Grief and Bereavement

Grief and Bereavement Counselling

Grief counselling helps the recently bereaved child, young person or adult/couple adapt to the loss of their loved one and begin to adjust to a new phase in their life without him or her. The loss can be caused by separation or death, and may involve a beloved family member, partner, unborn child, friend or special pet. Counselling specifically assists the person to begin to integrate the reality of the loss; reduce mental and emotional pain; manage any difficulties with readjustment after the loss, and maintain a loving connection with the loved one while feeling comfortable to move on into the new phase of life.

Grief counselling also helps people who are suffering anticipatory grief/mourning in relation to a loved one being diagnosed with a life-threatening/life-changing condition or a terminal illness, for which they are receiving Palliative Care.

With children and young people, art and creative therapy techniques may be used, alongside counselling, as a means of helping them express their inner feelings and emerging strengths and wisdom.

People also grieve life/role transitions such as moving to a new city or country, children leaving home, retirement and so on, and may benefit with assistance in managing these changes (also related to the Interpersonal Psychotherapy section).

Grief Therapy

Grief therapy is more broad-ranged and intense than grief counselling, and works supportively to identify and resolve grief reactions which have become complicated, prolonged, delayed, disturbing or are causing physical or behavioural symptoms. The goal of therapy includes helping the child, young person or adult reduce the conflicts of their bereavement or loss, maintain a loving link with the deceased, and better integrate the loss over time. Therapy is always based on an empathic, trusting, purposeful relationship between the therapist and the bereaved person.

The sudden, unexpected or violent death of a loved one, such as in the cases of suicide, homicide and accidental death, can cause traumatic grief responses to develop over time. Traumatic grief may include elements of trauma and complicated grief, for which the person may benefit from careful, empathic support and therapeutic treatment as outlined above, as well as specific treatment interventions.

Interventions that I use include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Schema Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy; the trauma healing technique, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR); and restorative retelling and meaning reconstruction techniques, such as writing/journaling/memory box creation and retelling the story of the beloved’s life and impact of their death to integrate the changing and deeper meaning of the traumatic grief experience. With children and young people, art and creative therapy techniques may be used.

You are welcome to contact me to make an appointment:

Sharon Rasco, Counsellor and Psychologist
30 Marlborough Place, St Ives, NSW 2075