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Counselling for Bereavement
Grief is a natural and necessary process following the death of a loved one, it draws our focus inwards and allows us to reconfigure our lives in the absence of the person that has died and move forward without them, whilst still holding them in our mind. Despite its necessity grief can be painful beyond words, it reminds us how fragile life is and how vulnerable we are and can make life seem meaningless.
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Who is it for?
Does your loss feel as painful as it ever did? Do you feel hopeless about the future? Are you finding it difficult to meet your daily responsibilities? Do you feel anxious and/or depressed for
much of the time? Have you withdrawn from life and the people around you? Do you feel alone with your grief? Do you feel a pressure from others to move on?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions you may benefit from some bereavement counselling. Bereavement Counselling helps people move through the process of grief, easing distress and enabling the resolution of any lingering emotional problems.
A Recent Testimonial
Katherine - Clapham“I first came to see Venetia after the death of my father and increasing levels of anxiety had led me to become very depressed. At that stage I felt unable to cope with day-to-day life. I had stopped working as I found it too stressful and felt that I could never do my job well enough. I was at a very low point. Working with Venetia, has helped me to return to an even keel and gain a fresh perspective on my life. The process we undertook has given me the tools to approach adversity and deal with the ups and downs that life throws up. Although ostensibly my life has not changed in any material sense, I am now able to enjoy the opportunities I have and face the adversities that come along. Venetia was a calm and supportive presence in my life enabling me to move on from a period of difficulty. Through her help, I feel confident that I have gained life- long skills that will continue to aid me in to the future”.
How It Works?
To begin with one of our Psychologists will meet with you to find out about your loss and how you have been managing so far. They will ask you about the person that you have lost and your life together, your current life daily responsibilities, mood and friends and family in order to get an accurate sense of this and formulate a treatment plan for you.
Your Psychologist will then help you to understand a little more about the process of grief and how it works because the more you learn about grief the better you will be able to cope with it. When you understand what is happening to you and have some idea of what to expect, you will feel more in control of your grief and will be in a better position to take care of yourself, to find your own way through this loss and to begin rebuilding your life.
You will then work together with your Psychologist to not compare your grief with anyone else’s and know that at this moment your loss is the worst thing that could happen to anyone. This will enable you to acknowledge that your loss is worthy of grief and accept that you must endure the real feelings of sorrow. It will also help you to accept that as much as you may want to do so, there is no way to avoid your grief.
Your Psychologist will then help you to work through your grief aiming towards the following goals:
- Coming to terms with the reality of your loss.
- Working with the emotional pain, anger, guilt and suffering that accompanies your loss.
- Readjusting your life without the significant person whilst still keeping them in your mind.
- Taking the emotional investment that you had placed in your significant ‘other’ and rebuilding connections and relationship with others.
- Building memories which recognise the quality, importance and irreplaceable impact of your loss but keep the person who has died alive in your mind in a way that allows you to continue living your life.
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All of our Psychologists offer Bereavement counselling, click here to view the team.
More about Grief and Loss
Everyone grieves differently and how you respond to your loss will depend on the other crises that you have faced, how you have coped with these and also what was lost when the person died. Despite what people say, time is not ‘a great healer’, time is neutral in the process of grief, and it will take as long as it takes.
Grieving is an active process, not a passive one and recovery is a choice. Unfortunately friends and family may be finished with your grief long before you are finished with your need to talk about it. Unexpressed feelings can become distorted and result in you becoming stuck at a particular point in the process of grief unable to move forward. The longer you are stuck the more your distress will intensify. It is at the point that you feel you no longer have an understanding, non-judgemental listener with whom you can openly acknowledge your feelings and work through your pain that you should consider Bereavement Counselling.
One of the forms that Bereavement Counselling takes is supportive counselling, however recent research suggests that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is far more effective in helping people move through the grief process and rebuild their lives.
Should you wish to find out more about Bereavement then you can check out our bereavement related blog articles here.