Alternative Grief Therapies

Bereavement is one of those difficult processes we all have to go through at some point in our lives. Whether you’re close to your family, have a big group of friends, or (God forbid) lose a child unexpectedly, grieving is a natural reaction to any death. And it can be extremely painful to go through.


With this in mind, we’ve developed various forms of grief counseling to help us through the process. Which can be difficult to accept - as humans, we tend to want to withdraw into our sadness during times like this. But, time and time again, we find that grief counseling is the most effective way to cope with bereavement. And, luckily, we have more than a few options when it comes to therapies.

Join us, today, as we bring you five highly impactful alternative grief therapies and, when a loved one passes, remember to take some time out to focus on yourself.

Art Therapy

Grief is a messy emotion to deal with. It can be difficult to articulate it properly, and when you can’t speak about something, you tend not to be able to deal with it. It’s psychology 101 - if you imagine your feelings as a bunch of bulls in a pen waiting to be let out, the door is being able to define them. Open the door, and you’ll let everything out.


Art therapy can help you express your emotions by literally drawing them out. It’s a way to give shape to your grief and make of all the complicated things you’re feeling. Painting, drawing, scrapbooking, even coloring or working with clay can be incredibly therapeutic.

Gardening Therapy

Physical work in the garden is known to be calming, even when it’s not being done as a form of therapy. Something about digging your hands into the dirt or smelling fresh-cut grass can be incredibly soothing, and the alone time gives you lots of opportunities for self-reflection. Which makes it an ideal option for the bereaved to calm their stressed out minds.


Grief gardening projects being informal groups together to work in a shared outdoor environment. This gives you the chance to talk about your experience and, in cases where the gardening is volunteer-based, there’s also the knowledge that you’re helping someone else, as well.


In recent years, yoga has lost a lot of the mystery it once had. Most people have come to accept it as a legitimate form of physical therapy and not some mystical, new-age exercise. And, with its focus on balance, mindfulness, and stretching, it’s a useful tool for recovering from bereavement.


Yoga is an exercise for balancing mind, body, and soul. In the case of yoga as an alternative grief therapy, this focus shifts to relaxing your body from the physical symptoms of grief. Ease the mental tightness that comes with holding onto grief and learn to embrace your inner emotions.

Laughter Therapy

The last thing anybody wants to imagine when they’re in the throes of grief is laughing at, well, anything. It’s a sad time in your life, and the most appropriate thing always seems to be to remain as solemn as you possibly can for as long as you can manage. While it’s hard to imagine mirth during this time, laughter therapy is very healing for the grieving, especially over a long period.


Here’s how it works: deep belly-laughs have been shown to actively reduce anxiety in people. They generate endorphins which help us “let go” and release pent-up emotions. Often held outdoors, these sessions are also a great form of anaerobic exercise.

A Grief Journal

Our final entry in today’s list takes the form of journaling. This is a fairly straightforward but extremely effective way to process your emotions. By making regular entries into a diary, whether online or in an actual book, the person grieving can let out their thoughts, memories, and emotions.


This doesn’t need to be a linear form of journaling, either. Many people choose to express their feelings in terms of fiction, as well, or to adapt their blog entries into multimedia, videos or other sequential art.


And there you have it - five highly effective alternative grief therapy options to help guide you through this troubling time. For professional, affordable funeral, cremation, and grief guidance services in the Volusia and Flagler county areas, visit Dale Woodward Funeral Homes today!

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