The Octagon

Bereavement &
Complicated Grief

Many people seek counselling and psychotherapy during a bereavement. How we grieve is unique to us as individuals. It is common to feel numb, anxious, tired and overwhelmed. Sometimes you might feel nothing at all. When grief becomes more persistent or all-consuming, this is when it is categorised as complicated grief.

Some struggle to cope with their complicated grief in a healthy way, so counselling and psychotherapy are good options to help process the pain and loss.

I have many years of experience working with adults, adolescents and young people who have been bereaved. This includes working with sudden or accidental death, traumatic death and infant loss.

Suicidal thoughts and feelings are not uncommon during the pain of grief and the risk of suicide can be real and is heightened for bereavements in some circumstances, or for some individuals. With counselling and psychotherapy interventions, you can take back control of your life.

As an independent counsellor, I can help those who find it too difficult to talk to family or friends. Talking therapy can be the first step towards recovery. So let’s work through it together, in an open and non-judgemental space.


What does a counsellor do?

A counsellor works with anyone experiencing difficult life moments. They help you to overcome particularly stressful periods and find ways to cope healthily. Counsellors are trusted persons who work confidentially. They encourage individuals to open up in a safe and non-judgemental space.

How does counselling work?

Counselling is a form of talking therapy. Individuals work with counsellors to better understand their emotions, trauma and where the problems come from. The process is cooperative, inviting the counsellor to exercise high-level listening skills and problem-solving tactics.

What is complicated grief? Complicated grief (also known as complex grief) refers to long-term and traumatic grief, which usually prevents someone from healing. Generally it is when someone has witnessed a particularly brutal or sudden deaths, like suicide, manslaughter or murder. These particular circumstances can be very stressful for the person mourning.

How many therapy sessions will I need?

The number of therapy sessions needed will vary depending on individual needs. The average number of sessions is 12-16, lasting 45 minutes. However, some people might need less or more. Many choose to work with a therapist or counsellor for years. If you are making positive progress in your sessions and your goals have been met, you might decide to end the therapy process.

What will my first therapy session be like?

The first therapy session will follow an “interview” style format. You can expect to be asked some personal questions to understand more about you and your current problems. This is an introductory session, which is free. It’s a great opportunity to build rapport with your therapist and see if you can cooperate.

What’s the difference between grief vs. mourning?

Grief is the word we use to describe the internal processing, like emotions and thought-patterns. Mourning is the external processing, in other words, how we express our pain on the outside. It is the aftermath of complicated and complex grief. 

Where can I find grief counselling near me?

I provide grief counselling online and in-person. I work with individuals going through complicated grief and bereavement. If you’re looking for grief counselling in UK, I can adapt our sessions to suit your needs.

How to help someone with grief?

The best way to help someone with grief is by listening and checking in on them. Individuals processing their grief might forget to prioritise their self-care, so offer to cook or clean for them. If they are not responding well to you, then consider seeking a grief counsellor or therapist. Professional support can be both the first and last resort for those experiencing complex grief.