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Old 11-09-2017, 11:12 AM
 
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I'm just curious. Currently trying to help my boyfriend deal with the traumatic loss of his brother which happened about a month and a half ago. I have suggested counseling but he is extremely against it. I'm worried he won't be able to get through this without professional help. But i started to wonder how many people manage to get through on their own with support from friends and family compared to how many seek out professional help. Does anyone know?

If there are any other suggestions on how i can help him through this, please feel free to respond with that as well. Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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I know of no statistics. I would suspect that the percentage who actively seek counseling is relatively small. My wife was a psychotherapist and licensed professional counselor. I don't remember her mentioning anyone approaching her for grief counseling, although later fallout from family issues and deaths was grist for the mill.

Guys are often very scared to show weakness of any kind, or deal with the emotions that may come with showing weakness. It is part of the culture.

There are various books - I'll leave it to others to suggest ones that have helped them. That way he can learn and try to work through some of it privately. He has to go through his process, whatever it is. All you can do is be there as a support.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:51 AM
 
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I never had counseling when my loved ones died. I'm sure it would be nice for some people to have a counselor to talk to about their loss, but I think most people just talk to their family and friends instead, which can be very helpful. Since your boyfriend is extremely against counseling, I wouldn't try to force the issue. Just be there, listen to him when he wants to talk about it, be a shoulder to lean on when necessary.

Grief is something that takes time, more than anything else.
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:04 PM
 
1,314 posts, read 663,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I know of no statistics. I would suspect that the percentage who actively seek counseling is relatively small. My wife was a psychotherapist and licensed professional counselor. I don't remember her mentioning anyone approaching her for grief counseling, although later fallout from family issues and deaths was grist for the mill.

Guys are often very scared to show weakness of any kind, or deal with the emotions that may come with showing weakness. It is part of the culture.

There are various books - I'll leave it to others to suggest ones that have helped them. That way he can learn and try to work through some of it privately. He has to go through his process, whatever it is. All you can do is be there as a support.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
I never had counseling when my loved ones died. I'm sure it would be nice for some people to have a counselor to talk to about their loss, but I think most people just talk to their family and friends instead, which can be very helpful. Since your boyfriend is extremely against counseling, I wouldn't try to force the issue. Just be there, listen to him when he wants to talk about it, be a shoulder to lean on when necessary.

Grief is something that takes time, more than anything else.


Thank you for the responses. i will definitely NOT push it then. I suggested it once, offered to go with him if he wanted me to, and i will leave it at that.

A book may be a better route.

... and the bolded is so sad and so true. Wish it weren't the case.
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:29 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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I would say no, but so much depends on the individual's ability to understand their grief and the circumstances.

Some examples:

Someone who has been through grieving before may have unfortunate "experience" with it.
Someone who has received counseling for some other personal issue may have learned a lot about how THEIR mind processes things and be more emotionally aware.

It might also depend on the relationship they had with the deceased loved one, or just how the loved one died.

If the loved one had been very ill for a long time they may have had a chance to say their goodbyes, tie up loose ends, and be at peace with everything. Their grief may be less keen than for someone they lost without warning.

If there was some guilt involved....they feel they should have done something differently with this person and possibly prevented something from happening. I feel this is a big one for many people. At some point they have to "admit" to some sense of wrongdoing (whether its true or perceived), and that makes it harder. No one wants to feel that they caused something bad to happen.

As said above, there's that whole stigma about asking for help versus toughing it out.

You can be the best support by letting him talk....helping him figure some of this stuff out. If he ends up "stuck" and can't move forward after a lot of effort and time, maybe he'll be open to getting some help. That's what it really is....help to work out a problem. It doesn't mean someone is weak, stupid, or helpless, they are just "stuck" over something. Everyone gets stuck sometimes. Another thing to keep in mind that its sometimes harder for someone to talk about this with a relative or someone they are close to because that person isn't impartial. An unbiased impartial "stranger" can make the difference.

Another thing YOU can do is do some reading about grief yourself so you know what's going on and some more helpful ways to assist.

Last edited by Parnassia; 11-09-2017 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:53 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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I joined a church-based grief group about a year after my wife died. Most of the other participants were experiencing a more recent loss and they were not happy to see me. They were looking for a magic cure to be done with the grieving process in a couple months. Maybe that works for some but it is the exception if the loss was a very close friend or relative. Just the conversation and sharing was helpful to me but not the churchy curriculum. Everyone grieves differently which is very apparent in a group setting. One-on-one counselling might be needed if someone is experiencing pathological grief that is threatening their health. I think most people struggle through on their own for better or worse.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:47 PM
 
1,314 posts, read 663,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
I would say no, but so much depends on the individual's ability to understand their grief and the circumstances.

Some examples:

Someone who has been through grieving before may have unfortunate "experience" with it.
Someone who has received counseling for some other personal issue may have learned a lot about how THEIR mind processes things and be more emotionally aware.

It might also depend on the relationship they had with the deceased loved one, or just how the loved one died.

If the loved one had been very ill for a long time they may have had a chance to say their goodbyes, tie up loose ends, and be at peace with everything. Their grief may be less keen than for someone they lost without warning.

If there was some guilt involved....they feel they should have done something differently with this person and possibly prevented something from happening. I feel this is a big one for many people. At some point they have to "admit" to some sense of wrongdoing (whether its true or perceived), and that makes it harder. No one wants to feel that they caused something bad to happen.

As said above, there's that whole stigma about asking for help versus toughing it out.

You can be the best support by letting him talk....helping him figure some of this stuff out. If he ends up "stuck" and can't move forward after a lot of effort and time, maybe he'll be open to getting some help. That's what it really is....help to work out a problem. It doesn't mean someone is weak, stupid, or helpless, they are just "stuck" over something. Everyone gets stuck sometimes. Another thing to keep in mind that its sometimes harder for someone to talk about this with a relative or someone they are close to because that person isn't impartial. An unbiased impartial "stranger" can make the difference.

Another thing YOU can do is do some reading about grief yourself so you know what's going on and some more helpful ways to assist.
Right, i agree about everything you said - different circumstances call for different measures. This was a car accident unfortunately at the age of 26, so definitely not prepared for it. Perhaps it's even too soon to say he needs professional help. it has only been a month and a half so i wouldn't say he's "stuck" yet. he is still processing. Not sure if it has even fully sunk it yet. I guess i just thought it would be good to be proactive about it - but again, that's what i would do, and not necessarily what he should do.

I have been trying to research different things about grief yet i'm still left with nothing helpful to say to him. I hope just being there means enough but sometimes i feel like it doesn't.
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Old 11-09-2017, 03:21 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
Right, i agree about everything you said - different circumstances call for different measures. This was a car accident unfortunately at the age of 26, so definitely not prepared for it. Perhaps it's even too soon to say he needs professional help. it has only been a month and a half so i wouldn't say he's "stuck" yet. he is still processing. Not sure if it has even fully sunk it yet. I guess i just thought it would be good to be proactive about it - but again, that's what i would do, and not necessarily what he should do.

I have been trying to research different things about grief yet i'm still left with nothing helpful to say to him. I hope just being there means enough but sometimes i feel like it doesn't.
I'm sure he appreciates whatever you can give. So, look at it as something you two learn about together. I don't think you need to push either way...just be a sounding board, someone who hears what he has to say, and lets him say it (even if its not verbal).
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Old 11-09-2017, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
. I hope just being there means enough but sometimes i feel like it doesn't.
There really isn't anything else you *can* do other than be there for him...you can't bring the dead back to life, you can't erase his pain, you can't stop grief from running its course.

Try not to think that you aren't doing enough, don't think you should be able to perform miracles, don't feel guilty because you can't stop his pain. Being there for him is really all you can do.
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Old 11-09-2017, 04:19 PM
 
4,850 posts, read 2,149,409 times
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Support groups do work. It's usually moderated by a person versed in guiding the group. For folks not wishing to go the church way...The local mental health chapter does group meet ups..With varying speakers. If he's not a talker..Sometimes just getting some tips on how to move thru the phases can help. I'm so sorry for this sudden loss...He will definitely need your support even if it's to say...Go ahead...Be angry,because it's truly not fair!
I don't gender group grief...I just know that white knuckling it is not the answer..
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