The Bereavement Counselling Service was founded, in 1992, upon the results of a five year study funded by Cancer Research UK in Plymouth and South Devon, in which its benefits and effectiveness were fully assessed and clearly demonstrated.
We have grown from a very small group of counsellors to a team of over 20 specially trained counsellors.
With our funding confirmed for another two years and our larger number of counsellors, we hope to reach even more clients in the coming future to help with issues detailed below.
Bereavement & It’s Effects
Normal Grief – what is normal grief?
Some losses and bereavements are difficult to come to terms with, we can be poorly prepared for the physical and emotional consequences of our loss, and may find ourselves overwhelmed, disoriented and wondering what to do next. Grieving can be very distressing and leave you feeling vulnerable.
Most frequently these emotions are a normal reaction to bereavement, especially when the person was a close loved one.
With the help of family and good friends most bereaved people are able to adjust to life without the loved one and find fulfilment in the life they lead in spite of the fact that life has changed and they continue to miss the person who has died.
Below is a list of commonly experienced emotions:
- Physical illness
It is common to feel a sense of shock or numbness at first; but everyone is different, and there is no ‘right way’ to grieve. You could feel all of these things – or none of them. You may be shocked by the intensity and duration of your feelings, or how quickly your moods swing from one feeling to another. You may even begin to doubt your sanity. However, these feelings are usually healthy and appropriate and, in time, will help you to come to terms with and make sense of your loss. Although we experience the process of grieving differently, there are emotions which are common and some of them are listed above, but there may be others which are not listed, which you experience. Often a bereaved person may experience one emotion for a period and then re-experience one which was experienced earlier all this is appropriate when grieving.
Complex grief – what is complex grief?
The Bereavement Counselling Service specialises in helping people, who are experiencing complex grief, find the path to normal grieving.
Am I experiencing Complex Grief?
There are different types of complex grief:
This is where the intense, emotional response, which is often experienced in the early stages of the bereavement, is prolonged to an extent that it becomes the main focus of your life and is in fact a way of being that prevents you from re-establishing your normal life.
This is where the death of a loved one does not seem to make an impact on the life of the bereaved person, so that life goes on without much consideration of loss. It can be that the bereaved person has such a busy life, with responsibilities like children to care for, finances to be concerned with, that the person does not fully acknowledge the death of the loved one and grieve in a healthy way. This can `catch up’ with the bereaved person at a later stage in life, when perhaps their children leave home or there is another death of a close person. Inhibited grief can lead to depression and other physical illnesses.
Other Risks and Traumatic Loss:
Where the death of the loved one is very sudden, traumatic or where there are multiple deaths, Counsellors at The Bereavement Counselling Service can work with those who are at risk of developing complex grief. This is a particular risk when the death is that of a child or where the circumstances of the death are traumatic.
In brief the Bereavement Counselling Service accepts referrals for:
- People whose grief has not been resolved within a reasonable period of time in relation to their loss, resulting in significant problems.
- Those whose experience of bereavement has been particularly distressing or traumatic, in order to prevent subsequent development of problematic and complicated grief.