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Ask Amy: Grieving spouse searches for help
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Dr. Fox

Ask Amy: Grieving spouse searches for help

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Dear Amy: You often refer people to seek counseling. I believe in counseling and as a teacher, I often suggested that path for families facing challenges.

Now, I find myself in need of counseling. My husband of almost 50 years passed away last year, and the grief is crushing.

I tried a grief group, but the other people there made me even sadder. I stuck with it, but the group was canceled due to COVID-19.

I found a counselor who could see me, but she spent a lot of time talking about her divorce and offered very little in the way of advice for me.

I have read every book on the subject, I truly feel the need to confide in someone with whom I have no history.

With all that is in the news about people who need help, finding it should be easier and affordable.

I want you to know that suggesting counseling often presents hurdles that people in need just can’t face, and so they give up. Still Searching and Hoping

Dear Searching: I am so sorry that you are experiencing these challenges, especially because you are working so hard to find help.

First this: No therapist should discuss her own personal life with you, even if it is to discuss a relatable experience. That is a red flag. Your time in therapy should be completely devoted to you. Your therapist can gas on about her divorce to her therapist.

I can also imagine the challenge of meeting with a grief group when all of the other participants are also grieving. The most effective groups are guided on a path through raw emotion and toward mutual support and comfort.

If you are willing to speak with a counselor through video conferencing, it would expand your options.

Video therapy has exploded during the pandemic, and there are many commercial therapy services that run on a subscription model. For a weekly fee, you have daily access to a therapist through text and video conferencing. Thoroughly research the terms before trying this.Discussions are both supportive and helpful. This option is available to you any time throughout the day and night. This might be your lifeline while you continue to look for a therapist.

Email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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