Can you trace some of your drug or alcohol abuse to a loss in your life? In rehab, grief and loss counseling is a vital component of clinical care. What is loss? More importantly, how can learning how to deal with it help you to overcome an addiction?

Defining Loss

Sad person on bed in dark at rehab could use grief and loss counselingMost people considering grief and loss counseling think of death. The death of a loved one or close friend is most certainly a significant loss. But there are other grief-causing events as well. Consider the loss of a job or profession.

Having an employer lay you off after you spent considerable time building a career is difficult. For men, in particular, it’s hard to bounce back. Many equate a professional position with a validation of their masculinity. Then there’s the loss of a way of life.

Maybe you’re a parent whose teenagers are leaving the nest. They move out on their own, get married, or enter college. It’s a difficult transition for parents. Frequently, mothers have the hardest time with letting go.

By the way, did you know that losing an addiction could also cause grief? It sounds completely counterproductive, but it’s true. You come to miss the rituals and the predictability that drug abuse provides. Dealing with all types of losses is necessary for relapse prevention.

How Therapists Incorporate Grief and Loss Counseling in Rehab

Is There a Therapy Session Named Grief and Loss Counseling? Beaches Recovery therapists might put together a process group that helps you build coping skills for recovery. However, treatment goes far deeper. It includes multiple modalities such as:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy, which enables you to deal with strong emotions in situations you’re powerless to change
  • Family therapy that encourages loved ones to come in and work through losses together with you
  • One-on-one relationship counseling in cases of codependency and role definition in relationships
  • Dual diagnosis treatment for program participants with depression, anxiety, or other underlying mental health issues
  • Life skills training that emphasizes coping skills as well as the development of a can-do attitude

Letting Go of a Thought Model That Doesn’t Work

Everyone’s familiar with the stages of grief. However, this thought model doesn’t work for everyone. Those who spiral into substance abuse after a loss don’t need to hear that they’re not grieving correctly. They don’t need to have someone tell them what stage of grief they should be in.

Instead, therapists see beyond this thought model. Although it works for some, many more can’t find themselves in this orderly progression of emotions. They feel alone in a sea of grief that they accept some days and feel intense anger over on others. Dealing with this understanding in rehab is possible.

Choose a residential stay with an option for extended care. It allows you to immerse yourself in a therapeutic environment. Undergo grief and loss counseling during the various sessions. Move to transitional living to ensure that you continue counseling while also remaining sober.

Apply life skills that you learn. For example, staying busy won’t work for most. It only enables the sadness to intrude when you’re alone. Instead, working through it with a therapist and attending 12 Step meetings can make a positive difference.

A Word on Mindfulness Training

Meditation and mindfulness-based treatment help you to learn how to be in touch with your feelings. It trains you to deal with intrusive thoughts and unwelcome emotions. At the same time, it enables you to move on with the relaxation of your mind and body. Therefore, you no longer feel the urge to use drugs or alcohol to quiet these emotions.

For many people in recovery, this step is vital. It offers some protection against relapse. It also enables you to deal with your grief. You learn that you don’t have to push it away.

Getting the Help You Need Today

Therapists at Beaches Recovery understand the essential nature of grief and loss counseling in rehab. Don’t try to go it alone. Caring addiction specialists want to help you overcome substance abuse and deal with your grief. Call 866.605.0532 today to connect with an admissions specialist.