You might want to consider counselling if you feel “stuck” at one of the loss stages, in order to:
- help you untangle conflicting emotions
- support you through a time of change
- help you to express your feelings
- help children to express their feelings and feel supported.
Counselling helps you to make problems clear in your own mind, and find better ways of working through them. The counsellor is trained to listen to you and help you understand and work things out for yourself. They won’t tell you what to do, but will work with you to support you. Counselling sessions usually last for 50 minutes, and the number of sessions you have will depend on the issues you have. Your counsellor can discuss this with you.
Sometimes people find family counselling or family therapy very useful. This type of counselling is designed for families, parents and children, but can be applicable to any relationship, within families or not, which would benefit from support. Siblings, extended families including grandparents, and can also attend; sometimes people find it helpful to invite a very close family friend.
Family Counselling or Therapy can help family members find ways to support and help each other, to develop further their communication skills, and their ability to resolve differences. It takes place in a safe and supportive environment where the focus is identifying and encouraging the family’s strengths and resources and where problems are worked with in a collaborative way.
You will probably have to pay for any counselling you may have, but your GP may be able to refer you to a free service.
During a divorce or separation you might find that you are not as available to your children as you might want to be. Children may then start to keep their feelings and worries to themselves, thinking that talking to you might burden and distress you further. You can ask your child’s school if there is a youth counsellor on site. Youth counselling can give children an opportunity to talk about their fears and worries without the added anxiety of worrying you.
Counselling is one of a range of services that help to support the health, emotional and social needs of pupils and lead to a healthy school culture. Evidence shows that a counselling service which provides support within an overall school strategy can be highly effective in promoting young people’s welfare. If you need some help with how your child is feeling, talk to your GP, school counsellor or other health worker.