Do I need bereavement counseling?   

If you're wondering whether you need bereavement counseling we have the answers for you here.  

Following the loss of a loved one shock and disbelief can help you to survive the first few busy weeks of organising the funeral, informing family, friends, work colleagues and the many other authorities who need to be told. 

Many bereaved explain they coped because they felt it was all happening to someone else and they were in a daze and believed things would be back to 'normal' soon. 

However, accepting the permanent loss takes time and expecting the person you have lost to walk in any time is very common.

But, when the shock begins to clear and the reality sets in, the enormity of the loss is felt. 

We all need to talk about our loss and how we feel. You may be lucky enough to have a supportive friend who can listen and give comfort.

Your GP or minister may be able to help. However many people find it difficult to talk about feelings and emotions as if it is somehow a weakness and may bottle up their feelings.  

You may have issues that need more expert help than friends, family or a local doctor is able to provide.  

Should I have bereavement counseling?

Speaking to a professional grief counselor can be a relief and can help you work through emotions you may not quite understand and which you haven't experienced before.  

Sunrise with Albert Schweitzer Quote

Grief can have adverse effects on your health, your well being, your social life and your family life.  So if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, do get help before things get any worse.  

When to get help: 

Seek advice from a medical practitioner or qualified counselor if you are experiencing any of the following: 

  • constant yearning for the person you have lost even though much time has passed
  • constantly thinking about and reliving the moment of their death
  • unremitting feelings of despair, loneliness and sadness
  • inability to believe or accept what has happened
  • inability to work, socialise or manage daily tasks
  • inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • suffering constant acute pain of grief
  • trying to avoid facing the pain by not talking about the person, avoiding places or things which remind you of them
  • being angry, self-critical or punishing yourself for the death
  • masking the pain with drugs, alcohol, food, gambling or risky behaviour
  • feeling guilty if you don't think about them all the time
  • having thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Even if you think you are coping, but you are feeling anxious, having difficulty sleeping and finding it hard to go out, meet people and make the most of your life, you might still find that some bereavement counseling could help you. 

When should bereavement counseling start? 

There is no set time for grieving, and everyone grieves at their own pace.  Having said that, most people start to get back to re-building their normal lives after a few months and can start to get some pleasure out of life again.  

But others get stuck and remain numb for months.  Others might have constant flashbacks to the moment the person died and keep reliving it.  

It might be impossible for a person to start to face their grief and remember the happy memories of their loved one before they died.  They might feel guilty if they stop grieving all the time.  

You will know in yourself if things just don't seem right and when you are ready to accept help and move on with your grief process.  

There is no right or wrong time to start bereavement counseling.  You don't want to force yourself to face trauma or difficult emotions before you are ready.  That can cause more trauma.  But if months or even years have gone by and you are not feeling any better, it may be time to consult a psychologist, grief therapist or professional counselor.  

Why have bereavement counseling? 

You owe it to yourself, your remaining family and your deceased loved one to get the most out of your life.  It is possible to get to a stage where you can enjoy your happy memories, or at least come to terms and accept the past for what it was and focus on your future.  It doesn't mean you loved the deceased any less if you make the most of your life and move on. 

There are many reasons for going to bereavement counseling with a trained professional: 

  • the privacy and anonymity of the sessions
  • avoiding overloading friends and family with your problems
  • expert help to resolve difficult issues
  • feeling you can talk as much as you need because you are paying for it

Where to get bereavement counseling? 

There are various ways to find a bereavement counselor.  You can ask your GP to refer you, or look in your local directories.  These days you can also get bereavement counseling online. You can read more about online counseling and how it could work for you here.  

We have partnered with BetterHelp to bring you expert advice fast.  BetterHelp Online Counseling provides you with the best counselors for your particular needs but you are welcome to change and try someone different at any time.  Bereavement counseling with a good counselor should be empowering and collaborative.  It should feel right.  If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong, so don't be afraid to change.  

Being online, BetterHelp provides a service which is flexible and confidential.  To find out more, just click here or read more below.  

Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home

  • Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you.  It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.  
  • Pay an affordable FLAT FEE FOR UNLIMITED SESSIONS.  
  • Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone. 
  • You can change counselor at any time if you wish.
  • Click here to find out more and get started immediately. 
  • Or read more about how online counseling works here.  
Woman Crying. Get Started with Online Counselling

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Self-Help Hypnosis Downloads

Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind and help you cope with your grief. We recommend Hypnosis Downloads which have been created especially for those who are grieving by qualified specialists in medical hypnotherapy.

Choose from this list of grief and loss tracks for your specific type of loss.  


Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the USA and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.

Only available in the USA. 

For Memorial Trees within the UK, click here


Related Pages: 

Find out why online grief counseling works

How to find grief support

Questions about bereavement and grief answered

> > Do I need bereavement counseling?


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