Supporting a Loved One Through Bereavement Therapy

The loss of a close one can feel like a devastation from which there is no recovery. Turning to drugs, alcohol or other self-destructive behaviors only prolongs the grieving process, which can be healing. Residential treatment programmes including bereavement therapy can help the mourning process find completion while enabling self-care rather than self-destructive behaviors.


  • Listen to the many stories about the loved one who has been lost: Whether you knew the loved one who has been lost or not, your personal relationship with the loved one, or your idea of the loved one, will not compare to the individual who is in bereavement therapy after loss. We can never fully know and understand the depth of the way two other people connect, despite our connections with one or both of them. It is important to listen to all of the stories which describe who the loved one was to your friend in treatment for coping with bereavement. Listening to their stories, you validate their experience of devastation in loss by acknowledging how important the lost loved one is, not was.

  • Support their beliefs about what happens after death: It will never be your place to interrupt the grieving process of another person by interjecting your religious or spiritual beliefs. During grief, the beliefs people have about what happens after death can sometimes change to fit their needs for grieving. You might experience them describing supernatural visits, communications with their lost loved one, or other instances which might seem odd to you. Support your friend with what they need in order to get through the process. Only a therapist should decide if their attachments are problematic.

  • Encourage them to stay in treatment because grief is a process: Grief and loss move through different phases which are in chronic rotation. After a period of debilitating anger and depression they might find a phase of acceptance and peace. Feeling better, they might be inspired to leave treatment. Since the phases of grief are ongoing, it is likely they will fall into challenging times again soon. Encourage your friend to stay in treatment in order to fully heal and be able to thrive in their life again.

  • Learn the stages of grief and loss: Elisabeth Kubler Ross famously designated the five stages of grief and loss as: denial, depression, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. These stages don’t come in any particular order and can be going until the mourning process is complete. Learning about the stages of grief and loss will help you best support your friend as they shift through them and continue to heal.


Smarmore Castle Private Clinic is a residential treatment programme open to all in need of healing and restoration. Our approach to treatment is diverse, aiding patients in their spiritual growth as they achieve optimum health in mind, body, and spirit. Using the proven Castle Craig model, our programme has high levels of success in recovery. Call to speak with one of our caring staff members today for more information about how Smarmore Castle can help you find peace. +353 41 214 5111.

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Smarmore Castle has the facilities and staff to help you regain control of your life, request a call-back from one of our professionals today. The choice you make today could change your life forever.

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