What Is Bereavement Counselling?
Bereavement counseling or grief counseling is a type of professional therapy that is offered to people who are undergoing emotional and psychological stress after the loss of their loved one. This treatment process is done with the help of a bereavement counselor.
A bereavement counselor is a trained and qualified professional who can assist bereaved people with their feelings of grief. People can talk about their loved one who passed away and how that loved one’s death is affecting them with a bereavement counselor. A bereavement counselor also listens to how people are coping with the loss of their loved ones and makes them understand the feelings they are having. Lastly, bereavement counselors can assist bereaved people in the process of starting a new life without the deceased person.
What Does Bereavement Counselling Do?
Bereavement counseling or grief counseling involves different aspects that bereavement counselors or therapists can work on with people who lost their loved ones. The first aspect is getting in touch with feelings. Getting in touch with feelings or emotions is one way for bereaved people to validate their feelings by expressing them in a safe space with a bereavement counselor. Having a bereavement counselor that will listen to people who do not feel comfortable talking about those feelings with friends or family.
The next aspect is accepting the loss. Accepting the loss is one way for people who lost their loved one to work towards accepting the reality that their loved one is gone. The process of acceptance is very helpful for people who tend to shut down their emotions or deal with the loss by not thinking about it all.
Another aspect is working through guilt. Working through guilt is crucial since guilt is a common feeling after the death of someone. This emotion may cause people to blame themselves and regret, which makes coping with the loss more difficult and complicated. People may tend to think of things that they should have done or things that could have gone differently because of guilt. Bereavement counselors can offer assistance in helping people see that living their best life is more important than holding on to guilt and things that have already happened in the past.
The next aspect is dealing with daily life. Dealing with daily life after the loss of a loved one can be very difficult, especially if that loved one was always with them every day before. Bereavement therapists can offer assistance in reorganizing daily life and finding ways to function to address these issues.
Another aspect is building a support system. Building a support system with a bereavement counselor can be helpful for bereaved people to gain support from community resources or support groups. Having a support system is essential in having a place or someone to turn to in times of need.
Another aspect is making funeral arrangements. Making funeral arrangements with the assistance of a bereavement therapist or grief therapist and others can help bereaved people to ensure that their loved one is remembered the way they wanted to be at a time when they might not be able to think clearly or make decisions easily. This process can also commence before the actual death if a loss is imminent.
The next aspect is checking for depression. Checking for depression is important because grief can trigger the start of depression. Depression can be prevented or detected by having a bereavement counselor ask questions to look for potentially treatable symptoms, if there are any.
One more aspect is journaling and writing exercises. Journaling and writing exercises involve writing about emotions, daily struggles, memories, and problems. This practice can be continuously done long after the end of therapy sessions. The bereavement therapist can also make them write a letter to their deceased person and tell them about their feelings about the loss and their current situation after the death.
How Do I Get Bereavement Counselling
You can get bereavement counseling or therapy through many stand-alone psychological clinics, private practices, and in-hospital clinics. Psychologists are the ones who offer grief counseling, so it will be much easier decision to find a therapy clinic close to you or recommended by a trusted source.
Another way of getting bereavement counseling is through bereavement support groups. Bereavement support groups offer supportive counseling to mirror experiences with people who have also lost their loved ones. This allows bereaved people to receive comfort and companionship from members of bereavement support groups. Bereavement support groups also allow people to listen to stories of how others cope with the loss of their loved ones and learn new ideas for coping.
The Benefits Of Bereavement Counselling
There are several benefits of bereavement counseling or grief counseling. The first benefit is that it can help learn coping skills. Coping skills are helpful in order to help bereaved people get through the worst times of their lives. This also has a positive effect on increasing mental strength to face challenges and adversities in the future.
The next benefit of bereavement counseling or therapy is that it can help express a range of emotions. Expressing emotions is one way to release the negative feeling of grief. By learning to express emotions, bereaved people can feel much better compared to times of the original trauma.
Another benefit is that it can understand grief. Understanding grief is useful in order to set expectations as bereaved people go through the stages of grief. The stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The next benefit of bereavement counseling is that it helps in regaining a sense of self. Regaining a sense of self is similar to developing a new identity without the loved one who died. This can be done by shifting the focus to other areas of life and other roles.
Another benefit is that it helps in dealing with difficult emotions. Dealing with difficult emotions like grief can be assisted through bereavement counseling. Bereavement counseling can help in working through the pain and emotions that are being experienced at the moment.
The next benefit of bereavement counseling or therapy is that it helps in remembering loved ones in a healthy way. Remembering loved ones in a healthy means maintaining a connection with the deceased loved one while continuing to move on. This process can help in making feel good about the way the loved one is remembered.
One more benefit is that it can help in improving life management skills. Life management skills involve managing changes in the daily routine which was hampered by the loss of a loved one. Bereavement counseling can help in adapting to a new life without the loved one.
Effectiveness Of Bereavement Counselling
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy discusses the effectiveness of bereavement counseling or therapy. The effectiveness of community-based counseling in reducing grief-related distress among help-seeking and bereaved adults was tested using a bereavement intervention study through a voluntary sector. Results of the bereavement intervention show bereaved participants who received bereavement counseling experienced a greater decrease in grief symptoms. Participants who did not receive counseling had a lesser decrease in grief symptoms.
Bereavement Counselling FAQS
When Should Bereavement Counselling Start?
Bereavement counseling should start whenever support is needed, regardless of the time and condition. The natural grieving process usually takes place around six months after losing a loved one. On the other hand, when it involves traumatic experiences like a loss of a child, an earlier intervention is needed.
Am I Eligible For Bereavement Counselling?
Yes, you are eligible for bereavement counseling or therapy as long as you think you need it. Having bereavement counseling does not mean that being depressed, anxious, and emotionally broken is needed to be eligible for it.
How Do You Know If You Need Bereavement Counselling?
There are different ways to know if you need bereavement counseling. The first way is when you have experienced a loss. Experiencing the loss of someone is a hard thing to go through. Aside from human death, bereaved people can also seek bereavement counseling for grief conditions associated with the death of a pet, divorce and separation, family trauma and abuse, getting fired from a job you’ve always loved, loss of home due to a disaster, and loss of a body part due to illness accident, or age.
The next way is when you feel like you can’t move on. Moving on from a death of a loved one requires time to go through a mourning period. The time and timing can differ from person to person. If you think you begin to feel that you will never be able to move on, then bereavement counseling is the solution.
Another way is when you’ve moved on a little too well. One way to know if you have moved on a little too well is by constantly saying that you are fine. Another way is if you find yourself avoiding all reminders of the person that passed away. This is evident if you are avoiding visiting the places that you used to enjoy together with your loved one.
The next way is when grief interferes with work. Bereavement counseling is needed when several months have passed, and you still can’t get back to daily level of functioning.
The last way is when you have symptoms of clinical depression. Symptoms of clinical depression are feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness.
For more information about Bereavement counseling contact Specialized Home Care today.