Have just had my third bereavement counselling session and wanted to say how beneficial it has been. I was sceptical initially, after all, what good can it do when all we want is the one thing we can’t have, our loved one back and life as it was. No, that’s never going to happen but time with an empathetic trained counsellor has turned out to be invaluable for me. After the first one I felt really emotional and my head was all over the place , so much so that I decided not to continue. But after a couple of days I decided to try just once more as I’d read a lot of people had benefited so it couldn’t be all bad! Not as upset after the second one and my counsellor got me thinking positively about various issues. Today’s session was really helpful, I feel a good rapport with my counsellor and she is able to explain and put things into perspective. From things I’ve said she’s been able to unpick things that hadn’t occurred to me and I found it very comforting. Sorry this is such a ramble, hadn’t meant it to be, maybe because we don’t get out much at the moment! So, if you’re in any doubt, please give it a go, it can’t do any harm and hopefully will ultimately do you a lot of good.

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Hi Bjane, that’s really good to know. I have also been sceptical about counselling but after yesterday’s total inertia and blind panic I need someone who can help me see a future. Is the counselling with Sue Ryder or someone else?
I’m so pleased you have found it a positive experience.x

Hi Bjane
I agree it can’t do any harm. I tried counselling but after three sessions the man called me to tell me I didn’t need counselling as I was coping just fine. I am wondering now what was expected of me. Should I have fallen apart and cried throughout because that man (a very nice one) hadn’t a clue how I was really feeling as I am not good at showing my true feelings. Did he see me in tears from exhaustion as I walked home from the sessions. No.
We have said many times on the forum how we have to learn to play act and keep how we really feel bottled up inside us and I must have made a good job of doing just that.
So my therapy now is walking, Nature, my veg growing and being with my dogs who’s shoulders I very often cry on, they see my weakness and seem to understand.

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Jobar, do it! It’s with Sue Ryder, you just get onto their site and go from there. They are free and I think you can have six, might be five , not sure. I was told there was huge demand and a waiting list so I just signed up for it and got on with other thing so . But they got back to me quite quickly so don’t be put off. I found , particularly today, that my lovely counsellor helped me realise than I’m actually not doing too badly and I’m not the complete car crash I felt like. And to be able to be completely honest about feelings without fear of upsetting people, especially family, has been a cork/ bottle experience. It certainly doesn’t do us any good to keep filtering emotions etc and feeling hurt by unintentional crass remarks! Hope it works for you, but be prepared after that first one! Love and a big hug x

Hello Pattidot, sorry yours turned out like that. Probably worse doing it in person, I think I’d have held it all in if it had been face to face. A video call is nice as you’re at home and relaxed. . I’m amazed your counsellor said you didn’t need it, clearly that’s why you were there! It’s all very well being nice but a degree of empathy

and reading between the lines is required, too. Would you not want to try again or do you feel you’re coping ok anyway? I love walking amongst the greenery too, it’s very therapeutic, and I’m lucky to have beautifully countryside on the doorstep. Take care x

Hi Bjane
I think I have learned to cope. I find that by keeping busy and occupied it benefits me. Today I have walked the dogs (I also live in a wonderful walking area). Worked on my allotment (desperate for rain so that I can dig) and been to the church where I volunteer and work on the gardens. My dogs are always with me so I don’t feel alone.
Pat xxxx

I agree Pat, where would we be without our lovely pets? I have a beautiful new rescue cat and he’s such a lovely companion, especially in the evening. Obviously , no walks!! but he’s not allowed out yet so he keeps me very busy filling and emptying his litter trays on a loop! Sending love x

Hi bjane
Had one session so far and cried all the way through it but i will persist.

Think it opens the flood gates. Stirs it all up again. but think I’d been squashing it down quite a lot and am now feeling a bit lighter. Hope it goes better for you the next time and you have an empathetic counsellor. Hang in there, I wasn’t sure how I was going to relate to mine initially but now find I really appreciate her words and her different take on things. Good luck!! xx

Think that’s where I went wrong when I was told I didn’t need counselling, I never cried and stayed perfectly fine, until I started for home and then the floodgates opened. Seems I have to be alone to let it all out. Good luck to you all though.

Morning Pat! Would be lovely not to be awake at this time on a Saturday morning! As long as you manage to let it all out that’s what really matters. Take care and have a good weekend xx

Hello Pattidot, I understand what you mean about holding it all in. Everyone thinks I am so strong and capable since I lost my husband 14 weeks ago. They don’t see the 4 am panics, the all morning tears, or the daily fears of the future. Even with counselling I manage to keep it all very practical and save the tears until it’s over. I don’t get out as I have no transport so I have lots of time to brood, although I realise that will do me no good. This site is the only place where i feel my thoughts and feelings are recognized. I am wondering whether to continue with the counselling as I feel sure I don’t come across as needing it.

Hi Bjane
I’m afraid I’m always up early. I love the early mornings. So up as soon as it get’s light and out with the dogs. Must admit I have gone through that phase of wanting to stay in bed and never get up again but I know I would have such a guilt complex if I did. Plus have to think of the dogs and their walkies.

Hello Jean
I have never been a person who wanted loads of sympathy and I was bought up to not make a fuss about things but to get on with life and old habits stay with us.
I think being on this forum taught me quite a bit about how grief affects a person and i always seemed to be one step ahead of the counsellor and he wasn’t telling me anything that I didn’t already know. I really wasn’t trying to be a know it all but I was aware of so much already that I had learnt from this forum. I think he gave up on me. Like so many of us I keep my grief to when I’m alone. I think my near family would be shocked to even see me cry but I do have those meltdown days just the same as anyone else. I wonder if it pays to be so independent because people seem to forget you so quickly and think your doing just fine as we ask nothing of them. I know exactly what you mean about those early morning panic attacks, the tears that won’t stop and the horrible fear that seems to be always with us. I have found out today that I might have to have my garden taken up to get down to a sewage pipe that is being damaged by tree roots (not even my tree). I love my garden and was upset but then I thought what did a garden matter the worst thing that could happen has happened and nothing will be as bad as that. So try not to worry too much you are going through your worst nightmare and nothing will ever be as awful.
Such a pity you can’t get out much. I have a car but I often jump on a bus and go out with the dogs. I am a keen walker and find walking very therapeutic as well as healthy. Have you a garden this also is a very therapeutic pastime. Keeping busy and occupied was what kept me going and still does.
Take care

Hi Pat, having read of others’experiences on here I think I am very lucky to have been allocated an empathetic perceptive counsellor who has helped me make sense of a lot of things. A shame that it doesn’t work for everyone but then we are all reacting differently to this terrible thing that’s happened to us. Sorry to hear about the imminent disruption of your garden, our garden is such a comfort and I love trying to keep it nice! That and friends and family and walking keep me going though I still sometimes feel like I want to shut the world away and hibernate. Did four and a half miles yesterday , it was a beautiful day. Have a good day xxx

Hi Bjane
Well done on the walking, it really does help to get out into the countryside and have a healthy walk.
I have spent most of today at my allotment. Pruning and clearing a rose garden (I have flower area’s as well as veg). Keeping busy helps to keep me sane.
I have decided that if my garden has to be dug up because of the drains then so be it. It’s only a garden, I can re-vamp it again. It can be repaired. We are going through the worst time of our lives and nothing will seem as bad again.
Pat xxx
Just annoys me that it’s neighbours trees causing the damage which might cost me a lot of money.

Oh that is annoying, and we don’t need any more hassle on top of official stuff etc! Are the neighbours aware? Maybe they could pay half or at least chip in. You obviously know what you’re doing garden wise, And maybe a bit of a blank canvas could be something nice and challenging to get your teeth into. When you’ve stppped gnashing them that is! You’re right though nothing will ever seem or be as bad as this, if we can cope with it we’ll be invincible! Sending love xxxx

Your so right, start again but such a shame, nice garden with established plants… No, neighbours don’t know as yet. I am hoping that some of the water from the blocked drains went through to their patio and they complain then I can tell them the reason and see what happens. Lots to look into and your so right I don’t need more hassle, who of us do.

It’s really good that people are discussing their experiences of counselling - thank you, it can help others so much.

I haven’t had bereavement counselling, but I have seen psychiatrists and counsellors on and off since I was a teenager, and like @Pattidot, I find that any counsellor I now see doesn’t tell me anything that I do not already know. However, I can still find them very beneficial. I saw a counsellor three years ago, everything he told me I already knew, but he really helped me. He was a guy in his 20s, and he was just so caring and full of so much sympathy and empathy, and that is what I needed at that time in my life - I was suffering in total silence, I couldn’t tell my parents as I didn’t want to stress them, so just to have someone who understood what I was going through was so helpful.

Even if we know what the counsellor tells us, it can still help, as sometimes we need reaffirmation to help us do something. I know I should take things a day at a time, but when someone else tells me that, and reaffirms it, it often makes me more focused on accomplishing it.

And as @bjane has written about her experience, sometimes counsellors can give you a new perspective of looking at things.

Unfortunately, counselling doesn’t always help people. As @Geoff999 wrote, he finds that talking about the past opens up wounds and is counterproductive. That can happen, and I am so sorry for him. You can also end up with someone you do not get on with - the last psychiatrist I saw wouldn’t listen, he had made up his mind on what was wrong with me within an hour, and what I needed to do. You can also end up in a situation where you just don’t feel a rapport, and so cannot discuss your feelings freely.

Counselling isn’t a panacea. I think sometimes some people think it is, and then end up depressed when they see it never helped as much as they wanted. But it can help, and if your goals are realistic regarding how much it will help, then you won’t end up disappointed. Statistically, you’re much more likely to benefit from counselling than you are not to. And if you do think it is making things worse, you can always stop it. That’s why I often ask people if they have considered counselling, because it is more likely to benefit them than harm them. @Jobar, it makes me very sad that almost a year on you still seem to be struggling so much. Maybe it is a good idea that you are considering counselling, and it can also help us on a subconscious level - when we take steps to try and improve our lives, it can make us subconsciously feel better that we are being productive, and give us some hope. When we’re stuck in the rut, with no progress being made, it can make us lose hope. Of course, taking those steps when we are unwell can be so difficult, as I know all too well. If you do decide to have counselling, Jobar, then helpfully it will help you, but if you don’t decide to have it now, that’s fine too.