Grief and loss are experienced by all, but talked about by few. By definition, grief is the feeling you experience when you lose someone or something. COVID-19 has left many of us feeling some sense of loss.

Several of our therapists work with adults, adolescents, and children who are experiencing grief and loss. Child, adolescent, and adult reactions to grief can look very different. Working with a therapist can help provide you the support you need as you define your new normal after loss.

What is Grief and Loss?

Most of us can identify the grief we felt after the physical loss of a loved one. Friends and family even with the best of intentions can sometimes make us feel even more alone in our sorrow as they try to make us feel better. The grief we feel is multifold. The loss of a loved one is more than the physical loss of them, it’s the relationship we had with them. Grief is a natural response to loss but for some people, their grief becomes complicated and they need the support of a trained therapist to help them work through this.

Am I experiencing grief?

Possible signs of grief can include, but are not limited too:

  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Emptiness
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Relief
  • Sadness
  • Shame

As David Kessler said, grief is unique for everyone. No two people will grieve the same way. This list is certainly not exhaustive. Your grief reaction is affected by many things, including but not limited to: your loss history, trauma history, support system and the nature of the loss. If you feel you need some support in your grief or if you have concerns you or someone you love may be experiencing complicated grief, reach out to a therapist.

When should I seek help?

You should consider seeking help for your grief when you are unable to integrate back into your new normal and any of the following areas of your life are impacted:

  • School (difficulty concentrating)
  • Work (difficulty keeping up with your work, interacting with coworkers or supervisors. Not wanting to go to work)
  • Relationships (conflict with loved ones, avoidance of interactions or conversations with loved ones, feeling fear that you may lose them too)
  • Sleep (difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling tired when you wake up)

What kind of help is available?

Just as grief and loss can look different for each person, the approaches that can help will not be the same for everyone. There are several approaches to therapy that can help with grief and loss including, but not limited to CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Existential Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy. A therapist trained in grief and loss will be able to help you process your loss and learn to navigate your new normal.

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Related Therapist Profiles

The following therapists specialize in Grief and Loss

Clark Barshinger, Ph.D.

Lake Zurich | McHenry

Practicing clinical psychology for over 50 years, Dr. Clark Barshinger has broad and deep experience counseling patients. His graduate education includes a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from DePaul University, and Master’s Degree of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary. He works mostly with adults, teens and couples.

Keith Bjorge, Psy.D.

Lake Zurich | McHenry | Vernon Hills

Dr. Keith V. Bjorge is a clinical psychologist with 33+ years of experience. He has experience and passion working with troubled marriages, teen and family related problems, chemical addictions, and mood disorders. Dr. Bjorge earned the Master of Arts and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.

Diane Geiser, MSW, LCSW

Lake Zurich

Diane Geiser is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience working with adults, adolescents, couples and families. Diane is a highly skilled clinician who can work with clients in identifying goals and change strategies that promote growth. She also has experience conducting wellness seminars with corporations and executives.

Rick Coffaro, MA, LPC

Lake Zurich

Rick Coffaro’s work experience prior to Cherry Hill includes twenty-eight years in sales, marketing, and management. The theme of his career was making, building and maintaining relationships. Rick offers first-hand knowledge of life and career transitions. He enjoys working with individuals, couples, adults, adolescents and young adults, and groups.

Gary Gruebnau, MA, LSW

McHenry | Lake Zurich

Gary is a social worker with several decades of experience counseling teens, adults, and couples in secular and church settings. He enjoys working with a broad age range of clients from teens to the elderly. His background includes military service, working in the business world, and teaching in both public and private settings.

Leslie Scofield, MSW, LCSW, CADC

Vernon Hills

Leslie Scofield, MSW, LCSW, CADC is a Licensed Social Worker who has worked in the field of substance abuse for over 15 years. Her practice ranges from children to adults, and focuses on trauma, grief and loss, family issues, and addictions. She is passionate about working with groups. Leslie is also retired from military service, which informs her clinical perspective.

Michelle Schaefer, MA, LCPC, PMH-C

Grayslake

Michelle Schaefer, LCPC, has experience working with adults, couples, teens, and families. Michelle has an advanced certification in Perinatal Mental Health and specialized training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for individuals, couples, and families. Michelle strives to create a secure client-therapist alliance in order to support people as they navigate life challenges and heal relationships.

Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, MSSA, LSW

Lake Zurich

Chelsea A. Laliberte Barnes received an MS in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University with a focus in mental health for children, adolescents and families. Chelsea has nearly ten years of experience working with individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders and dual diagnosis. Chelsea is also a SMART Recovery facilitator and overdose education trainer.

Elizabeth Haines, MS, LCPC

Palatine

Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She values a strong therapeutic alliance and believes that a supportive and collaborative working relationship is instrumental in helping clients improve their overall quality of life. She uses her expertise in yoga and mindfulness to assist clients in learning to calm and relax the stressed body and mind.

Maria Catanzaro, MA, LPC

Deer Park | Wheaton

Maria has a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Wheaton College. She believes that it is important to consider each person holistically including the mind, body, and soul. She uses creative methods to help clients articulate their feelings and solve problems. Maria enjoys working with a variety of clients including caregivers, parents, children, teens, young adults, and adults.

Jack Gordon, MSW, LCSW, CCATP

Deer Park

Jack is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a certified clinical anxiety treatment professional. He works with adults, families, and adolescents ages 12 and up. He specializes in anxiety treatment and has a passion for work with clients with chronic pain/illness. His clinical interests include anxiety, parenting skills, life/career transitions, and family/relationship issues.

Lydia, Klassen, MA, LPC, CCTP

Lake Zurich | Vernon Hills

Lydia Klassen received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has experience working with interpersonal issues, emotional regulation, grief, and trauma. Lydia strives to develop safety in the client-counselor relationship as she journeys with clients toward greater freedom in their lives. She has a particular interest in couples, families, and third-culture kids.

Liz Lattof, MA, LPC

Deer Park | Lake Zurich

As a Licensed Professional Counselor at Cherry Hill Liz works with a wide variety of clients, children, adolescents, families, and adults. She has additional training in play therapy and groups. She enjoys helping people with anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, and other challenges and transitions.

John Dichtl, MA, M.Div., LCPC

Vernon Hills | Lake Zurich

John Dichtl has worked as a counselor since 2012 in both agency work and private practice. He has focused experience providing couples counseling, and treating mood disorders and addictions. With graduate level training in both therapy and theology, John is uniquely equipped to help clients integrate their psychological and spiritual concerns.

John Kim, MA, LPC

Deer Park

John received his MA in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University where he gained experience doing therapeutic work through the university's counseling center. John is committed to building warm, authentic, and meaningful relationships with his clients as he helps them work toward their unique goals. He works with individuals, couples, and groups.

Alessa Rosati, MA, ALMFT

Deer Park

Alessa Rosati is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. She graduated from Adler University with a Master’s Degree in Couple and Family Therapy. Along with her work in private practice, Alessa has experience working in school environments and hospital settings. She specializes in helping adolescents and adults with relationship difficulties, issues of low self-esteem, grief and loss, anxiety, and stress.

Alison Yu, MA, M.Div., LPC

Vernon Hills

Alison Yu, M.Div, MA, LPC, is a bilingual (English and Mandarin Chinese) counselor who is experienced working with individuals, couples and families. She has a special heart for immigrant families. Trained in both psychology and theology, she is passionate about helping people to integrate the Christian faith in their healing process.

Kent Wohlrabe, MA, LCPC, CADC

Vernon Hills

Kent is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with many years of experience working with clients in a variety of clinical settings. Kent works primarily with adults and specializes in helping clients struggling with substance use and it's impact on daily life and relationships.

Shonda Gagliano, MSW, LCSW

Grayslake

Shonda Gagliano is a clinical social worker with over 20 years in the mental health field. She has experience working with adult and senior patients in outpatient, inpatient, and residential settings. She focuses on partnering with patients to identify and change thoughts and behaviors that are no longer beneficial to them. She is passionate about the ability of any person to change.

Justin Feinberg, MA, M.Div.

Grayslake

Justin’s Graduate education includes both a Master’s degree in Mental Health counseling as well as a Master’s of Divinity from Trinity International University. He works with individuals, couples, and families and has a heart to see relationships flourish and people become who they were meant to be. He has training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and utilizes this toward helping marriages, families, and individuals thrive.

Jennifer Flanagan, MA

Grayslake

Jennifer has a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has a passion for helping people see their strengths and potential. She believes this is accomplished through authentic relationships and support for and collaboration with others.

Raul Bravo, MA, LPC

Vernon Hills

Raul Bravo is a Licensed Professional Counselor, with an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He is bilingual (English and Spanish) and has experience working with adolescents and adults. He has worked with families struggling with trauma-related issues by helping them identify meaning and strength. His therapeutic approach includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy.

Debbie Levine, MSW

Grayslake | Vernon Hills

Debbie has worked in both the medical and clinical fields and has amassed much experience helping people navigate their unique life journeys. Her preferred therapeutic approaches include CBT, holistic and mindfulness.

Jennifer Irocky, PhD Practicum Student

Lake Zurich | McHenry

Jennifer recently completed her PhD coursework in clinical psychology at Walden University and is completing her practicum at Cherry Hill Counseling.

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