Getting Counseling Help For Grief


Editor’s note: This article was originally written in 2018 for Jesse Was Here. It may have been edited for length and clarity. Sensitive Topic Warning: This article mentions suicide contemplation. Contemplating suicide is a serious matter. If you are struggling or contemplating suicide, please reach out to your healthcare team or emergency services.

The grief that follows the death of a loved one is one of the most painful things a human can experience. The range of emotions and the way in which we process loss is unique to every individual. Grief is a normal human experience when you lose something or someone you care about. 

People grieve in all kinds of ways. One of the ways you can support someone who is grieving is to ask: What can I do to help you feel supported?

While there are many different forms of grief counseling—group or individual, online or in-person—it may be helpful to talk to a licensed therapist in order to process your feelings.

A grief counselor can walk you through the grieving process and give you tools for coping and managing your day-to-day in this difficult time. A trained therapist may also help you recognize and treat other mental health issues that frequently occur with grief such as depression and anxiety.

If you think you or someone you know might be contemplating suicide, reach out for additional help at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling or texting 9-8-8 (United States).

In-person counseling

You can find licensed therapists in a number of ways. If you have insurance, you can call your health insurance provider or use the patient portal to see who is covered by your plan and what your costs for services may be. 

Whether you have insurance or not, you can search online for professional resources such as The American Psychological Association and The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

You can also ask friends for their recommendations. Some people find going through their spiritual communities helpful. Asking if there are spiritual leaders who are licensed to provide therapy and/or if there are spiritual organizations that provide therapy may be helpful to you. 

If you do not have insurance, university counseling centers often offer low-cost psychotherapy. You can call the university’s psychology or counseling department and ask about any clinics they may have, as well as county health and human services agencies.

Online counseling

If you are not comfortable with or having trouble getting counseling in-person, one option is to sign up for online counseling. You can get access to a certified therapist to help, sometimes even at any hour of the day. 

Since the COVID-10 pandemic, there are more options available for virtual counseling such as Amwell, BetterHelp, Ginger, Faithful Counseling, Pride Counseling, ReGain, Talkspace and Teen Counseling.

With any online counseling, carefully research the credentials of the people you are talking with, the online agency’s privacy policies and the costs. Learn more about online therapy for boys and men and the different types of therapy available.  

Find a community

Whether it’s religious, spiritual, local or online, finding a community during grief is extremely important. Of course this is something you don’t have to do immediately but can find when you are ready. Organizations like Compassionate Friends and Grief Share are great places. 

You can also join the community at Beyond Type 1 or Jesse Was Here

Know you’re not alone.

WRITTEN BY Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team, POSTED 07/31/23, UPDATED 07/31/23

This piece was written for the original Jesse Was Here site and recently transferred to the BT1 website.