How do you know if you need grief counselling?

We each see the world from our own perspectives and are individually influenced by family, culture and life experiences. We bring unique strengths and limitations to the situations we encounter.  

At times of crisis our responses are individual and varied. Sometimes our old ways of coping may not work for us leaving us feeling helpless, anxious or overwhelmed.

As human beings we struggle to understand and make sense of the situations in which we find ourselves. One way we may do this is to ask: why did this happen or what if /if only I had done something differently or why me?

We as counsellors know that our society is not well informed/educated about the effect and impact of grief and that differences in grieving styles occur. Family members and those close to us sometimes may not understand that  it is OK to grieve differently - some  talk about their feelings whilst others move into action;  some  grieve earlier than others for whom the impact takes longer to have an effect;  and some are effected by the loss for longer than others.

Problems can arise when emotional needs may not be met or understood. Therefore in addition to coping with our grief we may also feel alone, misunderstood, angry, disappointment and hurt.  

Counselling can provide you with the opportunity to express yourself in a safe, caring and non-judgmental environment in which you feel heard.

If you are persistently struggling with any of the following you may benefit from grief counselling.

point10px 1  Do you feel like life isn’t worth living, or are struggling to cope with normal everyday activities?
point10px 1  Do you wish you had died with your loved one?
point10px 1  Is there tension and conflict in your relationships?
point10px 1  Are you experiencing difficult feelings such as relief, guilt, blame or anger?
point10px 1  Are there changes in your sleep, appetite, concentration or physical health?
point10px 1  Are you consistently relying on drugs and/or alcohol?
point10px 1  Do you feel numb or disconnected from others?
point10px 1  Are you having difficulty trusting others, or feeling anxious, depressed, or frightened?
point10px 1  In response to your trauma, are you also experiencing ongoing distressing and intrusive thoughts/memories of the event (flashbacks)?

Counselling Centre for
Loss, Grief & Trauma
(03) 9509 0097

Myths about Grief

You should achieve “closure and “move on”.

No – but you will move through your grief and gradually adjust to life without your loved one. Although their life has come to an end you will always carry with you the relationship you shared.


It is important to be “strong”.

Not true - Trying to ignore or not show how you feel in order to “protect” others is unhelpful for all concerned, including children. Crying is not a sign of weakness, nor is its absence a sign of not grieving.