Bereavement counselling for children image showing a child holding up hands covered in paint

Bereavement counselling for children – how can counselling help?

How do children experience bereavement? Children experience the same sorts of feelings as adults when someone they love dies. Though they may not show it in the same way, children may grieve just as intensely as adults when they suffer a loss in their lives. Bereavement counselling for children can help with the pain of loss.

Most young children are aware of death, even if they don’t understand it. Death is a common theme in some children’s programmes and television, and some of your child’s friends may have already lost a loved one. But experiencing grief first-hand is a different and often confusing process for children. As a parent, you can’t protect a child from the pain of loss, but you can help them feel safe. And by allowing and encouraging them to express their feelings, you can help them build healthy coping skills that will serve them well in the future.

How Children display Grief and Bereavement

Children are usually not be able to verbalise their grief as an adult would, and their understanding of loss and grief are usually not as sophisticated. But this does not mean that children do not experience grief. Instead, watching children’s actions can often reveal a great deal about their emotions. Some children may become destructive, others may become withdrawn. Changes in sleep patterns, eating habits or concentration/school habits can also be signs of grief. 

Grieving children may also be more emotional than usual, less emotional than usual, want to talk about the person that has died, not want to talk about the person that has died or continue on as if nothing has happened.

Grief Counselling for Children

Bereavement Counselling can help children to express their emotions and work through their grief in a safe environment that is an alternative to their own homes. Many children find it easier to open up in a “neutral” environment, or away from relatives if they believe that they might upset them by discussing their feelings.  Encouraging children to draw, paint, write stories or talk about their feelings are all the different ways in which I can help children open up and express their grief and loss.

If you have a child which you feel would benefit from counselling or psychotherapy, and are located in the wider areas of Staffordshire including Tamworth then please get in touch with Nirm.