Pet Grief therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps clients cope with grief when mourning a loss from a beloved pet. Bereavement refers to the process of recovering from the death of a loved one (pet), while grief is a reaction to the loss. Both encompass a range of feelings from deep sadness to anger, and the process of adapting to a significant loss can vary from one person to another. Grief therapy creates time and space for a client to process and work through the pain of loss while learning effective coping strategies to manage distressing symptoms.
A bond with a pet represents unconditional love and builds upon commitment, dedication, compassion, respect, sacrifice and emotional security. They are often thought of as a family member, companion or friend. People who don't have pets may not understand the pain you are going through or understand the significance of the emotional support lost in your life. its important to remember your feelings are valid and just.
Pet loss is bound to trigger a natural grief reaction. It can lead to overwhelming emotions that further disrupt mood and daily functioning for some time. Processing grief is unique to each client and the path through it is different for everyone. Understanding the 'grief cycle' model is a template often taught in grief therapy and is used to help normalize and clarify painful experiences.
It can be common for pet grief to stir up other personal difficulties or traumatic past events that have not yet been attended to. The additional stress of grief can further complicate bereavement and prolong recovery. A trained therapist can help you navigate the hidden layers of grief so you can get back to living. Grief is a very normal and natural part of life, and by taking the time to process it to gain new insight, purpose and hope - one can begin to move towards acceptance and peace.