Losing a loved one is the one of most difficult things we can ever go through. If we were close to them then part of the grief is about the loss of a great source of support, love and comfort. Sometimes grief feelings can be mixed up with others that might seem less acceptable such as anger. This might be if you had a conflicted relationship with your loved one and were unable to resolve this before they died. Sudden and unexpected deaths can be particularly hard as there is also the shock to deal with. An individual might feel the need to look after and protect other loved ones who are also suffering and as a result neglect themselves and their own feelings. This can lead to feeling disconnected, angry, depressed or turning to work, exercise, alcohol or substances to numb the grief. As a result it might not be until many years later that the grief is processed. Prolonged grief refers to a reaction that lasts for over a year and impacts the individuals’ social relations and ability to function fully.
Bereavement counselling supports you to express your thoughts and feelings regarding your loss and how this is impacting your relationships, work and social life. You can see a bereavement counsellor whether your loss was recent or a long time ago. It is an opportunity for you to process your sadness and other feelings around the loss that you might feel uncomfortable about admitting to. Your counsellor will never judge and will listen to. As well as being a source of comfort at a current difficult time, they can help you to move through the different stages of grief and make plans for your future.
Bereavement includes certain common stages. When an individual skips stages or remains stuck for too long in one, complications with bereavement can occur. Therefore a bereavement counsellor assists you to process your grief in a more helpful way.
The common stages of bereavement are:
Remaining stuck in the earlier stages can indicate prolonged or complicated grief. This can occur if you have a history of depression or other mental health issues, or you have suffered more than one bereavement within a short period of time, or the bereavement was sudden, unexpected or violent for example suicide.
Bereavement counselling is suitable for anyone who has lost someone, either recently or a long time ago and who wants professional support to process this and move on.
Bereavement counselling is short to mid-term. When you ring us on 0207 118 0407 we can arrange for you to see a counsellor with whom you can discuss your grief issue and what you would like to get out of the sessions. With them you can contract to an initial amount of sessions after which you can evaluate and decide whether there is further work to be done.