Bereavement Counselling
Neil Wood-Gaiger BSc (Hons) Psych; Ad Dip CP; Dip Hyp CS; MBPsS; MCS (Acc); MHS
Hypnotherapist ~ Psychotherapist ~

Bereavement Counselling, Taunton

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Loss, Grief & Bereavement Counselling

The psychological effects of grief may include any of the following reactions to loss including feelings of sadness, often in a society that shuns sadness, the client may find sadness difficult to express, they may be discouraged from expressing these feelings by others around them, who, not wanting to confront their own emotions may encourage a ‘stiff upper lip’; loneliness is often experienced following the death of a loved one, especially when it means that the person now has to live on their own, we seek company and experiences feel more real when they are shared, during bereavement, this sense of shared existence may be lost, leaving a void expressed in loneliness, the empty place at the table a constant reminder of their departure; regret, yearning,longing, and wishing that it had not happened and that they can undo the past and have the departed back again may also feature in grief. Although these emotions are almost expected of someone bereaved, to the extent that others may criticise someone who is not showing sufficient grief (this behaviour may be a coping strategy to mask grief) others may appear more difficult to understand such as fear and anxiety, including the fear that they may die as well or anxiety over how they will be able to live without their loved one, they may feel unable to see how they can be happy again. These emotions can become overwhelming and they may feel anger that they have been put into the position that they are going through. They may not understand the force of this anger, feeling ashamed that they are blaming the one they have lost, or the anger may be directed towards others or God, blaming them for taking their loved one away. Feeling of guilt may materialise either over these feelings towards their lost loved one or directed towards others, or feelings of guilt that they could have done something, or not done something so that their loved one would still be alive. They may be suffering from shock, a process that helps to numb the system so that coming to understand this new situation takes place at a rate that will not overwhelm the client.

The bereaved may also be experiencing what some might consider to be improper emotions such as relief or emancipation, these feelings may follow having to nurse someone who was terminally ill, or someone who was in a previously abusive relationship, the death may feel like a weight has been lifted from their shoulders and that they can now have the life they could not have had when the deceased was alive. Although, these feelings although seemly positive, can be the harbinger of guilt over these feelings. Feeling relief or even glad that someone has died is considered socially unacceptable and creates a conflict between the knowledge that the pain of the departed has ended and regret that they suffered and died or being able to express anger that they were sick.

Therapy will not dismiss any of these emotions, even when directed towards themselves, it will not offer sympathy in a ‘there, there’ approach saying that ‘everything will be alright in the end’, someone in the mist of grief maybe unable to see an end. What therapy does is recognise that these are all part of the normal healing process and a necessary step that each individual needs to go through on their particular path to creating a new life, with its own hopes and expectations, without the one they have lost. These emotions are normal and leaving them unacknowledged, or worse dismissing them may cause them to fester and return as future unresolved psychological trauma.


The 5 stages of grief to help understand the normal feelings that many experience during the grieving period. These phases are as follows.

The 5 stages of grief









The 5 stages of grief


Of course each of the ‘phases’ is not a separate stage and that they overlap and the feelings and emotions they represent are those emotions experienced by individuals which may progress at differing rates and may go back and forth at different times or circumstances. The ups and downs of these stages might be represented as the up's and down's in the graph.

Not everyone will grieve in the same way and that the concept of phases represents movement towards healing, which will vary from person to person. There is no such thing as building on these stages, they come and go as time goes by. Therapy helps to guide through the stages and give coping skill to help along the way. There are no time constraints or pressure to adhere to the stages.

When it comes to bereavement therapy the needs of the individual are uppermost.


To book your FREE initial consultation call Neil anytime on 07968 465933
or email any questions to


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Neil Wood-Gaiger Counselling Hypnotherapy Taunton Glastonbury Somerset
Practice address
Rowan Cottage
130 Wells Road
Tel: 07968 465933 (mobile)


The British Psychology Society Member Insured with Holistic Services Insurance
National Hypnotherapy Society Member

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