Our Guest: Allison Anthony, LCSW
What She Does: Allison Anthony is a therapist specializing in grief counseling and trauma work in Los Angeles.
Thomas Hughes, founder of the C.U.B.E. Mental Health Services, a Glendale, CA-based mental health practice, dives into Allison Anthony’s background to discover what led her to become a therapist specializing in trauma work and grief counseling in Los Angeles. Learn the importance of grief and trauma counseling, including:
- The importance of choosing a therapist you connect with
- Grief and adjustment
- Consequences of unhealed trauma
- Knowing when to get professional help for grief and trauma
There’s Nothing Wrong With Counseling
Allison talks about how the loss of her grandma at a young age led to her introduction to grief counseling. “My grandma, the major matriarch of the world and our family, died when I was 14. At the time, I did not know how to process the loss of this person who had been my go-to basically from birth right up until that point. I was having a hard time when I asked my parents to take me to therapy.”
“My therapist is why I decided I wanted to be a therapist. ….. Just being able to have that consistent ally was what did it for me.”
Connecting With Your Therapist
Many don’t realize they need to look deeper than what’s on the surface when searching for a good therapist to work with. Besides credentials, insurance, cost, age, gender, race, and religion, it’s necessary to consider the counseling style of a therapist.
So how do you know if you’ve got the right therapist or counselor? According to Allison, connection matters. “They took me to someone. He was fine. He just wasn’t the one. We went to him for three or four sessions, and then they switched it and had me go to an older woman, which was better because I was having some grandmotherly transference.”
Grief and trauma can make it difficult for some to open up and discuss their feelings and issues with others, especially a therapist or counselor. Comfort helps to foster familiarity, trust, and a deeper rapport between patients and therapists. This rapport or connection makes patients more receptive to the guidance and support they receive as they work towards their counseling goals.
Grief Comes in Many Forms
People grieve for many reasons, not just the death of a loved one— “Grieve the loss of the life that you didn’t get to have, of the childhood that you were never given the opportunity to have—- the normal childhood…. Not being in a gang, not having a drug-addicted parent, not having the perfect Mister Rogers childhood that you didn’t get to have. Grief is not just death, it’s transitions…”
“Grief is a form of adjustment disorder.” Some people take longer than others to process their feelings and emotions, regardless of their closeness or connection to the trauma or deceased. Individual experiences may vary. But those struggling with intense emotions after a few months may benefit from seeing a grief therapist in Los Angeles.
“One of the most challenging things about death is that it happens to everyone. And we never talk about it…. or what the grief process looks like. There are five stages. People honestly think that that means that you literally go through that….and you’re only supposed to be in them for a certain amount of time…severity of the loss matters.”
When to Get Professional Grief Counseling in Los Angeles
“I think the duration of time is a big one. If we are three months or six months and still crying every day and incapable of functioning at a basic human level, eating, sleeping, all of those things, then that’s when it should be looked at.”
Living with unresolved feelings of grief can lead to ongoing trauma. Eventually, these feelings can manifest as anxiety, irritability, aggression, conflict, depression, and poor valuation of self. It can even lead to the development of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders. It’s important to remember that grief is normal, and its effects should lessen with time. But counseling with a grief or trauma specialist is key for those where time does little to heal or lessen those feelings.
Patients fare best when counseled by professionals in a safe and welcoming environment. The C.U.B.E. Psych is a safe, nurturing environment staffed by compassionate and friendly therapists committed to the health and well-being of each patient and their loved ones.
To learn more about grief counseling and trauma work in Los Angeles, call (213) 433-2823.