What is Bereavement Therapy?

The loss of a loved one due to bereavement can result in a plethora of feelings, including grief. You may experience a dramatic change in your mood, experiencing such things as anger, sadness and even guilt as you try to adapt to dealing with loss. How you adapt to cope with bereavement can vary radically from person to person with much depending upon your religious beliefs, family reaction and status of the lost relationship.

There is no getting away from having to deal with bereavement during our lifetime and the upsetting feelings that it brings with it. However, if your find yourself feeling continually depressed or distressed and the sadness just not abating and becoming invasive with regard to the daily life, then consulting a professional therapist could be the way to go.

It is important to separate bereavement counselling from bereavement therapy, as they are, in fact, two different avenues. Bereavement counselling often aims to help the person who has lost a loved one cope with the more usual feelings and symptoms associated with grief. Bereavement counselling aims to help the person reach a healthy resolution which enables them to move on with their lives.

Bereavement Therapy, however is a type of Psychotherapy, which deals with the more complex, traumatic responses to the loss of a loved one or a disaster in the community where a number of people have passed away. Such symptoms of this type of grief can manifest in physical, extreme emotional feelings, and without support, can lead in to depression and anxiety.

Your bereavement therapist or bereavement counsellor will be trained to understand that every person experiences grief in a different way. It is a uniquely personal thing and so they will tailor your treatment to suit your circumstances and feelings. Part of their work may be to help you find ways of continuing your connection with your deceased loved one, so that you still feel close to them whilst moving forward with your life. The type of counselling or therapy you will embark upon, can be discussed with your bereavement specialist at your first session.

Working with your therapist

As well as individual therapy, group therapy may also be suggested as sharing thoughts and feelings with others in the same position can help if you are struggling with symptoms of grief. Whether you are experiencing depression, denial or anger and finding it difficult to form acceptance, working with a therapist can enable you to accept the reality and pain and adjust to life without your loved one.

  • Bereavement counselling can help you to understand the mourning process

  • It can help you to resolve issues / feelings that prevent you from moving on

  • You may be able to better adjust to the situation and your life ahead

  • Explore any symptoms associated with your loss which manifest in depression or anxiety

The aim of bereavement counselling is to help you reach normality again, to help you cope with life’s daily stressors and to give you strength to move on. You can still retain the memory and impact the person had on your life in a positive way.

What to expect for a Bereavement Therapy Session

A bereavement counselling session will help you explore your emotions. During the first session, you may be asked about the loss, about your connection or relationship with the person that passed away, and about your feelings now since your loved one passed.

These initial questions may help bring up emotions connected with your loss and you may experience some strong emotional responses during this first session. Your therapist will facilitate any outbursts you might display within reason, as this can be important part of the bereavement counselling process.

Your therapist may encourage you to think creatively about the challenges you face ahead, associated with loss, and how you can overcome them.

Bereavement therapists and counsellors believe that where support might be lacking in other areas of life, bereavement therapy or counselling may be a good avenue to take.

The amount of sessions you can expect to attend can be discussed and organised with your therapist. Please remember that attending counselling is not admitting defeat or weakness. Bereavement counselling and bereavement therapy can help give you the strength and equip you with techniques needed to cope with the difficult stages of grief.

Booking an appointment

If you would like us to put you in touch with a therapist that can help you cope with your bereavement, please select from our list on the right hand side of the page, or alternatively, use our search facility to find a therapist or counsellor in your area.


Related News & Blog

A man sitting on a sofa with his head in one of his hands

Therapist for help with death of a parent

By Arteo

Although we know it will one day happen, the death of a parent is always emotionally challenging. Therapy can help you handle this easier, so that you can reach acceptance and continue your life while at the same time honoring your loved one’s memory.

One hand passing a heart to another hand

Losing a loved one

By Arteo

After losing a loved one, we can experience reactions such as anger, numbness, insomnia, or depression. All of these are normal. If you cannot seem to be able to get back to normal life after losing a loved one, a bereavement counsellor can help you make sense of all these feelings and find the strength to carry on.

A man and a woman hugging each other near trees

Losing a child

By Arteo

The grief experienced after losing a child is one of the most intense forms of grief. A professional therapist can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms, reach acceptance, and find the strength to continue your life.

A woman with her head in her hands

The stages of grief

By Arteo

Traditionally, there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. When you lose a loved one, you can experience all or some of these symptoms, but they don’t necessarily have to follow this exact order.

Two women sitting on a sofa whilst holding hands and both looking down

Help with grieving a loved one

By Arteo

Grieving a loved one can be a long and complicated process, which is why it’s important to try and look after yourself, talk to friends and family, and seek the support of a professional bereavement counsellor when grief symptoms are becoming too hard to handle.

Two women sitting on a sofa whilst holding hands and both looking down

Coping with a death in the family

By Gianluca

The loss of a family member evokes chaos in our lives. It can strengthen family relations between members or tear them apart. Each family member has their own grief style which is why it is vital to get support from a grief therapist to keep your family united during these difficult times.

A sad woman sitting against her bed

Help with getting over a bereavement

By Gianluca

Grieving is a unique process for each of us based on our personality, cultural and educational background and relationship with the one we’ve lost. It is essential to get help from a grief therapist who can help you find the ideal coping mechanisms for loss.

A man sitting on a sofa with his hands over his eyes

Find a bereavement therapist

By Gianluca

After losing a loved one, talking to a bereavement therapist can help you cope with grief reactions and come to terms with the loss. To find the best bereavement therapist for your needs, you need to consider factors such as insurance, past therapy experience, and the type of therapy sessions you’re most comfortable with.

A man sitting on a sofa with his head in one of his hands

What is bereavement therapy?

By Gianluca

Bereavement therapy supports people who have lost a loved one and are experiencing intense grief reactions. Through bereavement therapy, you will learn to understand your feelings and cope with the loss at your own rhythm. The ultimate goal of bereavement therapy is to come to terms with the loss and be able to return to normal life.

A pregnant person whose stomach has an egg like crack showing worry and concern

Miscarriage – life after death

By UK Therapy Guide

It makes no difference whether this is your first miscarriage or one of several, nor whether you have other children at home; losing a baby due to miscarriage is like any other loss and if not handled correctly, can leave the mother and even the father and rest of the family in pieces.