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  • Writer's pictureJen Meller

What is Grief Coaching?

Takeaway: There’s no timetable for grief. Loss isn’t something we simply “move on” from or “get over.” Grief coaching is meant to support you on your journey after loss–whatever that looks like for you.

person grieving

Loss and loneliness are painful. Grief coaches can help you move through your grief journey.

Grief takes shape in many different ways – the loss of a dream, a divorce, a death, a miscarriage, unmet expectations, or even the loss of purpose and vision for life.

When one is in the midst of grief, words of encouragement, and the course many take to try and help often come up short. Those around us mean well, but often their lack of understanding and patience can deepen the isolation we feel.

It can be hard to believe that there’s light on the other side. But there is, and you deserve to find it. Grief coaches can help you do just that.

person meditating

What to expect from working with a grief coach

Loss is both a universal and highly personal experience. This truth is a central component to effective grief coaching.

Many people become a grief coach after their own experience of loss and recovery. While your grief coach may incorporate elements of their lived experience into your coaching relationship, the focus will be on your grief recovery journey. You will collaborate with your coach to ensure that your time together meets your unique needs.

During your work with your grief coach, you'll discover what grief recovery looks like for you. For some, this involves finding ways to honor their loved one. For others, coaching helps them find meaning in their loss. Still others need help finding the right tools for coping with intense emotions.

No matter your experience, your coaching sessions will act as a safe space for you to process the emotions surrounding your loss. You'll work with your grief coach to identify actionable steps you can take to both grieve and move forward as you are ready.

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How coaches help you through the grieving process

Healing and growth is a journey, not a destination. Your grief coach is here to help you on that journey. The details of the coaching process vary from person to person, but the general structure is the same.

You'll start by sharing your story with your grief coach. During this part of the process, you'll also identify your goals and what you hope to get out of coaching. Sometimes we don’t always know what we want or need in our grief and simply having a supportive other to walk alongside us during the process of loss can be helpful.

From here, you and your coach will explore the areas of your life touched by grief. Using modalities that resonate best with you, you and your grief recovery coach will begin processing the emotions that are coming up for you in this moment.

You’ll walk away feeling supported in your grief recovery experience and empowered to embrace the difficult emotions that come with loss. While healing from grief isn’t a linear journey, the tools you learn from your coach can help you continue to process your feelings independently.

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Who grief coaching is for?

Loss comes in all shapes and sizes. Grief coaching can help with nearly any kind of loss. Here are just a few examples.

Those who have experienced a death.

You’ve lost someone close to you and are processing your life without them.

Those going through divorce or spiritual transformation.

You’re navigating major shifts in your life after divorce or reevaluating your faith.

Those who are mourning the loss of what they thought would be.

The unmet expectations in your life left you grieving the life you thought you would have.

Those who have experienced a significant job loss.

Losing a job can represent a loss of identity, financial stability, and so much more.

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FAQs about working with a grief coach

What's the difference between a grief coach and a grief counselor?

Grief counselors are licensed professionals with certain education requirements. Unlike grief coaches, their license limits where and how they can provide grief counseling.

Working with a certified grief coach gives you more flexibility.

While a grief coach doesn't have the same credentialing requirements as a mental health professional, many grief coaches go through a certification process or get specialized training to help them support clients.

person grieving

My loss was really intense. Should I work with a trauma coach or a grief coach?

Both grief coaches and trauma coaches can help you process your loss. All forms of loss can be considered traumatic, including a loved one's death, a divorce, or loss of autonomy.

Both types of coaches can guide you through the healing process and help you discover healthy ways to explore the emotions that come with loss. Regardless, you'll be getting the professional help you deserve to support you in moving forward.

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Working with a grief coach can help you navigate life after loss.

I know the pain of loss firsthand. I began my coaching practice after I experienced several significant losses: the death of loved ones, my divorce, and changes in my faith. I also mourned the loss of a future I had imagined for myself.

Through my emotional healing journey, I began to deeply understand the importance of giving light to our emotions, experiences, and pain. Our brains and bodies hold onto everything we've been through. However, intentional mind-body work can help us process grief and learn new tools to cope.

Now, it's my mission as a coach to help others do the same. Since I decided to become a grief coach, I'm passionate about meeting people in their grief. I want to hold space for you and all your emotions, no matter what they are. Through feeling supported and validated, you may be able to find a gentle hope for the future.

person on computer

I've been trained in many of the same approaches used in grief therapy, such as Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Somatic Experiencing (SE). In addition, I’m a grief educator with field expert David Kessler. You can read more about my background here.

If you're interested in learning more about my grief coaching process, I encourage you to reach out. I offer free consultations so you can make sure I'm the right coach for you. I look forward to connecting with you!

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