Loss or bereavement throws up many different emotions. Bereavement counselling is specific for each individual. The circumstances around the actual death can have a huge impact upon the grieving process.
Prior to starting Harmony Counselling, I worked for over three years in Family Support Services at St Michael’s Hospice in Basingstoke. It was here that I gained my experience in bereavement counselling.
I have experience of helping people come to terms with the death of a family member. That may be a spouse, partner, child, parent or grandparent. At St Michael’s Hospice in Basingstoke, I talked with people who had progressive diseases, who were facing the end of their lives. This experience and those conversations help me in my bereavement counselling work.
The emotions experienced by an individual coming to terms with bereavement are unique. It is not possible to move on from these feelings until they have been experienced within the natural process of grief. This process is particularly difficult since it is not time-framed and has no fixed healing period. Bereavement counselling is necessary for as long as it takes to go through the grieving process. Often people find the first two years are the hardest to cope with. In this time, many underlying issues can arise. These include anger (which is quite normal) and these can be explored within the safe environment of Harmony Counselling’s private consulting rooms.
The grieving process
The process of grieving is uniquely personal. I will never rush the time it takes for healing. Many people will find themselves going backwards and forwards between emotions, such as anger and guilt. Some clients describe themselves as feeling fine one minute, and in floods of tears the next. These are all perfectly normal emotions. People often talk about certain triggers such as music, smells, and anniversaries. Whilst hard to bear, these are beneficial feelings in terms of recovery. Upset and tears can be exhausting, but it can be just as exhausting holding emotions in.
It’s re-assuring that research strongly suggests that bereavement counselling improves the well-being of people over time compared to those who do not seek help to cope with their grief or loss.
Counselling young people in bereavement and grief
Young people handle grief differently to adults since they have less life experience. The way they understand the grief process is dependent upon their age. Adolescents will often find it hard to communicate within their own family for fear of upsetting someone. Young people can find it hard to relate, and so they will often keep their feelings to themselves. This can cause major psychological issues resulting in emotional and behavioural problems such as self-harm.
Younger children can often express their feelings indirectly (since they often to not have the vocabulary). I have experience of using creative interventions in these circumstances. One is sand-tray (play therapy), or artwork/creating stories/workbooks relating to their loved one. This often helps express the underlying emotions in a way they can understand with gentle guidance from myself. Children, like adults need not suffer in silence.
Debs Wallace – an experienced bereavement and grief counsellor
I am an experienced bereavement and grief counsellor, working in Basingstoke, providing expert support to those who need it, when its needed most. For a confidential initial discussion with no obligation (either for you or a friend or relative) you can:
Email me call 01256 976747 or complete the enquiry form to the right.