When we lose someone, grief can affect us in very different ways. For some people, the grieving process can be eased by taking some time to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. If that’s the case, then bereavement counselling may be a good option. Here’s everything you need to know.
Grief can cause a wide range of emotions to surface, including sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt, and loneliness. The grieving process can be unpredictable and vary from person to person. Losing someone after prolonged illness or pain can bring about a sense of relief but any loss leaves loved ones facing difficult emotions.
How to cope with grief
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people find comfort in talking about their loved one with friends or family members. Others may prefer to keep their feelings to themselves, or expressing them privately through, for example, writing a diary. Some people find that participating in activities they enjoyed before the passing helps them cope, while others may feel too overwhelmed and prefer to take their time mourning.
But a tried and true method that is definitely worth considering is bereavement counselling.
How soon should you have bereavement counselling?
This is a difficult question because everyone grieves differently. While some professionals argue its best to wait six months before you start bereavement therapy, if you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, it may be time to reach out for support.
There are many ways to find support during the grieving process. Some people find counselling helpful, while others prefer to talk with friends or family members. You may also want to consider joining a support group or reading self-help books on grief. Whatever works best for you is fine. Just remember that it’s ok to ask for help when you need it.
What happens at bereavement counselling?
Bereavement counselling is a type of therapy that helps people deal with the emotional effects of losing a loved one. During counselling, you will have the opportunity to talk about your feelings and experiences related to the death. You may also discuss ways to cope with the loss.
Counsellors will often provide grief education, which can help you understand the grieving process and what to expect. They may also recommend helpful resources and suggest coping mechanisms that address the specific emotions you are struggling with. Bereavement counselling can be very helpful for those who are dealing with grief.
Many people find it helpful to talk about their feelings with a trained professional. If you are experiencing symptoms of grief, it may be time to seek bereavement counselling.
Should everyone seek bereavement counselling?
If you find yourself to be really struggling with the grieving process then it may be a good idea to seek counselling. However, it isn’t always necessary. Some people don’t respond as well to counselling as others and may want to consider alternative forms of support.
What are some other ways you can seek support?
Here are some of the other options you may want to consider:
- Support groups
Meeting with others who are also grieving can be comforting and helpful. There are often groups specifically for those who have lost a spouse or partner. While you can try to find a local group, there are also plenty of great options online. At The Joy Club, we host sessions with mindfulness teachers and pastoral therapists, giving you opportunities to speak with professionals about how you are feeling and meet others who may be going through something similar. You can find out more about The Joy Club here.
- General counselling
If you need more than just bereavement counselling, it may be beneficial to see a general therapist. They can help you work through broader difficulties in your life that may be contributing to your grief.
- Speaking with a pastoral figure at your local Church
Many religious organisations offer counselling services specifically for those who have lost a loved one. This can be a great option if you want to talk to someone who understands your religious beliefs.
- Connecting with friends
Friends can be a valuable source of support during difficult times. Lean on them to listen and offer advice when needed. But even if you just need to unload your emotions, there’s few better places to do it than a friend’s house over a cup of tea.
- Explore activities that make you feel good
This could include things like taking walks, listening to music, or spending time in nature. Maybe it’s getting involved in a class of getting lost into arts and crafts. Art therapy is a particularly good way to encourage positive reactions from yourself.
There’s no way to minimise the heartache someone goes through when they are grieving. But there are options out there to help guide you through the grieving process and bereavement counselling can be a very powerful option. The important thing is to find what feels comfortable for you so you can feel supported at this difficult time.
For more information on bereavement counselling services: