Children express grief and loss in a variety of ways and they need to know that it’s okay to talk about pain and loss. While you can’t protect your kids from grief and loss, you can help them process their feelings and build healthy coping skills. Grief counseling can help your child learn to deal with grief and loss in a healthy way.
Licensed psychologist Philip Glickman, Psy.D, and the team of psychotherapists and counselors at Wellness Road Psychology understand how overwhelming and distressing grief and loss can be to a child. Grief helps children heal from their pain and build the coping skills necessary to handle loss and recover without long-term emotional problems.
Children who struggle to manage their grief are at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, and behavioral problems. Grief counseling will help your child make sense of their loss.
How grief counseling helps children cope with the loss
Children have difficulty processing loss. Young children often have trouble understanding the permeance of death. Older children may become fearful of losing someone else they love. They may feel angry, confused, or have a hard time understanding and expressing their emotions. This is where grief counseling is valuable.
Grief counseling validates children’s feelings so that they know their feelings are important and that what they’re feeling is normal and okay. Your child will feel heard and accepted and will have a safe place to express themselves. This alone helps to calm your child’s fears and concerns.
A mental health professional can help your child process complex emotions and learn how to honor their loss. Additionally, grief counseling serves as a support for parents and caregivers of grieving children.
Grief counseling to meet your child’s needs
Grief counseling is highly individualized to meet the needs of each child. Every child expresses grief and loss in their own way. Grief counseling for younger children may involve engaging in activities that help them process their feelings, while therapy for older children is often geared toward talking about their emotions and the things they’re experiencing. At Wellness Road Psychology, individual and family therapy is available and our counselors use proven approaches to help children and families navigate grief and loss.
Signs your child can benefit from grief counseling
Every child who experiences grief or loss can benefit from grief counseling. There’s no need to wait to see how well your child can handle things before seeking the help of a licensed mental health professional.
Experiencing a significant loss can have a major impact on your child’s development. It’s beneficial to have the expertise of a mental health professional skilled in bereavement to help your child adjust and cope with loss.
Certainly, if you notice warning signs, it’s wise to contact a grief counselor. Here are some common signs that your child may need grief counseling:
- Change in personality
- Change in mood
- Lack of interest in once enjoyed activities
- Dreams about death
- The decline in academic performance
- Fear of loss
- Social isolation
Children often look to adults to learn how to deal with grief and loss. It’s important that you keep the lines of conversation open.
Grieving children need ongoing support so they can express their feelings and work through the loss. To learn more about grief counseling contact us at Wellness Road Psychology to schedule an appointment with Dr. Glickman. We have offices in NYC and Dobbs Ferry. You can book your request online also. We offer in-person, online, and phone therapy sessions.