Bereavement counselling- any experiences ?

(23 Posts)
MaryAnnSingleton Mon 25-Jan-10 09:39:21

I recently had an assessment for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to help with anxiety and ocd - the person who assessed me felt that I would benefit from bereavement counselling as I have a lot of unresolved grief (briefly my brother died aged 10 when I was 13 shortly followed by much loved grandmother and I was unable to express my grief/loss properly) These deaths were many years ago now (I am 51). Fairly recently my FIL died -I loved him and found that tears flowed very easily and it felt good,as if I was letting go -I was quite shocked at how it all came now wondering whether it'd be wise to sort it all out. Any ideas ?

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MaryAnnSingleton Mon 25-Jan-10 15:50:44


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travellingwilbury Mon 25-Jan-10 15:57:36

I have had bereavement counselling an dI found it helped me a lot . It does sound like you feel ready to face your loss which I think is a huge step and would make me think that you would benefit from the counselling .

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 25-Jan-10 17:55:58

Thank you travellingwilbury

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loujay Mon 25-Jan-10 18:05:50

I too have had bereavement counselling (and other counselling) the bereavement counselling was fact on talking to my counsellor she said that many people go for this typr of ounselling years after the death of a loved one so it would probably be a good idea for you (and also not unusual if that makes you feel any better) much love L xx

travellingwilbury Mon 25-Jan-10 18:08:03

I hope you manage to get it sorted , the one thing I would say is if you don't "click" with person counselling you then please request to change . I know a few people who have given up at that stage and regretted it . I was lucky and the woman I had was lovely so hopefully you will have the same experience . It really did help me to sort things out in my head .

Sorry about the short answer earlier , I was running out the door . I hope you are ok .

MissM Mon 25-Jan-10 20:52:12

Hi MAS. As you know from the other thread my brother died last year. I've not looked into counselling yet I sometimes long for someone to really talk to about all the crazy emotions that I go through day to day, and I've realised that that person can't be my best friend or my husband or my mum or my other brother. It has to be someone professional and removed. I'll get round to it - I don't have the motivation yet - but it sounds to me like you do need someone, even if it is years after the event. My previous experience of counselling (not in relation to my brother) is that even after I stopped going things arise and I can deal with them so much better because of the issues I explored during counselling.

bluebump Mon 25-Jan-10 20:54:52

I had bereavement counselling when my DS died. My Papa had only died 5 months before and I was still upset by that also. I just found it helpful to just talk to someone that didn't look like they were bored or uncomfortable by what I was saying. Go for it if you think it would help, you don't need to carry it on if you don't want to or it doesn't work for you.

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 25-Jan-10 21:13:39

thanks everyone -that is so helpful - I will look into it,I do think it is at the root of a lot of things which trouble me and I do need to sort it - I was just worrying that as it was such a long time ago that it might be too late for me..but I can see that is probably not the case. I do appreciate all your comments..lots of love x

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MaryAnnSingleton Mon 25-Jan-10 21:41:42

silly question, but is grief counselling the same thing ?

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travellingwilbury Tue 26-Jan-10 17:49:29

I would have thought it was the same but if you are having CBT then they will talk to you more about coping stratagies which I found helpful .

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 26-Jan-10 21:14:39

thanks travellingwilbury- I'm not having CBT though- they wanted me to have antidepressants before reassessing me for CBT.

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peterpansmum Tue 26-Jan-10 21:51:59

Hello MAS, I'm currently having bereavement counselling following the sudden death of my 2 yr old son last march. I have had a very positive experience and I do believe it's helping me cope with certain situations better than if i hadn't of done it iykwim?

It does sound like the recent death of your FIL has enabled you to grieve for your other losses further back and what have you got to lose? Try it, if it works then fab if not then nothing ventured nothing gained.

What I have learned in the short time my life has been affected by bereavement is that there are no rules, everyone does it differently and what's right for you is right for you.

Would also echo what TW said, you may not gel with the first person you see so if you do go ahead go with an open mind that the first person you meet may not be the right one! Good Luck.

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 26-Jan-10 22:04:16

thanks for that peterpansmum - wise words. Am so sorry about your little boy -I can't imagine how that must be for glad that the bereavement counselling is working for you though.

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MaryAnnSingleton Wed 27-Jan-10 07:23:29

me again...can I ask any of you whether your counselling is on the NHS or do you see someone privately ? Does Cruse offer free counselling ?

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MaryAnnSingleton Wed 27-Jan-10 09:35:55

and again ! have just emailed my nearest Cruse branch with an enquiry...phew !

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peterpansmum Thu 28-Jan-10 19:13:50

My counselling has been provided via my employer's occupational health dept and is a private counsellor. I did register locally with Cruse (which is free) back in July and they told me i may have to wait a 'few months' but have still not heard back from them. Every area will have different wait lists though so don't assume yours will b the same x

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 28-Jan-10 21:42:08

thanks peterpansmum...haven't heard back yet.

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thirtysomething Thu 28-Jan-10 21:56:27

maryann this is my line of work. As others have said everyone grieves differently and it is certainly not unusual for grief to take decades to catch up with people. You can't change what's happened but you can control the way you react to it and think about it in the future. A large part of bereavement counselling is saying things you can't say to anyone else in RL and many people find it helps them to accept what's happened and start to re-engage with other parts of their life; it doesn't mean you have to forget the person who died but you may need to disconnect with them emotionally to some extent if that makes sense to your case it sounds like it might be useful to look at how you feel this has impacted your life as well.

many hospices around the country offer a free counselling service (you don't have to have had a relative at the hospice usually)

MaryAnnSingleton Fri 29-Jan-10 07:23:23

thanks so much for that thirtysomething...very helpful.

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iggi999 Tue 02-Feb-10 20:19:22

MaryAnn I started having counselling for suspected PND, but quickly we realised I was more needing help with a bereavement (like yours, from when I was a child - 12 - and lost a sibling and never spoke of it or dealt with it). It has been invaluable to me. I talk so much more freely now and feel I can reach out to others when I need support. Has taken quite a while to reach this point though! Good luck.

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 02-Feb-10 21:15:57

thank you iggi- I have now spoken to the lady at Cruse who has put me on their waiting list - will hear in a few weeks-she felt that I would need one to one counselling.

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MaryAnnSingleton Tue 02-Feb-10 21:17:02

I'm so glad too that it has helped you - thanks for telling me about your experience smile

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