Grief and Bereavement Counselling

Grief counselling can help us deal with any loss in our lives.


Barrenjoey Psychology has a team of caring and compassionate psychologists who can provide you with a safe haven for talking about your loss. Loss and grief is something we all experience st some stage of our lives. It may be the death of a loved one, loss of a job, relationship breakdown or loss of ability or health.

Most importantly we all deal with grief differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. This is for the reason that how we process our feelings is dependent on many personal factors. This includes who or what it is we have lost, personality, cultural factors, spiritual beliefs and the range of support we have around us.


Typical reactions to grief:

  • Feelings of sadness, frequent crying
  • Shock, denial, disbelief and ‘numbness’
  • Feelings of anxiety, stress, exhaustion and confusion
  • Anger, shame, guilt and sometimes relief
  • Feeling lost, lonely and isolated
  • Physical health problems may occur, sleeping or eating may become an issue
  • Struggling with decision making, making mistakes at work or at school
  • Changes in behavior, not feeling yourself or acting differently from your usual self
  • Not enjoying your usual activities or hobbies
  • Challenges in personal relationships, loved ones may be dealing differently with the loss
  • An increase in the use of alcohol, smoking or drugs
  • Feelings of hopelessness, not wanting to go on with life, thoughts of self-harm or suicide


Coping with Grief

It is important to acknowledge your feelings and not bottle up your emotions. Sharing your feelings and talking through the meaning of this loss will enable you to process your loss and work through these feelings and reactions. Working with your psychologist at Barrenjoey Psychology you will find strategies for dealing with your emotions. These might include relaxation techniques, engaging in positive activities and learning to challenge negative thoughts which may lead to depression and anxiety. 

Look after yourself – grief can be physically and emotionally detrimental to your well being. Try to eat well, get adequate sleep and maintain some physical exercise. Avoid using drugs and alcohol as they can numb your feelings and slow down the healing process.

Give yourself time – losing someone or something important impacts your life and certainly it can take time to get back to some sort of normality. Consequently there is no set time for this to happen and we often forget this in our western culture. Try not to put pressure on yourself or others “to move on” or “get over it”. Therefore it is advisable to avoid making important decisions until you can think more clearly.

The psychologists at Barrenjoey Psychology on the northern beaches are all professionally trained grief counsellors. People we see find it very helpful to talk through their feelings. Often they find it is important to talk with someone who is not a friend or member of the family. Afterwards they may express how they felt accepted and understood at this painful time. Grief can be processed quicker and less painfully when we share this with a professional.

If you are in crisis or require urgent care please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or call 000 for an ambulance.