Grief and Loss

Get info on Grief and Loss including effects, signs, and our Arizona treatment center.


Living with Grief and Loss

Losing someone or something profoundly meaningful fills the space that once promised more hellos with the agonizing emptiness of having said a final goodbye. In the aftermath of impactful Loss, the persistence of sorrow, heartache, and pain permeates the body, mind, and soul. Getting through a single day in the early stages of Grief feels like trying to walk through waist-high mud while carrying heavy weights—an uphill battle. Numbness offers some relief while waves of anguish come crashing without notice, triggered by familiar songs, scents, and empty rooms. Loneliness swirls, although loving friends surround survivors. Achieving understanding remains difficult when the story no longer makes sense, left unfinished mid-sentence without the person meant to be beside you in the next chapter and all those after. 1

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Understanding Grief and Loss

When painful Grief persists extensively without expected improvement over the first six months, clinical diagnoses become necessary to guide appropriate interventions. Mental health professionals assess complex, prolonged Grief reactions for depth relative to cultural and social norms through interviews, questionnaires, and reviews of functioning levels across major life domains.

They identify coexisting conditions like major depression and post-traumatic stress that may require simultaneous treatment for comprehensive healing. Maladaptive coping in the form of self-medication with food, alcohol, or other substances often co-occurs. Exploring family patterns of Grief provides additional contextual clues on the primary diagnosis and optimal, personalized next steps to reconcile the Loss.3

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Signs and Symptoms of Grief and Loss

Overwhelming Emotions

Ongoing, unrelenting feelings of sadness, emptiness, and emotional pain persist, making even basic functioning extremely difficult.

Denial and Disbelief

A prolonged sense of shock and denial continues as the mind struggles to accept the permanence of loss months later.

Detachment and Disassociation

Marked disinterest and withdrawal from close relationships, work, and enjoyable activities point to profound depression and isolation.

residential treatment for grief and loss

Compassionate care for Grief and Loss

At Cornerstone, we understand Grieving is an intensely personal journey that follows no rigid timeline. That’s why our Arizona treatment centers in Scottsdale and Phoenix offer customized Grief and Loss therapy integrating research-backed modalities with holistic creative practices to nurture mind, body, and spirit. Our compassionate team has developed tailored plans for individuals and families struggling with the loss of a loved one, divorce, career shifts, and other wrenching life transitions. Whether participating in intensive outpatient or residential programs, you will find refuge, hope, and a judgment-free space for processing complex feelings. New coping skills and meaning-making emerge through a combination of talk therapies, mindfulness, and creative expression support groups. If the ups and downs of profound Loss have started to drown your days, we remain anchored in sensitivity and understanding. You don’t have to walk this long road home alone when we can safely guide the way.

Treatment methods for Grief and Loss

cognitive behavioral therapy for grief and loss
CBT helps identify and challenge unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors that prolong Grief and Loss through techniques aimed at reshaping emotions and reactions over time.
group therapy for grief and loss
Sharing stories and building connections with others experiencing Grief and Loss , facilitates normalization and provides critical social support lacking in most of the Grief and Loss groups.
expressive and creative arts for grief and loss
Utilizing creative outlets like writing, music, art and drama as methods to process the full range of emotions allows symbolic meaning making it necessary for adaptation to loss.


lionel estrada LISAC headshot clinical director scottsdale

Lionel Estrada, LISAC


Lionel, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) with over 4 years at Cornerstone, specializes in addiction and mental health. Trained in EMDR therapy, he employs a trauma-informed, empathetic approach to address underlying causes of these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Grieving is a highly personal process that varies significantly between individuals based on the nature of the loss, coping abilities, support systems, and cultural practices. However, many share common experiences like intense sadness, anger, confusion, anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, trouble accepting the loss, questioning faith, searching for meaning. Typically, acute feelings ease over the initial months as people adapt to changed lives with better function across relationships, work, self-care, socializing. This waxing/waning intensity forms pathways to reorganize emotionally while holding memories. For most, reaching acceptance enables embracing life’s joys again. Rather than “stages,” Grieving follows ups/downs as reminders trigger surges at unpredictable times. There is no “right way”—coping depends on personality and learning healthy strategies, not judging oneself. If debilitating symptoms persist beyond six months or intensity increases, seeking mental health support assists healing. Overall, allowing oneself to fully experience this challenging yet necessary suffering helps transform Loss into meaningful growth.

Here are some signs that it may be time to consider inpatient or residential treatment for Grief and Loss:

  • You are experiencing intense, unrelenting emotional distress or physical symptoms that have persisted for 6 months or more after your loss. This may include uncontrolled crying, panic attacks, not being able to get out of bed, suicidal thoughts, etc.
  • You are unable to function in daily life activities due to the extent of your grieving symptoms – e.g. unable to work, parent your children, maintain personal hygiene, attend school/social events, etc.
  • You are coping through excessive or dangerous substance use like alcohol/drugs to numb the emotional pain, but it is clearly making problems worse.
  • Your thoughts remain consumed by your Loss and you are acting in extremely risky or self-destructive ways like recklessly spending, unsafe sex, or isolating completely.
  • You feel completely alone in your Grief with no local support system, but are too depressed or overwhelmed to reach out for help on your own.
  • Outpatient talk therapy or medication management have failed to relieve severe symptoms to enable basic functioning. More intensive therapies combined with 24/7 monitoring are required.

The compassionate care and focused treatment available in an inpatient or residential Grief program can help stabilize symptoms and shift the Grieving process in a healthier direction when outpatient options prove insufficient. Speaking with a therapist can help determine the appropriate next level of care.

Here are some ways you can help support a Grieving loved one who needs treatment:

  • Educate yourself on the Grieving process and be patient – Grief has no timeline and varies for each Loss and relationship
  • Listen without judgement when they need to talk about emotions, memories or the person/thing lost
  • Check in regularly even just via text to show you care and they aren’t alone
  • Help look into Grief counseling and treatment options then offer to attend sessions too if desired
  • Assist with everyday responsibilities like meals, childcare, errands to reduce additional stress
  • Gently encourage them to maintain self-care through hygiene, sleep, nutrition, exercise
  • Plan brief regular social activities to prevent isolation worsening depression
  • Learn their Grief triggers and offer extra support on meaningful days like birthdays, holidays
  • Provide reassurance that feeling overwhelmed by Grief this long after a Loss is common and support exists
  • Remind them you are available 24/7 for anything while avoiding platitudes urging “closure”

The compassion of loved ones eases Grieving treatment through this challenging journey full of unpredictable setbacks and strides forward. With time and care, hope persists.

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