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Counselling for Bereavement
We do not list individual Counsellors or Therapists however, we hope the following guidance helps you find the right one for you...
Current thinking is that counselling should not be offered immediately following a death and that we should respect each individual’s way of coping with loss, moving forward in their own time.
However, the general advice is to wait for at least three months following a death to access help, especially following a traumatic and sudden death when symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can develop which will require specialist trauma therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing). In the majority of cases, these symptoms diminish over a period of weeks and trauma therapy isn’t necessary.
It is at this point that you might find it helpful to reflect on your loss with a trained counsellor who can help you to process what has happened, addressing your fears and concerns about the future without the person you loved and cared for.
Counselling and Psychotherapy are not regulated in Law in the UK, and it can be very difficult to know which type of therapy might be the most helpful following a bereavement. Some counsellors specialise in grief and loss, and many will have different approaches with different training qualifications.
There is some evidence to support the belief that, whatever type of therapy is being delivered, the most helpful factor is that the counsellor you meet is someone with whom you can establish a good therapeutic relationship so that you feel safe and supported.
To help you choose a counsellor or psychotherapist, we recommend that you check that they are registered with a professional body approved by the Professional Standards Authority who assess organisations that have a register of counsellors and psychotherapists.
Any organisation that is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority will ensure that their members have met minimum training standards, abide by their organisation’s Code of Ethics, and there is a complaints procedure, all of which are designed to ensure public safety.
The most widely-known professional body for counsellors and psychotherapists is BACP www.bacp.co.uk and their website provides information on how you can find a therapist listed on their register in the area where you live.
You can also find a list of therapists in Cornwall registered with a number of approved professional bodies at: www.counselling-directory.org.uk/county/cornwall
In the NHS in Cornwall, contact Outlook South West on 01209 871905 for an assessment for Trauma Focused CBT or EMDR, or register at: www.cornwallft.nhs.uk/outlook-south-west/