Grief: What is it?

By: Elyse Ganss

Losing a loved one can affect your feelings, actions, and thoughts. Emotions like loneliness, sadness and anger can be felt after a loss. Grieving involves all of these components and is commonly referred to as the acute pain that one experiences after a loss. If long-term or prolonged grief occurs, seeking support and psychological services may be necessary. A common symptom of long-term grief is an inability to move forward in life. Grief is not only experienced with the loss of a person. Losing a pet, job, or a role in life can cause grief.

There are said to be five stages of grief. These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, as grief is a very personal process, every person is different and may not linearly progress through the stages. If you know someone who is currently grieving, the best thing to do is be present and check in with them. Pushing a grieving person to find closure can be perceived as insensitive and may upset the person more. Listening, sharing memories, and simply talking to the person are good ways to support a grieving individual.

Grief counseling is a form of counseling or psychotherapy where loss is the primary thing discussed or focused on. The mental health professional, whether it be a licensed psychologist, psychotherapist, clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist, will work with the patient to find the best course of treatment pertaining to the individual’s loss. Returning to previous level of functioning and working through the grief are the main goals of treatment. Finding the right support system to be there for you on your grieving journey is essential.

If you or someone you know is looking for support, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit .


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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D)

By Tatyana A. Reed

As the weather seems to slow down and we shift from bright sunny days to cold winter nights, some of us may notice a sudden change of mood that comes with this weather shift. This change of mood is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). According to National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “S.A.D is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.”

Signs & Symptoms

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Having low energy
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having problems with sleep
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide.


  • People with SAD may have trouble regulating seratonin, which is one of the key neurotransmitters involved in mood.
  • People with SAD may overproduce the hormone melatonin.
  • People with SAD also may produce less Vitamin D.


Getting Treated

  • Medication: if someone suffers from S.A.D they can be helped by taking Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). However, like all medication there are side effects, make sure to speak with your doctor about this first.
  • Light therapy: the feelings of S.A.D can be lessoned by sitting in front of a light box that emits 10,000 lux of cool- white- fluorescent light for 20-60 minutes. The light is said to replace the loss of light from daylight savings
  • Therapy: it is best to talk with a psychologist, counselor, or someone in the mental health field when feeling different types of emotions that may be negative such as sadness or anger. Seeking help is the first step to eliminating S.A.D.

If you or a person you know is struggling with S.A.D, it may be beneficial to contact a mental health professional and receive therapy. The psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists at Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services can help.  Contact the Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920.  Visit for more information.


Koblenz, Jessica. “11 Things About Seasonal Affective Disorder That Psychologists Wish You Knew.” Reader’s Digest, (PHOTO)

National Mental Health Institute. “Seasonal Affective Disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,