What are the Different Methods of Grief Management?

Tara Barnett

Grief management is any strategy used by a person in order to mitigate the destructive effects of grieving on his or her life. As grieving is a highly personal process, there are many different methods of grief management. Most methods involve ordered processing of the event that is causing grief, and many involve communication with a non-grieving party for support and guidance. A person might seek help with grief management through mental health professionals, religion, or support groups. It is often noted that there is no correct way to grieve, but over time people have developed a diverse set of strategies that help different groups of humans overcome grief effectively.

Counseling may help with grief.
Counseling may help with grief.

When mental health professionals guide grief management, the process may involve talking through the grief, discussing emotions that coincide with grief, and perhaps even taking medication to help the grieving person regain stability. Psychiatrists in particular are frequently called upon to help with grief management. This is usually an effective method because professionals have significant amounts of training that allow them to suggest strategies that might be effective given one's personal psychological makeup.

Getting professional help may be necessary for a person to manage his or her grief.
Getting professional help may be necessary for a person to manage his or her grief.

Religious grief management often involves similar steps within a religious vocabulary. Emphasis may be placed on trusting in a higher power or accepting that the event that has caused grief was meant to happen. As grief is usually associated with loss and death, religion is a particularly appropriate place to seek grief counseling. Religion may offer answers to problems other disciplines must continue to question, such as whether people have souls.

Religious leaders may provide grief counseling.
Religious leaders may provide grief counseling.

Friends can be one of the best sources for help during grieving because they cannot only listen and talk through the grief process but also manage aspects of one's life that might otherwise spin out of control. Grieving people sometimes do not have the composure to go to work or school, pay bills, or take care of themselves. Mitigating the effects of grief means not allowing one's life to degrade while one mourns a loss. Friends can help keep everything in order while one regains composure.

Loved ones can assist by providing comfort to the individual who is grieving.
Loved ones can assist by providing comfort to the individual who is grieving.

There are more personal ways of dealing with grief. Some people find that art or writing helps. Others simply read books on the subject and find relief. The precise method used for management is less important than achieving results.

Grieving does not continue for years, although a person can be affected by loss for her entire life.
Grieving does not continue for years, although a person can be affected by loss for her entire life.

All methods of dealing with grief can be effective, but the most important part of grief management is attaining closure. Grieving is not a process that can continue for years, although a person can be affected by loss for his or her entire life. For a person to live a happy and productive life, grieving must at some point become completed, and acceptance must set in. Any method of grief management that brings a grieving human being to closure should be considered effective.

Spiritual guidance may provide comfort during times of grief.
Spiritual guidance may provide comfort during times of grief.
Friends can be one of the best sources for help during grieving.
Friends can be one of the best sources for help during grieving.
People often rely on family members to help them manage grief.
People often rely on family members to help them manage grief.

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Discussion Comments

LizReszke

My 18 year old brother tragically passed away on Halloween. He had asphyxiated himself in the bath tub, passed out and drowned. My mom, dad and I found him, while my sister (now 20) was at a friends Halloween party and only saw him being carried away in a stretcher. Removing him from the bath tub was extremely hard as his clothes were soaked in water. My mom was a nurse, and I knew how to do CPR and mouth to mouth, so we tried to revive him, but had no luck.

We are still in very severe shock and are grieving very heavily. We still don't know why this had to happen to us, but it did. I'm 21, almost 22, so as the oldest sibling, I feel like I need to be the strongest in sad times, but I've been so devastated, that I dropped out of school for the remainder of the semester and haven't returned to work.

I'm not sure how my family, especially my mom and myself, will get through this. It was such a tragic, devastating and shocking thing to happen.

RIP Matthew; 08/04/1995 - 10/31/13

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