Trauma counselling

I have started this thread in the hope of finding how others on this site have or have not sought counselling on an individual basis. Having read other posts I realize some of us are further forward when it comes to expressing ourselves and offering hope and help to others.
Talking on this site has been a lifesaver to me as I know that all of us understand the terrible void that is left when a soulmate dies. It is beyond comprehension until it happens.
It’s the nature of how my husband died and the phone

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I pressed reply by mistake!!
It’s the nature of how my husband died that is causing me awful distress and reliving the phone call from a policeman. I am also still reeling from the lack of compassion shown to me and my sons from the hospital where he died. Our GP also basically implied that these things happen and I think it is the lack of interest that is adding to the trauma. My son witnessed the worst thing possible seeing his father die in front of him.
Whilst I am gaining much comfort from talking to you all here I seem to become ever more numb as time passes. It’s as if I’m stuck reliving that dreadful evening when life changed forever.
I am terrified of the future and obsessed with how my husband died.
Has anyone had PTSD counselling and has it worked

Sorry to see you have been struggling jobar.
It’s so painful when it all replays over and over in your mind . I still relive that awful day , a day doesn’t go by without it going through my mind .
I think the suddenness of it all is such a huge shock, I don’t think we will ever get over it . I just keep thinking if he knew he was going at least we would have had a bit of time to just tell each other what we wanted to say . From being fine one minute to just gone the next without no warning is absolutely devastating.
We will never get over the shock, to have our future changed in an instant, it is terrifying, I really can’t think about it as anxiety cripples me.
I also feel for your son, he must be struggling and you feeling so hurt for him .
To also feel lack of compassion you received must feel like a knife through your heart, like you’ve been brushed off as ‘one of those things ‘ .
I feel I was given lots of compassion after I lost Tim from the hospital and my dr. The thought of otherwise, I couldn’t handle it.
I don’t think I need to have counselling atm, but never say never I suppose.
I hope you get some advice on counselling on here from someone, so you can decide.
If you’re really struggling and feel it’s getting worse, maybe give it a go. I now have ok ish days where I can get through without too much pain, but the days it hits, I just want to curl up and never wake up again, I didn’t think at the beginning that I would ever be even a bit ok on some days, but I am, mainly because everyone on here, I think this site has saved me and has helped me to cope a bit better.
Hope you get some advice
Thinking of you x

After my husband died and when I could manage a whole day without crying I decided to train as a bereavement counsellor. No one who has not experienced losing a partner or husband can possibly understand, however well meaning, what it is like. The hole point of counselling is to let you talk. Talking in itself is a healing process and you will be given the time and space to work things out for yourself. A counsellor is not a problem solver. If we have a problem then the best person to solve it is ourselves. We just need a little help from an understanding and non judgemental ear. Please try it. You have nothing to lose as no one will be offended if you say it is not for you

Hi Steph, thank you for your message and understanding. It isn’t only the suddenness of John’s death that I find so disturbing but the indifference of the hospital. I am sure it’s contributing to my distress. I feel as though my heart shattered when I realised he had died and then it was crushed by the lack of care. We wrote to the hospital and were supposed to have heard back just before lockdown started but now nothing is happening due to the virus taking precedence. I understand that of course but I don’t want to be permanently overlooked.
With regard to my GP, the problem is that we have had a major overhaul of the surgery in the past year and none of the new doctors really knew us that well. They are all much younger and haven’t been alive as long as we were married! When faced with my grief I was offered antidepressants and beta blockers neither of which I took. I still can’t believe how little interest was shown in finding out how or why someone dies during a conversation. Here one minute, gone the next.
Of course it would not have brought John back but the thought that he didn’t seem to matter and just became another statistic has piled despair onto our grief. At the moment there is so much emphasis on how covid patients are being cared for with compassion and I just wonder why there was no compassion for my darling husband and my son.
I have become fixated on images and events which I cannot change but have to learn to live with. Talking on this site has been a huge help.
None of my friends has suffered traumatic loss and while keeping me occupied is one thing, understanding is another.
I believe there are techniques that can be used to control distressing images and I was interested to know if anyone has experience of this therapy.
I know I am in danger of going over and over the same thing but thank you for listening.

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Dear Florence, thank you for your response to my question about counselling. I totally agree that only someone who has lost a partner/husband/wife can possibly understand the total devastation it causes. Before my husband died, reading posts on this site would have made me sad but what I feel when I read them now is on a completely different level. The importance of being able to talk to someone who understands cannot be overstated.
Whilst I appreciate that a time delay in seeking counselling is right for some people it seems to be haphazard in its availability. There must also be a difference in immediate care of the traumatized and that offered for the long term.
I find talking on this site is counselling that really helps. It was the lack of care and understanding in the immediate aftermath of sudden death that I find so disturbing. In the depths of grief I didn’t know how to go about finding an appropriate counsellor for my sons and me and there seemed to be no help find it.
I may yet try and find someone who is trained in PTSD but for the time being talking and reading other people’s experiences and coping strategies is keeping me going .
Thank you for your help

Try going through the gp but I know that can be a longish wait. If you can afford it then the private sector is best because a lot of free counselling is done by people like myself: I will get such placements next year and I am still very much a beginner and will be under constant supervision. You may not need a PTS counsellor, they can be hard to find and expensive because these counsellors have spent many years in training. A lot of them do work for the NHS but the waiting lists are long. If you need help now just try a session with a bereavement counsellor and if it is not for you she/he will not be offended If you stop. We are trained to know that if the fit isn’t right for either party then it is best to stop. Talking here is therapeutic, as is any expression of grief. It is easier to talk to strangers as they have no preconceived ideas about you ,. The problem here is that you cannot say enough and it is not as spontaneous and ‘in the moment’ as talking but it suits some people very well. When someone dies we are bombarded with sympathy, which we don’t want, but cannot always find empathy. Our friends and relatives rally around and offer advice but sometimes this is because they are sad for you but don’t know how to help you and don’t understand that help at this stage is not possible. Support in practical ways can be more use. Sometimes with our married friends it frightens them. They don’t want to think that this could be me so they want us to ‘move on’ as this will make them feel better. It is just human nature. I have a little note in my purse which says. Loving you is easy is do it every day. Missing you is a heartache that never goes away. We have to learn, somehow, to live with that heartache because it will always be there in some form or another. We live, love and think on a very individual basis and grief is no different. It is entirely yours and no one can tell you how to get through it. If I may offer one opinion, I think your son will need a different type of counselling as his trauma, although similar to yours in theory, will in fact be entirely different based on age, which I do not know, and relationship. The effect of losing a partner and losing a dad are very different. If he is a child then I volunteer for a children’s bereavement charity which runs weekends for children up to 16 to let them express their grief. Children don’t always express grief because it upsets mum/dad so can express itself in negative behaviour. There are charities doing this work all over the country and teachers and GPs will have details. I wish you well in the future. It has taken me a long time to get here but I can still cry at a song or a memory.


Dear Florence, thank you for your very insightful comments on the various sorts of counselling. My son is just 28, he was 27 when my husband died, and I fully appreciate his needs are different from my own. I would have been quite happy to seek out private counselling and have no idea why my GP didn’t have a list in the same way they do other consultants. I was wary of finding someone who hadn’t been recommended. I understand PTS counselling is very specific and only undertaken by a few practitioners.
You are also so right when you make the distinction between sympathy and empathy. I hate having become the person noone wants to be and those messages that begin with how lockdown must have made everything so much worse for me. It’s as if my situation consoles them that life could be worse for them but at least they’re not me.
It may be that one to one counselling might help. I certainly won’t dismiss it out of hand.
Thank you for your help and good luck with your counselling.
Take care

counseling was the first thing, that I did. lots of it. I would still seek it, but in the US, it is expensive. most importantly: you do not bore your friends, and family. you do not risk alienating them.

When my brother died suddenly, I was offered counselling which I accepted, whilst the lady who came to our home, was very nice and pleasant all she could talk about were her own bereavements. I was sympathetic but it did nothing for me.

I am sorry to hear that. NO properly trained counsellor would EVER engage in that type of conversation. Counselling is not a conversation between two people it is a listening service primarily with some help after quite a few sessions. Do not go for anyone who is not CPCAB accredited and if this person was then she should be reported and her supervisor will discuss it with her.

That is why I was wary of choosing someone without a recommendation. A bad counsellor is worse than no counsellor. I still feel GP’s should have more training in how to help someone deeply traumatized and point them in the right direction. I very much sensed my GP didn’t have a clue what to do with me. I was offered the usual antidepressants except I wasn’t depressed and beta blockers for my racing heart. What I had was a broken heart and I don’t think that’s on the syllabus at med school. If anything positive is to come out of this nightmare virus hopefully there will be better help and understanding for those who have been bereaved and in many cases deeply traumatized.
Thank you all for your feedback and comments.

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I am so sorry jobar, to learn of the loss of your husband. I found my husband on our bedroom floor, he had died. I was in shock for six months, I do understand how you will be feeling. There is nothing which anyone can say to you which will make you feel any better. x x x

Thank you Mary for your kind words. It’s the worst feeling possible isn’t it. I am so sorry that you have had this awful experience . It does help talking to others who genuinely understand. Xx

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You are very welcome jobar, I hope that you will continue to post here, all of us are suffering in the same way, this site and it’s wonderful members has been my salvation. x x x