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Grief & Bereavement

At some point, every person experiences grief. Most often, people associate grief with the death of a loved one, but it can be the response to any type of major loss. Although grief itself is universal, every person reacts to it differently — some may withdraw, cry, become angry or feel disconnected. While grief is an emotional response, it also has implications that are physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, spiritual and more.  

If you or someone you love is struggling with feelings of grief or bereavement, help is available. Your therapist can help you cope with the grief or loss associated with a variety situations, including but not limited to:


Death of a loved one


Death of a pet


Loss of a job


Miscarriage / pregnancy loss


Loss of an intimate relationship


Loss of health (ie. diagnosis of a chronic condition)


Loss of relationships with friends or family


Separation, divorce or related change in family


Loss of social connection


Academic or schooling loss


Loss of rituals or routines


Loss of a support system

Types of Grief & Loss

There are various types of grief and someone may experience more than one when dealing with loss.

Anticipatory grief

Feeling grief before loss actually occurs, such as when a loved one has a terminal condition.


Common grief

Carrying on daily life despite feeling pain, numb or other emotions under the surface. In this case, feelings of grief may come in bursts.

Complicated grief

When the pain is so overwhelming that it drastically impedes a person’s ability to live their daily life. It can be characterized by irrational thoughts, avoidance behaviour, etc. If left untreated, it can lead to self-harm or clinical depression.

Delayed grief

For some individuals, the feelings of grief may not occur right after a loss. Instead, it can grow stronger or become harder to cope with over time. This is more common with job loss, ongoing health issues, or caregivers.

Disenfranchised grief

This is hidden grief or sorrow that is more common after losing a pet, non-family member, or even a measure of health. It’s less likely to be socially validated, which can leave the griever feeling more alone.

Inhibited grief

When the individual turns their attention to something else to avoid facing or processing the feelings of grief. This can sometimes lead to delayed grief.

Absent grief

This is similar to inhibited grief, yet on a more extreme level. It’s a form of complicated grief where the individual may carry on as if the loss hasn’t occurred. This denial can lead to an emotional breakdown either weeks, months, or years later.

Exaggerated grief

This can result from multiple losses over a short period or simultaneously. Similar to complicated grief, the person’s ability to function doesn’t improve and can in turn lead to depression.

Working with a Grief & Loss Therapist

You may have heard of the various stages of grief. Identified by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, they include: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. More recently David Kessler, her co-author, adding a sixth stage: meaning. Someone may move through the stages in any order or return to a previous stage as they go through their healing journey. A therapist can guide you through the process of grieving, as well as practicing acceptance around your experience. Contact us today to begin your path to moving forward.

FAQs – Grief, Loss & Bereavement

How do I know when to start grief and bereavement therapy?

This is a personal choice. If you’re open to therapy, it can help you navigate this tough time. There is no necessary severity you need to surpass before seeking out therapy or counselling. In truth, therapy can help almost anyone — particularly when your day-to-day life is impacted, such as after a loss. At Bhatia Psychology Group, we are here for you during this difficult time.

What are the 5 stages of grief?

The 5 stages of grief are as follows:

Does grief therapy work?

Since grief therapy can offer a safe space for you to talk about your feelings, many individuals find it helps them process the death of a loved one. In fact, those who seek out grief counselling find that it can help reduce mental health symptoms and the risk of developing long-term depression.

What is the difference between grief and bereavement?

Grief is the response you have to any type of loss. Meanwhile, bereavement is grief associated with the death of a loved one.

What is talked about in grief and bereavement therapy?

Typically, grief and bereavement sessions focus on helping you navigate through your feelings. This often means working through sadness, addressing any guilt, and establishing coping mechanisms to help you move forward. You will work one-on-one with your therapist to understand your feelings and process them over time.

How long does it take to stop grieving?

There is no set time limit — everyone is different. Some individuals may find they begin to feel better after six to eight weeks. Yet, the entire grieving process may last from six months to a few years.

How do I find a grief and bereavement therapist?

The Bhatia Psychology Group in Richmond Hill, Ontario has experienced therapists trained in grief and bereavement. We can help you process your feelings and emotions during this difficult time and help you take healthy steps forward. Call us at 905-508-1130 to book your appointment today.

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Richmond Hill

9640 Bayview Ave #4
Richmond Hill, ON
L4C 9P7


105-11500 29th Street SE
Calgary, Alberta
T2Z 3W9

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