Clarity Counseling Seattle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Grief Counseling

How can we help you?

Of course you have questions! This is a good thing – questions mean that you are invested in the process. We've collected some commonly asked questions here for you to look through:

Grief Counseling

We completely understand this request. The reason why we're careful not to start someone with one of our therapists without first establishing a weekly or biweekly time slot that works for both you and the therapist is that there are very few openings in our schedules. So if we don't reserve one of those few available time slots for you right now then most likely the weekly or biweekly spot that's available now will be claimed by someone else by the time you've first met with the therapist.

Most times, the people who start with our therapists decide to work with them on an ongoing basis, so we want to avoid a scenario where you get started with a therapist, decide to work with them, but then find that they have no available time slot in their schedule that works with your own. In the past, we've had moments at the end of a first session that go something like this:

Client: "You're great, I can't wait to work with you! Let's get it in the books!"

Therapist: "Wonderful, well I'm excited to work with you too! So the spots I currently have available are every other Tuesday at 2pm and every Thursday at 9am...which would you like?" 

Client"Oh shoot, neither of those work for me."

So we need to first make sure that your availability and the availability of the therapist align, which means deciding on which weekly or biweekly time slot you'll be claiming.

It's worth noting that you're not signing a contract with us, so you can end therapy at any time. We just need to first make sure you have a weekly or biweekly day & time reserved for you before moving forward, which is why our intake coordinator will discuss with you during an initial intake call which time slot you'd like to sign up for, should you wish to continue working with your therapist on an ongoing basis after your initial session.

Given that telehealth is a great option, absolutely! So many of the people we've helped since Covid hit have been in locations that are often hours away from our Seattle office, allowing a great number of clients to receive needed services. Our therapy license does not extend outside of Washington State but it does allow us to help anyone within the state if they are open to using the telehealth approach, which has worked wonderfully for hundreds of couples and individuals over the past few years.

Typically people attend therapy for a number of months. How long you stay in therapy is completely up to you, as you're not signing a contract with us, but usually people find that they need to be in therapy longer than they initially thought they would have. And it's rare that people get what they need from therapy from just a few sessions, so if you do start with us then we encourage you to do so with the understanding that therapy is a process that takes a while.

The therapists in this practice work very hard in sessions to get you in and out of a course of therapy as soon as possible, but for most people it usually takes a while. People and relationships are complex!

When we hear of grief counseling or grief therapy, we often assume that this service is for the bigger losses in life, such as the death of someone we love or the death of a pet. But it's important to know that people are often grieving losses, even on a daily basis, of things that may not register as "grief and loss."

Why Might I Need Grief Therapy?

In addition to the loss of a loved one, examples of grief and loss can include:

  • Changing jobs or careers, even if a positive change
  • Loss of hopes and dreams for the future that can't be realized
  • Choices our children make that conflict with our wishes for them
  • The independence, freedom, and opportunity we had before having children
  • A child leaving the home
  • A social system such as a church or the company you work for failing to live up to its promises to protect or support you
  • Any change in living conditions, even if positive
  • A shift in the status of a friendship or family relationship
  • Changes in residence, schools, or recreation
  • A sense of security about your safety after a traumatic event
  • Loss of meaningful objects or belongings

We encourage you to think of grief as experiences that we all will go through at times and be aware that often the distress we feel in response to something changing in our lives is actually the manifestation of our natural grieving process. Too often, we misunderstand the source of our difficult emotions, leading to unnecessary confusion and further distress. 

Grief therapy can help us to learn how to recognize what is happening with us and then know what to do with that sense of loss so that we can effectively move through the emotions in healthy ways. Being able to navigate the many ways in which we grieve losses is perhaps one of the most useful life skills a person can have.

Grief Counseling in Seattle, WA

If you'd like help with your grief, please read about the grief counselor in our group, Hanna Kokko, on her Grief Counseling page, and reach out to her if you'd like. 

What we know about therapy is that it simply can't meet your goals if therapy sessions don't occur at least every 2 weeks, so nearly all therapists everywhere will require that sessions have a frequency of either weekly or every other week to start.

You're very welcome to scale back your frequency later on but we always need to start treatment on a weekly or biweekly basis. People we work with have access to our online calendars, so at some point in therapy some folx decide to give up their weekly or biweekly time slot and instead start using our online calendar to book appointments at a frequency of their choosing.

Thank goodness for great friends! And family, and community members, and whoever else in your life helps you to deal with, well, life.

But these wonderful people can't be expected to know how to properly navigate their own grieving process, let alone help guide you through yours. Seattle grief therapists like Hanna Kokko are specifically trained, skilled, and experienced in knowing how to assist someone in the midst of their grief in ways that others simply wouldn't know how to do. By the same token, friends and family can do things for a grieving person that a therapist is unable to. We all have our roles in how we help each other through some of the tougher things about being human, and it's nice to be able to reach out to a professional whose who career is geared toward helping with this particular challenge.

If you or someone you know needs more than amazing friends for help with their grief, we encourage you to reach out to a grief counselor for that help.

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