new beginnings are often disguised as painful beginning

Bernadette is aware that each person has their story and experiences and provides a safe space where you will be supported, at a pace that suits you. Bernadette will support you in learning new skills and creating tools that will support you so that you can grow, develop your own courage in living with the pain, as well as have a better understanding of others.

Grief is a natural response to loss and is a highly individualised experience with reactions varying widely. Grief is most commonly associated with the death of a loved one, however the feelings of grief can also encompass:

Loss of employment
Loss of friendships
Diagnosis of a disability
Diagnosis of mental health issue
Loss of home from natural disasters
Loss of a beloved pet
Struggling with a substance abuse
Being a victim of crime

grief   grief   grief

Bereavement can result in emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioural responses and each individual, despite the emotional difficulty, will generally experience:

Lack of energy
Lack of motivation
Weight loss
Difficulty in concentrating

All of the above experiences are normal and even though the experience of loss is a common and inevitable one, people grieve in different ways and require different levels of support. The majority of people navigate their way through their loss without requiring support whereas others experience traumatic reminders, memories and images that create physical reactions. Some will show signs of denial, avoidance and use numbing strategies to protect ourselves from the distressing feelings that may be associated with death or loss, which prevents us from experiencing the normal bereavement process. Characteristics of denial or avoidance may include:

Intense longing for the deceased
Withdrawal from family and friends
  Withdrawal from social activities
Withdrawal from their community
Lack of trust in their own abilities
Extreme focus on completing daily rituals
  Obsessed with own mortality
Low self-worth
Acute alcoholism or substance abuse

grief   grief   grief

As mentioned above grief is not only associated with the death of a loved one, it also encompasses lesser-spoken losses that such as miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, SIDS, HIV/AIDS as well as job loss. Many losses are deeply private and often stigmatised in nature by society, which may leave individuals; couples and families without support and survivors can be left with feelings of shame, guilt, and alienation from loved ones, their community and society.

Grief and loss counselling is helpful for those who have not had the support around them due to supporting others, as well as for those who are transitioning and are wanting to create change within their life.


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