Pet Bereavement Counselling is specific counselling for those who have or will soon lose a much loved pet. When we lose a pet we often feel alone in our sorrow, not wanting to be judged by friends, employers and family who may be sympathetic but don't want to upset you by talking to you about your loss.
As an Advanced Pet Bereavement counsellor, in addition to studying counselling and grief, I have also extensively studied the human-animal bond and the psychology which makes us feel the way we do after the loss of a pet and why other family members may react differently to you. That is important because it can affect your personal relationships if misunderstood.
It's never too early to start. If you have had a terminal diagnosis for your beloved pet, it's a good idea to start as soon as possible. Being told that there is no cure and you will need to consider euthanasia in the near future is devastating and you may feel that suddenly you have no control - you can't cure your pet and the only option available is unthinkable yet inevitable. However, there are still many things that you can control to give your pet , yourself and family peace of mind and I can help to guide you through before and after your pet has passed away. With you and your vet's agreement I can also liaise with your vet prior to euthanasia if it is in your best interest only. Your details will always be confidential.
Sadly we sometimes lose our pets unexpectedly, ill-prepared and in shock it can be difficult to come to terms with. Grief is a natural process and we grieve as humans, regardless of whether we are grieving for a pet or another human being. If you have lost your pet in this way, I can help you through the grief process and help you to make sense of it all.
Your loss may affect your children and I can help you to find ways to help your children express their grief. You do not have to be a client yourself, this is a separate service available to parents/legal guardians and does not directly involve conversation between your children.
In line with Covid-19 restrictions, all counselling sessions will be either via video call or if you prefer, by telephone. Video calls include Facetime, Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp, Messenger as examples. If you prefer, a session over the phone, this can be arranged too.
If you would like more or specific information prior to booking, please fill in the contact form which you can find on my Contact page
When you feel ready to book your first counselling session, please call 07305 582170 to book. We can check availability that suits you, take your payment and make a confirmed booking.
Once your booking is confirmed I will ask you to complete the My Pet Form. This asks questions about your pet and other relevant information to help me to help you. I would be very grateful if you could upload a photo of your pet onto to this form too, this all helps me to personalise your counselling to your individual needs and circumstances.
Our first session together will be about you and your pet, getting to know each other and I may ask questions to clarify information. All of our sessions will be informal. You may see me make notes occasionally, particularly in our first session. This is nothing to worry about, it is for me to use to reflect on our session afterwards and helps me to prepare for your next session to make sure it is always personal to you.
Subsequent sessions will be discussing where we were at the end of your previous sessions and any concerns or progress that you have felt since then before discussing how you are doing in general. Sometimes I may ask you to do some "homework" in between sessions if you feel comfortable doing so but don't worry, there won't be any right or wrong answers! This may be for example, writing a short journal of how you feel each day. It helps you to see your progress over time.
Each individual is different and has their own set of circumstances. If you are a parent/legal guardian, looking at ways to help a child express their grief, this can usually be done in one or at most, two sessions.
If you are having counselling due to a terminal prognosis for your pet it would be likely that our sessions would be over a length of time, as often as you wish. This is the same if you have lost your pet unexpectedly.
You can book weekly sessions, monthly sessions or as we near the end of your counselling, a session to check in and see how you are doing perhaps a few months after your counselling finishes. With this in mind, exact lengths of time are difficult to predict but we will frequently look at your progress.
If you would like more information about how I can help you, please use the Contact Me form or phone 07305 582170