Counselling for Bereavement and Grief
Loss is unfortunately an unavoidable part of life. Everyone experiences loss at some point, and yet it is still something which many of us fear. Grief can be a debilitating emotion that makes us feel that we can’t go on; counselling for bereavement can give us the strength we need to move forwards.
Our fully trained therapists have vast experience in helping clients to manage their grief when they have lost someone or something dear to them. Especially when our friends and family are grieving a loved one too, bereavement counsellors can be the impartial support we need when grief threatens to engulf us. Of course it won’t bring the person back, but grief counselling with is exactly what you need when you don’t know where else to turn.
What is Grief?
Grief is a natural human response to losing something dear to us. It’s the emotional pain you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. In the sixties a famous psychiatrist (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross) came up with a model of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Since then psychiatry has moved on and we now know that grief is a very personal journey which is vastly different for everyone. It is not necessarily a linear process, instead the stages which surround grief can be experienced in any order, at any time, and even be repeated.
Sometimes grief and bereavement can hit us like waves- one day you might be feeling ok and then the next painful wave of grief hits like a tsunami. Sometimes these waves are easier to ride, but others are too mighty and can bring us to our knees.
Whilst you can’t control grief, you can control how to handle a bereavement. Adjusting to life without the person you have lost can seem impossible. Whatever our own experience of grief , your road to getting through the rocky terrain can be navigated more easily if using the guidance of a professional counsellor for bereavement.
Bereavement Counselling for Children and Families
Here at Simply Counselling we focus on the relationship with the counsellor and the client/s. Sometimes when we are grieving we can forget that our children may also be grieving. At many times throughout their lives, children will feel the world has turned topsy-turvy. Children are often far more knowledgeable about what is going on around them then adults give them credit for. Giving them the tools to explore their feelings can give them lifelong support for times when life seems overwhelming.
Bereavement counselling can be incredibly empowering and take away some of the fear surrounding death. If someone in the family is suffering a terminal illness, bereavement counselling for the whole family is often helpful to help the entire family to deal with the impending loss together. Facing what is ahead and making plans now for how to deal with loss can help bring family members together and ease any anxiety.
Children should not be left out when a loved one is lost, instead consider family-focused counselling which gives the whole family a safe space to speak and be heard.
Some of us might not react with as much sadness as others following the loss of a loved one. We might feel numb or empty. We might refuse to talk about the loss, change our social habits or avoid people and places related to the person we have lost. When we repress grief it can lead to emotions being ‘squashed’ but they will need to spring up again one day. This might happen in a few months or a few years, but it will happen. Repressed grief is best dealt with now so that it doesn’t develop into depression or complicated grief disorder.
When to Look for Bereavement Counselling
If you have been grieving for over six months and you are feeling considerably worse, not better, it might be time to look for a counsellor specialising in bereavement and grief. ‘Complicated grief disorder’ is a term used when people have symptoms of grief which get worse over time. Signs that you might have complicated grief disorder are:
- Not functioning well in life, work or education
- Isolating yourself and not enjoying the company of others
- Constant low moods/depressive thoughts
- Not feeling like yourself
- A desire to be reunited with the deceased person at all costs
If you have obsessive thoughts about the person you lost and life is affected negatively since the person left, then it’s likely that you’ll benefit from bereavement counselling.
Our dedicated counsellors are thoroughly trained in helping clients deal with bereavement and have many years of experience in helping clients to manage their grief. Get in touch with our team today to get the support you deserve.