Bereavement Counselling

Bereavement counsellingHow bereavement counselling can help you

Bereavement is the most traumatic physical and emotional experience human beings are likely to experience. We all react differently when someone close to us dies, and the period of healing and recovery takes time – a time period which will be different for every one of us. There is no quick fix process for recovery and we will all have different ways of coming to terms with loss but there are stages of grief common to all of us. Bereavement counselling can help us to realise and begin to understand emotions and changes in mood are normal and that talking these through will enable us to move on.

However prepared we think we may be for the passing of a loved one grief will initially be manifested in shock, denial and disbelief. It can take a long time to accept and therefore move on from these feelings. We may experience a loss of appetite, trouble in sleeping and feelings of intense sadness and loss. All this can bring a sense of loneliness and bereavement counselling can provide an opportunity to share these feelings in an open, safe environment with someone expertly trained to help us through these stages.

Counselling can help ease the bereavement process

The difficulty of grieving properly can prolong the pain and healing process. The emotional pain bought by loss can bring about all sorts of differing feelings about ourselves, the deceased and even those around us. You can’t rush how you deal with those feelings – it can only come when you are ready – but a bereavement counsellor will provide a framework by which this process can be facilitated. Counselling as much as anything, it will provide a support and a listening ear at this most challenging of times.

Although grief and mourning is a personal experience for us it can help to realise that we all commonly experience one or more of the following:

‘I just can’t believe it’
It may take you a long time to grasp what has happened and often people carry on as if nothing has happened. It’s a way of coping in the early stages

‘I feel nothing’
Shocked into numbness, feeling as if this has happened to someone else

‘Why did it happen?’
Questioning the injustice, meaning and unfairness

‘I feel such pain’
Overwhelming, all consuming physical and emotional anguish leaving you feel as if you will never cope or smile again

‘I feel so depressed, I don’t want to go on’
We may face times when it seems there is nothing worth living for

‘It’s been months now and things are no better’
Many people find it takes much longer to learn to cope without someone to love

Whether you have recently experienced loss, it’s been months and things are no better or someone close is unwell and you are facing the inevitable, bereavement counselling can provide an opportunity to ease some of the pain, anguish and isolation.

Advice for finding a bereavement counsellor

There are a range of bereavement counsellors specifically helped to support you through the grieving process all of whom have been trained in this specialism. When researching counsellors and counselling look for those who highlight bereavement as an area they work within and ask about this experience at the first consultation or even on the phone before your first visit.

Counsellors will always be happy and prepared to answers such questions and you have every right to seek such clarification.

Article submitted by

Jerry Grafton, GoToSee Journalist

Date published
22/05/08

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