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Bereavement Counselling

A clear path to serenity and happiness

Bereavement counselling can help with grief and loss after bereavement

Bereavement counselling with Diana Parkinson offers support from a professional counsellor who is experienced and qualified in helping those work through feelings of grief.

What is bereavement?

Grief counselling is a form of psychotherapy that works towards helping people cope with the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive responses to bereavement or loss.

What is bereavement counselling?

Bereavement counselling is there to support you. Counselling helps you understand, accept and allow the natural but painful process of mourning. Helping you through the stages of grief, what if’s, denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, to acceptance and moving forward into your new life.

What are the 5 stages of grief?

Here are some stages of grief you might recognise.


Feeling numb is common in the early days after a bereavement. Some people at first carry on as if nothing has happened. Even if we know with our heads that someone has died it can be hard to believe that someone important is not coming back. It’s also very common to feel the presence of someone who has died, hear their voice or even see them.


Anger is a completely natural emotion, and very natural after someone dies. Death can seem cruel and unfair, especially when you feel someone has died before their time or you had plans for the future together. It’s also common to feel angry towards the person who has died, or angry at ourselves for things we did or didn’t do before their death.


When we are in pain, it’s sometimes hard to accept that there’s nothing we can do to change things. Bargaining is when we start to make deals with ourselves, or perhaps with God if you’re religious. We want to believe that if we act in particular ways we will feel better. It’s also common to find ourselves going over and over things that happened in the past and asking a lot of ‘what if’ questions, wishing we could go back and change things in the hope things could have turned out differently.


Sadness and longing are what we think of most often when we think about grief. This pain can be very intense and come in waves over many months or years. Life can feel like it no longer holds any meaning which can be very scary.


Grief comes in waves and it can feel like nothing will ever be right again. But gradually most people find that the pain eases, and it is possible to accept what has happened. We may never ‘get over’ the death of someone precious, but we can learn to live again, while keeping the memories of those we have lost close to us.

Symptoms of bereavement, grief and loss

According to the NHS, Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about “being in a daze”
  • overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
  • tiredness or exhaustion
  • anger – towards the person you’ve lost or the reason for your loss
  • guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying

Help with bereavement and loss

The experience of bereavement is very much like setting sail in completely uncharted waters. None of us can predict how we will feel or behave. Counselling can help guide us through the maelstrom of emotions. It is a journey and it’s important to allow time so we may arrive safe into calmer waters.

We also experience feelings of bereavement through a life changing illness, job loss, relationship breakdown or financial crisis.

Symptoms are shock, numbness, a feeling of being in limbo, or disconnected from others. Feeling incredibly sad, exhausted, frequently sobbing, feeling anger towards the person you have lost, or the reason for their death are also part of the bereavement process. Guilt – and what if’s about things we did or didn’t say, did or didn’t do is another part of the process of grieving.

Counselling is there to help support and reassure you as well as helping you reach acceptance so you can move on with your life.

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How soon should you get bereavement support?

There are no rules, if you think you would benefit from talking things through then try bereavement counselling, it may help enormously. Certainly if you have been grieving for a year or more and feel you’re not making progress then do seek help now.

Frequently asked couples therapy questions

Q. How soon should you get bereavement support?

A. There are no rules, if you think you would benefit from talking things through then try bereavement counselling, it may help enormously. Certainly if you have been grieving for a year or more and feel you’re not making progress then do seek help now.

Q. How can bereavement counselling help?

A. You can talk to your counsellor about the person who has died, about how you are affected by their death and how you are coping. about how their death is affecting you and how you are coping. Your counsellor will help you understand and accept your feelings, as well as helping you adapt to your life without your loved one.

Q. How do I get bereavement counselling?

A. You can look online for a counsellor in your area, or ask friends if they can recommend a counsellor. Otherwise you can contact one of the helplines listed below.

Q. How do I cope with bereavement?

A. Counselling is a great help in coping with bereavement. In talking with your counsellor you are able to voice all your thoughts, memories and emotions. Counselling provides a safe setting for you to feel understood and valued.

Q. How to tell if grief has become depression?

A. If you are struggling to get out of bed in the morning, crying a lot, not eating or caring for yourself properly. If you are experiencing this then please seek help, via counselling and/or your GP.

Recent bereavement counselling insights

Read one of our recent posts on the subject of bereavement counselling for more helpful insights.

View insight

How to find a bereavement counsellor

Check out some counselling sites online, ideally contact those you feel would be right for you and arrange a ‘phone call to discuss why you are seeking counselling. Speaking to the counsellor prior to making an appointment helps give you a good idea as to whether you’ll feel comfortable with that counsellor.

    Further information and support on bereavement

    You can find further information and support about:

    The GOV.UK website also has information about
    what to do after someone dies, such as registering the death and planning a funeral.

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