What is bereavement counselling & what does it involve?

No one can ever prepare for the feelings and emotions that come hand in hand with losing a loved one. Whether it is expected or sudden, the death of a relative, friend, or colleague can leave a major hole in your life and, for many, the sense of loss and grief is overwhelming.

When a loved one dies, it’s not uncommon to experience a wide range of different emotions as you manoeuvre the grieving process. From experiencing intense sadness and loneliness, through to feelings of guilt, anger and anxiety, grief impacts people in lots of different ways.

Bereavement is emotionally distressing and can leave people feeling disconnected from who they normally are. These feelings can take a long time to deal with, and starting managing. Some people may choose to attend bereavement counselling as a way of helping them to cope with their emotions.

What is bereavement counselling?

The main purpose of bereavement counselling is to help people to deal with their feelings. Counselling helps by supporting them as they process the emotions that come with the different stages of grief, including depression, acceptance, denial, sadness, anger and bargaining.

A trained counsellor has the knowledge, skills and techniques to help, offering coping techniques that encourage acceptance and help people adapt and move forward with their lives.

How can bereavement counselling help?

Bereavement counselling provides a safe, supportive, and welcoming space where those dealing with loss can express their feelings and get the support that they need to move forward with their life.

At the same time, it can also help people overcome guilt, accept the reality of the loss, identify and deal with trauma, and talk freely about their loved one. After all, grief doesn't always hit you straight away. Many people go into a state of shock and numbness, which can stay with them for weeks or months at a time.

With this in mind, after a major loss, it’s not uncommon for people to behave as if it hasn’t happened, with many people disconnecting from their feelings. So the first step to dealing with grief is acceptance and this is where professional counselling can help. A grief counsellor can provide an outlet for you to share your feelings, whilst dealing with the symptoms of grief and loss.

Although many people turn to family and friends for support, getting the help of a professional counsellor is invaluable when it comes to sharing feelings freely, expressing your thoughts and not having to worry about saying something wrong.

If you're interested in training to become a counsellor to help support those dealing with grief and other mental health issues, then see our counselling courses or request a prospectus today.