Loss and Grief Counselling
Loss and Grief
What is grief?
Grief is the reaction to a loss or losses. Internal and external grief reactions involve our thoughts, physical and emotional health, beliefs, social connections, and behaviour and actions. Grief may occur in both death and non-death losses which may be anticipated, unexpected or a wish that never happened. All grief is unique. It is not based on a time line or stages of grief. It does not sit in a hierarchy of grief. It is important to acknowledge your grief and honour your losses.
When should you seek help for your grief?
When your feelings become unpleasant, overwhelming, and start to interfere with daily functioning, you may think about getting extra support. Grief counselling can help to more effectively deal with stressful or challenging life circumstances, painful thoughts, and feelings.
What is my approach?
I will work with you to explore and articulate the concerns that you have without judgement and assumptions. As a result, you may understand the cause of your concerns.
Together we can work on strategies and I can teach you skills to help you:
- come to terms with loss and grief
- make healthy changes to your lifestyle
- cope with daily hassles
- manage the impact of loss and grief on your relationships
- deal with painful thoughts, worries and fears
- manage stress, anxiety, depression
- find your place for this next chapter of your life.
What is anticipatory grief?
Grief counselling can be very helpful when during times of anticipatory loss. Grief can be overwhelming at times when we expect that change is well underway. It may be that you are caring for another who has a terminal illness and you may find it difficult to confide in others. Other times you suspect that a relationship is changing or about to come to an end. It may be a relationship that is important to you and you don’t want it to end.
What is disenfranchised grief?
When grief feels like it cannot be expressed it may be what is known as disenfranchised grief. Some examples include the death of a beloved companion animal, death due to addictions or a relationship that has not been accepted by others.
What is acute grief?
If a death has just occurred you may be experiencing acute grief. Grief is still very raw. Counselling can help to normalise and validate the thoughts, emotions, body sensations that you may be experiencing. It can help to process what has happened and provide compassionate support. The private and confidential manner of counselling provides a safe place to express your innermost thoughts and issues that are troubling you without making assumptions or judgements.
Why seek support from Changes in Between?
I have a specialist focus on grief across the lifespan that includes death and living losses. I have engaged in learning that includes dying, death and bereavement and includes companion animal loss and life transitions (from every form of change and loss across the lifespan).
I am a Certified Thanatologist (Study of Dying, Death, and Bereavement) from the Association for Death Education and Counselling which requires recertifcation every three years. I am a Certified Bereavement Practitioner with the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement requiring recertifcation every two years. I continue to read, learn and develop in these areas. I belong to a number of professional associations and adhere to the Code of Ethics for each including regular clinical supervision, insurance, first aid training and professional development requirements. I continue to have my own coaching, mentoring, and therapy.
I have lived experience of bereavement as a young widow that experienced anticipatory grief, many living losses over the years and the bereavement of a beloved companion animal. Most of all I learn with my clients and know that everyones grief is unique.
It is never too early or too late for loss and grief counselling. You may want to have single session counselling, followed by another at infrequent intervals. Home visits can be very helpful for loss and grief counselling. You may be seeking walk and talk sessions in nature or telehealth from the privacy of your own home. All services are outlined on How I work.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
(C.S. Lewis, A grief observed, 1961).