Help Your Client Overcome Grief

What do you do when your client is struggling to make progress after experiencing a loss in his or her life?  How do you restore your client's joy?

The coaching process itself, may lead a client through loss. For example, if a client discovers in the coaching process, that the right thing to do is move across the country to take an important job promotion, creating a breakup or long-distance relationship, there will no doubt be a period of grief.  Saying goodbye is hard!

Saying goodbye is hard.

Saying goodbye is hard.

In life we are frequently challenged with choices. There’s usually a trade-off. Sometimes we can’t have it all. It is the coach’s duty to help their client make transitions as easily and smoothly as possible, with as little pain as possible.

Even with the best skills and intentions, there are times pain is unavoidable.  

Are you prepared with the tools to help or will you end up losing the client?

Traditional thought on this topic is that grief happens when we lose a loved one. But there are countless other types of losses as well. Here are a few examples:

· Relationship / marriage breakup

· Loss or death of a beloved pet

· Loss of a job

· Loss of one’s health

· Business failure

· Poor choices made by your child leading to negative consequences

· Natural disaster

· Incarceration of a loved one

· Foreclosure of a home or repossession of a vehicle

· Moving to a new city and state … hence loss of everything familiar

There are lots of types of losses one can experience in life and this is just a small sample. It is inevitable that your clients sooner or later will be dealing with one of them. Do you have the skills to help them overcome their grief?

“However, when grief does not get addressed and is
instead repressed, it can transform into depression.”
~ Leelo Bush PhD

Seldom do we acknowledge what they are really going through unless perhaps, we have been there. Often we don’t want the conversation to remain on the subject of loss and we move to another topic as soon as reasonably possible, as though ignoring it will make it go away. It may for us but not our client.

Many of us glaze over these situations in conversation because we don’t feel equipped to help them in a real, tangible way. And sometimes frankly we fear it will be emotionally too difficult to listen. But this is largely because we ourselves don’t know how to handle loss.

Meanwhile your client remains un-helped and unable to navigate their new reality. It is not unusual for a client to stop working with you until they think they can handle moving forward again. But usually they don’t return because the client’s perception of your effectiveness has been greatly reduced.

Those who are unfamiliar may assign their client’s symptoms to depression and recommend therapy or antidepressants but in the best interest of your client, grief and its accompanying loss shouldn’t be dealt with in the same way as clinical depression.

Grief emotions are what we feel at times we are forced to say goodbye when we don’t want to. They are natural emotions and signal a need for us to address them. However, when grief does not get addressed and is instead repressed, it can transform into depression. We now know how to control grief. We should not let our clients fall into depression only because we are not prepared to help them address the grief.

As a coach or counselor, our education rarely prepares us for the times when clients experience grief or loss in their lives, unless we are specifically trained in this area. Society does not teach us. What’s more telling someone “just give it time”, may be the absolute WRONG thing to say.

Training in the area of grief has changed dramatically in the last few years with the introduction of the Joy Restoration coach training. If you were trained in the traditional way such as Grief Share or similar programs, there are much better solutions today.

Unfortunately these life experiences are unavoidable and if we have compassion for our client, we want to help them recover from these events as easily and swiftly as possible. Now with Joy Restoration techniques, clients recover often in a matter of months rather than years as before.

Consider the gratitude and quality of life your client will experience when they again feel purposeful, joyful and fulfilled.  It is priceless.  And that explains why this coaching niche is desperately needed and lucrative.

"... You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy."
~ John 16:20

When I read the stories of success and joyful recovery from the private Joy Restoration Facebook group that students of this course have access to, I am touched to tears some days.

I did not plan to create the Joy Restoration course. In fact, those close to me know that I kept trying to find someone else to write it until it was clear there was no one. It seemed then that God had this in mind for me all along. With some amount of ambivalence and feeling so ill-equipped to take on the project, I finally told God, “Ok, if you will give me joy in the process, I will create it.” To which God replied, “If you will open your heart and mind to my plan, I will create it through you.” And that, my friend, is how the Joy Restoration course came to be and remains anointed to transform lives daily.

It’s not about my work, but God’s. Amen.

Please share your comments or questions in the section provided below.  My readers and I would love to hear from you.​

© 2015 Leelo Bush PhD. All rights reserved.

Become a Joy Restoration Coach

I wanted to talk about this topic now because the holidays are approaching and each year they are a time when we we feel loss more deeply. Why not learn how to navigate these times with joy and peace as well as discover how to help others at the same time?

It may surprise you to know that the Joy Restoration course offers TWO certifications and a license to offer my 7 Step Happiness by Choice process. Learn more at

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