Grief Counseling: Tina and Graham Case Study


Bereavement is one of the most painful human losses, which may result in negative emotions such as anger, bitterness, and a decline in the well-being of the bereaved. According to the notion of meaning-reconstruction theory, bereavement is characterized by a continuing quest for an answer to a loss (Barak & Leichtentritt, 2017). There are various ways to deal with trauma, and some individuals heal more quickly than others. When someone or something they care about dies, they are likely to experience a range of intense emotions, including despair (Stroebe et al., 2017). Grief is a universal or personal experience, depending on one’s perspective. Denial, anger, bargaining, despair, and acceptance are phases of grief (Saman et al., 2018). It is impossible to prepare or plan for grief since it doesn’t follow any timelines or plans. Therefore, the paper will discuss the approaches used for the counseling process, goals and objectives, obstacles, self-care strategies, and grief counseling techniques.

Particulars of the Case Study

Tina and Graham’s case study was analyzed to develop effective grief counseling strategies. An undetected lung condition was the cause of Tina and Graham’s first baby’s premature death. Tina has been struggling to move on as the anniversary of the baby’s birth and death approaches. Tina has been unable to get out of bed, eat, feel useless, and cannot stop crying. Despite Graham’s encouragement, Tina is not ready to become a mother again due to her grief over the child they lost and her concerns about a genetic lung condition. Tina also took a very long period to return to work as compared to Graham.

The Review of the Death Story

The primary goal of this session is to help Tina express her feelings over her child’s death via talking. As a result, I will examine the death event in terms of the date it happened, any traumatic experiences that occurred before the death event, and the events that transpired following the death event. For example, Tina will retell the story of the child’s struggle throughout the last days of the child’s fight with lung difficulties. Another important goal throughout the session is to establish trust with Tina to speak more effectively in future conversations. Tina will speak up about sensitive issues bothering her without being afraid of being ridiculed in public. Furthermore, I want to concentrate on forming a welcoming and tranquil atmosphere that will encourage Tina to speak out since honesty results in more successful therapy for both parties involved.

Identification of Literature

The Sigmund Freud ‘s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality

The psychoanalytic theory of personality developed by Sigmund Freud asserts that human behavior is the consequence of interactions between three mind components: the id, ego, and superego. Humans act and approach the world in response to conflicts that arise between these three structures and attempt to balance what each of them desires (Wang, 2020). We will settle the tension between our natural aggressive and pleasure-seeking urges and our socialized internal control of those drives based on the balance we achieve in every scenario. When it comes to molding behavior and personality, Freud’s structural theory of personality, also known as Freud’s psychological conflict theory, lays a strong focus on the function of unconscious psychological conflicts. It is believed that the significant correlations among these essential aspects of the mind evolve through five different phases of development in terms of psychosexuality. Due to his single emphasis on sexuality as the driving force of human personality development, Freud’s beliefs have been criticized in recent decades.

The case study used two theoretical frameworks to interpret the bereaved emotional thoughts and behaviors about the loss trauma. These theoretical frameworks include psychoanalytic theory and behavioral theory, enabling the counselor to understand the bereaved experience better (Safran & Gardner-Schuster, 2016). A grief counselor’s understanding of psychological reasons for conduct shown by the mourning might be aided by the use of psychoanalytic theory throughout the grieving process (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). For example, being remorseful and blaming oneself for the loss of a loved one is ascribed to suppressing emotions, which occurs when the bereaved continues to live in denial of the death’s happening. For this reason, the counselor will use the Sigmund theory to psychologically examine Tina’s unconscious energies, which will lead him to provide suitable medications to assist her in recovering from her grief (Wright et al., 2016). Additionally, the behavioral theory will help the therapist observe the behaviors shown by the client in her daily life to determine the triggers responsible for such behaviors.

Approaches for Establishing and Maintaining Rapport with a Client

The processes used by the counselor in dealing with the client’s concerns may encourage or discourage the client’s willingness to be open or honest in their disclosures. As a result, the counselor must devise efficient approaches to facilitate the study of critical information by providing Tina with a comfortable setting to voice her anxieties without embarrassment. The broad information acquired will allow the counselor to be aware of Tina’s genetic background, which she feels may have contributed to the death of her child. As a result, I will use a more sympathetic approach while dealing with a sensitive grieving family member. The higher the intensity of the love, the deeper the intensity of the sadness that follows the death of a loved one (Salah et al., 2018). As a result, making critical remarks about her throughout the therapy process may negatively affect her since doing so would weaken her and aggravate her grief predicament. Furthermore, I will also avoid using an argumentative tactic to assist Tina in coping with the agony of losing her child and instead adopt an empathetic tone.

Goals and Objectives for the Client and Therapy Process

The goal of the grief counseling procedure is to provide emotional support to Tina. This is to enable her to be able to move on from the trauma of losing her child. In this case, I would make it evident to the client that the counseling process would not diminish the suffering experienced during the first few sessions since pain is an integral part of the mourning process. Strategies for decreasing pain will be strongly discouraged since denial suppresses pain, extending the healing process (Özel & Özkan, 2020). A client should be able to accept the loss of the bereaved by the end of the therapy session and should be able to move on once the grieving process is through. This will involve helping the grieving family members cope with the loss of a loved one via emotional counseling and educating them on good physical habits like exercising and engaging in sports, among other things (Gill et al., 2017). The counselor will increase the client’s likelihood of achieving their goals and objectives by encouraging her to provide complete and correct information.

Possible Obstacles During the Process

Tina was in her thirties at the time and maybe regarded to be of the younger generation. Peer pressure has conditioned young people to dislike fragility and express their emotions (Stroebe et al., 2017). As a result, they display strength around their friends and other close persons in their lives to demonstrate their dominance. Even though the younger generations are suffering, they prefer to keep their inner sentiments hidden. Resistance results in greater probing, during which they may reply brutally to the therapists if they believe the inquiry will lead them to admit their feelings. According to a previous study on younger generation bereavement therapy, young people require longer open up than older individuals (Chapple et al., 2015). For example, Tina may state that her kid died because the lung issues may have been hereditary. She was prepared for the news to prevent additional exploration of the situation. As her therapist, I should be aware of her methods to avoid more questioning and plan for successful ways to enable Tina to open up as much as possible.

Accessing the Relationship with the Bereaved

Tina’s connection with the dead, that is, their kid, will be assessed in session two to evaluate the level of emotional anguish. Research studies have shown that losing a child is more painful than losing other family members due to the strong ties between the child and the parent or caregiver (Roberts et al., 2016). Due to the emotional bonds between Tina and her kid, she is more likely to feel depleted and devoid of the drive to go ahead. In this way, Tina will be motivated to continue with her everyday activities while also providing coping methods to help her deal with the circumstance.

Possible Counsellor’s Interventions

As a counselor, I will use the companioning model to aid Tina through her recovery process by serving as a helper and companion for her throughout the process. This will allow for more successful treatment. As a companion, I will do various activities in the bereaved’s life, including checking in on her regularly to assess her healing progress and sympathetically communicating with her throughout the counseling process. When the client articulates her anxieties, I will also demonstrate appropriate listening skills, such as keeping eye contact with her and leaning forward, among other skills, to let the client know that the counselor is paying attention to her concerns. Additionally, I will intervene by aiding the client in understanding and recognizing various responses to trauma, such as feelings of helplessness, rage, frustration, and other emotions induced by loss, to not feel overwhelmed by their feelings. Similarly, I may also be able to aid Tina in identifying and joining exciting adolescent social organizations, where she will meet new people and combat social loneliness.

Community Interventions

The bereavement counselors may organize group gatherings for persons who have just lost a loved one, such as at a church, a senior center, or a nearby hospital. When a person needs both emotional and financial help, a supportive community may be a lifesaver. Helping the bereaved plan their day-to-day responsibilities helps alleviate the burden of unpaid bills, domestic disorder, delayed legal documentation, or any other issues that may develop if these tasks are not completed on time or at all. In addition to providing emotional support, the community may also offer a listening ear. For those who have just lost a loved one, this might help them better understand their strengths and find new ways to cope.

Self-care techniques

Grief and loss counselors benefit significantly from self-care practices, which enhance the efficiency of the treatment provided by the counselor. Since Tina has lost her child, the grief counselors will help her integrate good behaviors into her daily routine and highlight the harmful ones. Tina might, for example, participate in self-creation activities such as athletics, movie viewing, and other hobbies she finds amusing to help her forget the sad memories of the past. To help Tina deal with her grief during therapy, the counselor encourages her to accept it and move on. As a result, the counselor should also raise the client’s awareness of dangerous practices by mentioning them one by one.


When it comes to grief, it is either universal or personal, depending on the person’s point of view. Phases of sorrow include denial, rage, bargaining, despair, and acceptance. Grief is hard to anticipate or plan for since there is no set timetable or schedule for it. The counselor’s methods of interacting with the client might promote or discourage the client’s readiness to be open or honest. Make it known that the grieving process includes grief and that suffering is an essential element of grief should be made plain by counselors. A client must accept the loss of the bereaved before treatment ends. It takes longer for young people to open up than it does for older ones in the grief healing process.


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