about who they are or where their life is heading; find that they have trouble showing up fully in relationships or lose themselves in relationships; struggle with feeling okay within themselves; have experienced a loss, and need someplace safe to grieve; feel lost, alone, and not in control of their life; are having difficulty reaching goals; or want to feel more joy, connection, and love in their life.
We all can benefit from the support therapy offers from time to time. Some reasons people come to me: they may feel stuck in some area of their life; feel confused about who they are or where their life is heading; find that they have trouble showing up fully in relationships or lose themselves in relationships; struggle with feeling okay within themselves; have experienced a loss, and need someplace safe to grieve; feel lost, alone, and not in control of their life; are having difficulty reaching goals; or want to feel more joy, connection, and love in their life.
(503) 382-8943 View (503) 382-8943
Photo of Clinton T Johnson, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Clinton T Johnson
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97202
My clients often come into therapy feeling some version of stuck: whether in a relationship, a perspective, or a pattern of behavior. My psychodynamic training has taught me it’s important to understand why this stuckness is happening, but how we manage our thoughts and feelings is equally important, so I like to use a blend of therapeutic modalities to tailor my approach to each client. I also love working with new and expecting fathers. It's common to experience a complex flood of emotions including anger, grief, and fear, and I find there is often great need for support during this significant phase of life transition.
My clients often come into therapy feeling some version of stuck: whether in a relationship, a perspective, or a pattern of behavior. My psychodynamic training has taught me it’s important to understand why this stuckness is happening, but how we manage our thoughts and feelings is equally important, so I like to use a blend of therapeutic modalities to tailor my approach to each client. I also love working with new and expecting fathers. It's common to experience a complex flood of emotions including anger, grief, and fear, and I find there is often great need for support during this significant phase of life transition.
(310) 363-0689 View (310) 363-0689
Photo of David W Singer, MSW, LCSW, LICSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
David W Singer
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, LICSW
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97206  (Online Only)
Portland, Oregon based Mental Health Clinician with nearly 20 years experience providing mental health counseling, crisis assessments/intervention, and supervision for licensure. Licensed in both Oregon and Washington. Specializing in grief, loss, depression, anxiety, LGBTQ issues, and adjusting to new medical diagnoses. Experienced in providing assessments for emotional support animals and pet loss grief support. Certified Mindfullness-Based Stress Reduction Counselor and Trained in Animal Assisted Interventions. Approved to provide Clinical Supervision towards licensure in Oregon.
Portland, Oregon based Mental Health Clinician with nearly 20 years experience providing mental health counseling, crisis assessments/intervention, and supervision for licensure. Licensed in both Oregon and Washington. Specializing in grief, loss, depression, anxiety, LGBTQ issues, and adjusting to new medical diagnoses. Experienced in providing assessments for emotional support animals and pet loss grief support. Certified Mindfullness-Based Stress Reduction Counselor and Trained in Animal Assisted Interventions. Approved to provide Clinical Supervision towards licensure in Oregon.
(971) 290-1453 View (971) 290-1453
Photo of Freeland Shreve, Pre-Licensed Professional
Freeland Shreve
Pre-Licensed Professional
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97221
Waitlist for new clients
Sorry, my schedule is full until 10/24. My approach is based on the belief that we all have the power to heal and find meaning, yet sometimes we need help doing it. I welcome clients who are struggling with anxiety, stress, or daily challenges and specialize in grief, end-of-life anxiety, and psychedelic integration. Together we will create a supportive, non-judgmental, and collaborative space for this work, emphasizing transparency and trust. I agree with Alan Watts: “When you’re freed from being out to improve yourself, your own nature will begin to take over.” We’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve been given.
Sorry, my schedule is full until 10/24. My approach is based on the belief that we all have the power to heal and find meaning, yet sometimes we need help doing it. I welcome clients who are struggling with anxiety, stress, or daily challenges and specialize in grief, end-of-life anxiety, and psychedelic integration. Together we will create a supportive, non-judgmental, and collaborative space for this work, emphasizing transparency and trust. I agree with Alan Watts: “When you’re freed from being out to improve yourself, your own nature will begin to take over.” We’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve been given.
(503) 486-7898 View (503) 486-7898
Photo of Samantha Yugler, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Samantha Yugler
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
Portland, OR 97214  (Online Only)
Not accepting new clients
I work collaboratively with individuals and couples to make significant shifts that result in long-lasting, increased life fulfillment. I have extensive experience working with issues such as: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, grief and loss, trauma and substance abuse and recovery. I strive to ensure that my clients are clear about what they are learning and gaining from psychotherapy. This includes the identification of supportive tools and coping skills that continue to aid clients after the completion of therapy.
I work collaboratively with individuals and couples to make significant shifts that result in long-lasting, increased life fulfillment. I have extensive experience working with issues such as: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, grief and loss, trauma and substance abuse and recovery. I strive to ensure that my clients are clear about what they are learning and gaining from psychotherapy. This includes the identification of supportive tools and coping skills that continue to aid clients after the completion of therapy.
(510) 900-8678 View (510) 900-8678
Photo of Celeste Hiiaka Stensvad, MA, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Celeste Hiiaka Stensvad
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Portland, OR 97202  (Online Only)
Not accepting new clients
It may be the loss of a loved one, unwanted repetitive patterns in relationships, or that incessant feeling of being exhausted and overwhelmed by it all that brings someone into counseling. As uncomfortable as it may seem, choosing the courageous dive into the therapeutic process allows for genuine insight and healing. My work with clients offers a few moments to pause, look at the possibly outdated stories we tell ourselves, and give room to shift perspective.
It may be the loss of a loved one, unwanted repetitive patterns in relationships, or that incessant feeling of being exhausted and overwhelmed by it all that brings someone into counseling. As uncomfortable as it may seem, choosing the courageous dive into the therapeutic process allows for genuine insight and healing. My work with clients offers a few moments to pause, look at the possibly outdated stories we tell ourselves, and give room to shift perspective.
(503) 451-6071 View (503) 451-6071
1
...
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.