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Integrative approach to grief therapy

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At Frontline Counseling Center, we strive to normalize grief as a common occurrence that most of us experience in some way during our lifetime. It is an experience that you do not have to navigate alone. Society has taught us that we should “get over” grief within a given amount of time, largely believed to be in under one year, and that we naturally know how to do so. However, at Frontline Counseling Center, we understand that grief is an immensely unique experience for all.

At Frontline Counseling Center, we believe that grieving individuals do not need to be “fixed” but instead can benefit from the validation of their experiences and the learning of tools that can assist them on their person grief journey. We can thrive even while we

What is Grief and How Do We Experience It?


Grief can be described as a sense of loss of someone or something we felt an attachment to. The manners in which the grieving individuals experience grief, such as in emotional or physical symptoms, as well as the strength of the attachment to the loss, vary immensely from individual to individual. There is not a “one size fits all approach” to experiencing grief.

That said, there are a multitude of situations in which an individual may experience grief; grief is not reserved solely for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. For example, grief may occur with experiencing a divorce, the loss of a job, the loss of a friendship, with a medical diagnosis or the loss of ability, a change in family dynamics, the loss of a cherished tradition, the loss of or sale of a residence, or losing what “could have been” in the future. Grief may even occur alongside happy events, such as experiencing feelings of loss of an established job position and familiar coworkers when starting a new, desired job, or when children move away from home for the first time. The types of events that can result in grief are truly endless; any sense of loss we experience can be related to grief. Feeling grief is a “normal” human experience.

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Though many of us are familiar with the Five Stages of Grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), it is less known that the model was developed to document the
experience terminally ill patients have regarding the possible end of their own life. Therefore, individuals experiencing grief resulting from other events may experience only some of these
feelings or even none of them at all. In addition, the stages certainly do not have to occur in a specific order if they do occur at all. Again, grief is not a “one size fits all” experience.

Because many of us expect grief to surface as either denial, anger, bargaining, depression, or acceptance, individuals often become confused when they experience other symptoms. Some
people begin to feel as if “something is wrong” with them when they experience symptoms such as fatigue, feeling physically ill, brain fog, or not wanting to be around others. Some even
experience little or no emotional or physical effects from their grief, and this may be distressing to some. This too is “normal” in grief.

Grief is an immensely personal, unique experience. In fact, grief is such a personal experience that individuals experiencing the same loss, for example, the death of a parent, may
feel their grief very differently from one another. At Frontline Counseling Center, we want to reinforce that the way you experience grief is normal for YOU, and we can assist you in your

What Does Frontline Counseling Do Differently?

Grief counseling at Frontline Counseling Center is client-centered, which means we take into account what your specific encounter with grief is, along with how you are experiencing it. We can then make a plan together to address your specific needs and goals with an array of therapeutic interventions to be used in our sessions together. Also, while not all grief results in symptoms of trauma, when trauma does manifest, we are equipped to assist you in addressing them through evidence-based interventions including EMDR and IFS (Internal Family Systems) therapies.

Other components of grief counseling at Frontline Counseling Center can include exploring your personal grief experience, the learning of coping skills for situations that can feel overwhelming, learning how to implement boundaries with others when necessary, developing
communication skills to ask for what you need of others in clear, concise ways (supporters who are well-meaning may truly not know how to help), knowing your triggers so that you can have a plan of action when in those situations, and assessing strength-based approaches to cope with
your grief, as in assessing what has helped you cope thus far.

Frontline Counseling Center can help you answer the question, “How do I take care of myself?” Together, we can plan for the tough days, knowing that it is completely normal for feelings of grief to ebb and flow. We aim to increase connection and decrease loneliness, as it is well documented that feelings of isolation can have poor outcomes on mental and physical health. You do not have to carry your grief alone. We look forward to working with you.​

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Jolene Winsor


Jolene utilizes a client-centered, integrative approach to counseling, incorporating such evidenced-based practices as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS), which can help resolve feelings associated with traumatic events, along with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI), which can assist in adjusting our thought process to improve our mental wellbeing. 

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