Psychologist | Counseling Questions Counselling

Should my friend go to therapy after father's death?

My friend's father died few months ago, and he still hasn't gotten over it. I feel like he needs to talk to someone. Should I suggest therapy to him, or do you think he just needs more time?

9 Answers

Therapy is such an essential part of going through the grief process. It will help your friend understand where he is in the grieving process, and have support during this tough time in his life. There are also several grief groups that would provide support for him as well.
Time and a form of therapeutic process

Yes, grief counseling can be very effective for those struggling with the loss of a loved one.

Thank you,

Patricia Harris, MA, LPC
The passage of time per se is not always sufficient when it comes to resolving the grieving process. I usually recommend counseling when someone presents as 'stuck' in grief and they are finding it difficult to actually process the loss, related thoughts and feelings, and the loss is monopolizing an inordinate amount of their time and energy. If someone is working through the grieving process, even if it is taking a long time, I expect to see a general trend of one's focus gradually returning to typical activities.
Therapy can be beneficial at any stage! Time is usually needed, but the guidance of a therapist can always help.
The most important thing for you to understand is that he will never get over it. In time, he will likely learn to live with the loss. I hear your concern for him, as you are obviously a caring friend. You may want to consider your own expectations about what you think his grief should look like. It is a hard thing to understand if you haven't been through it, and it can be even harder to know how to begin to help; there is so much pain. In our culture, we often aren't taught how to honor and hold space for our own and others' pain. Yet, doing this is so powerful and healing. You can absolutely suggest therapy to him, but not because he's "not over it," rather, because you care about him and think having someone to talk to might be helpful. Please check out these other resources to help you be even more of a resource for him:

Keep being a good friend.
Hello and my condolences to your friend for the loss of his father. The bereavement process is different for everyone and they use their personal coping mechanisms. Most people do not “get over” the loss of a loved one within a few months. They begin to heal through the passage of time, if they have a good support system. Sometimes it can take several months and a year to come to terms with the passing. Most importantly, it is good to know that there is not a “normal” amount of time that it takes. There are a lot of feelings that come-up, so your friend may benefit from seeing a therapist to help him process the loss of his father. Therapists are trained to help and individual that is grieving to better handle the fear, guilt or anxiety that can be associated with the death of a loved one. If he is not ready to talk with a therapist, he may want to consider a Grief and Loss support group.
The following link will be helpful to your friend:
And yes he should seek out help through therapy.
Try a basic counselor, life coach and spiritual coach, it may not scare him so much!