26th August 2021
After losing a loved one, it is likely that you will feel many challenging and complex emotions. Grief affects people in different ways, and I understand that making sense of these new and painful feelings takes time. The next step could be to speak with a professional bereavement counsellor in Harrogate or online, as this gives you a safe, friendly, confidential space to explore these feelings in your own time.
However, if you have never had bereavement counselling before, you might be asking yourself: when is the right time to reach out? This is a challenging question for people experiencing feelings of loss. When exactly you should start that process of speaking to a professional is not clear, and varies from person to person. This blog post is therefore here to give you a few pointers about when it might be best to speak with a bereavement counsellor in Harrogate or online.
Don’t Go Immediately
It is a common reflex to seek bereavement counselling immediately after losing a loved one. The emotions are so raw and painful at this stage, and it is normal to feel like you should reach out for help. However, having bereavement counselling straight after a loss is not the best idea, as you haven’t had a chance to properly explore the loss and process the feelings associated with grief.
It is a deeply challenging time, but the healthiest thing to do is let yourself experience the emotions that come up, however painful they may be. After around three months, you will have a greater understanding of how these emotions play a role in your life, at which point you could benefit from talking them through with a bereavement counsellor in Harrogate or online.
Every Situation is Different
Grief is commonly understood as a process of five separate stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance – but this is not how grief works at all. People do not always experience these stages in linear fashion, nor do people necessarily experience all of them, or even any of them. Every loss brings out a different reaction from every person, which means there is no singularly correct time to seek help from a bereavement counsellor.
Some people may never need to speak with a bereavement counsellor. Others could feel numb for a month before suddenly experiencing immense feelings of guilt or anger, at which point they might feel like they need to speak with a bereavement counsellor. Parents who have lost a child may differ in when, or if, they seek counselling to talk through their loss. The question of when you see a bereavement counsellor, if at all, is therefore determined by the way you experience the loss in question.
It’s Never Too Late to Receive Bereavement Counselling
As I have seen personally, many people come to me 10 or 20 years after a bereavement occurs. They may have got on with their lives for many years, only to then encounter extremely painful feelings of grief all of a sudden, and seek out help as a result. This may seem strange, but it is very common – a typical characteristic of grief. It hits you in many different ways, and at any time – no matter how long it has been since the event.
It is important to remember that all feelings of grief, however they emerge, are valid. There is no right way to grieve. Some people may never want to see a bereavement counsellor, while others, after a couple of months since the loss, could see seeking help as a matter of necessity, due to the emotions being so difficult.
If you have lost a loved one and want to learn more about bereavement counselling in Harrogate or online, feel free to get in touch to arrange an initial conversation over the phone.