A sad looking dog

One of the most challenging and difficult experiences a person can have is dealing with the death of someone they love. There are so many conflicting emotions and they can all be amplified and so much more intense because of the circumstances of the loved one’s death, your relationship to the person and your history with them.

The desire to be helped is tempered by the knowledge that the thing that would most help is that person still being here but also logically knowing that’s just not possible. Something that could help to some extent is bereavement counselling. In this article we will guide you through some of the things you might want to consider if you are looking for someone to talk to about how you are feeling.

Who could help you?

We have health professionals available who are skilled and experienced at helping people with bereavement issues specifically. Have a look at their profiles and if you see someone you would like to have a chat with, just drop us a line and we will take it from there.
Jenny Jones is a counsellor in Sheffield

Jenny Jones

Bereavement counsellor

Jeanette Nicholson counselling

Jeanette Nicholson

Bereavement counsellor

What is bereavement counselling?

The death of someone close to you has a very unique combination of issues and factors surrounding it that are specific to each individual who has been bereaved. Bereavement counselling is tailored specifically to someone in your situation and takes into account these varied factors that you may or may not be experiencing.

Seeing a counsellor who specialises in bereavement may be something that you want to consider. All counsellors could theoretically help with bereavement issues though working with someone who has more than the average amount of experience with this issue could be particularly helpful to you. Your counsellor should provide an environment to talk which is supportive and safe. Somewhere you can process your thoughts and feelings and work through your grief at a pace that is right for you.

The range of emotions that come under the umbrella of ‘grief’ can be varied and, at times, intense. It is common for emotions like sadness, anger, guilt and loneliness to be part of what is experienced. There is also the possibility of more positive emotions such as happiness, joy and relief to be part of the grief process. Your bereavement counsellor will help you to navigate these thoughts, feelings and emotions and could even guide you towards solutions that may help you to process them more constructively than holding them all inside and not working through them.

Finding the Right Bereavement Counsellor

There are a couple of things to consider when you are looking for a specialist bereavement counsellor. The first and most important consideration is to know that the person you are working with is qualified and experienced in working with people who have been bereaved. All health professionals at the Sheffield Wellness Centre are verified as being qualified in the work that they do and have public liability and professional indemnity insurance.  Different professionals have different levels of experience so we always suggest that you read their bio pages and ask questions about anything you want to know more about.

It is worth also considering that there are other bereavement services available (see the resources at the bottom of the page) who have a religious focus. For some people who are religious they will want a religious focus to their counselling in order to work with their existing beliefs. Some people who were brought up in a religion but have been non-practicing for a significant time may find that they turn to old beliefs in an attempt to cope better with the feelings they are having. And also, for those who have no religious affiliation it may be worth considering who is providing the support and the location they work from. A bereavement support session held in a church may not be the most helpful for someone who is neutral or opposed to religions.

Trust your gut instinct when it comes to who you choose to work with. To get the most benefit from the process you should work with someone who you feel comfortable with. You need to be able to trust them. When we first meet someone we almost always get a gut feeling about that person. Listen to yours. If it says that it has a good feeling about a particular therapist (which could be based on the smallest of inconsequential details) then it could be worth considering that therapist.

Location: Convenience is key

Something that is often not given the importance it deserves is where the therapist is located in Sheffield and also what type of environment they work from at that location. Many people when looking for bereavement counselling will search Google for something like ‘bereavement counselling near me’. The reason this is important is because travelling long distances to see a therapist when you are in a fragile state could be a challenge.

The journey home is often harder than the journey there. After nearly an hour of talking about personal and difficult issues it would be best to have the quickest journey home possible, especially if you are using public transport as your emotional state straight after the session could be precarious.

Consider also where the therapist works from. Do they have a room at home which they have made their therapy room or do they work from a more professional location? Being in someone’s home, even if that is a converted garage or a garden office involves stepping into the therapist’s personal domestic setting to some degree. Some people find this a little jarring, especially when talking about a subject as intense as grief.

What to Expect in a Bereavement Counselling Session

You should expect your bereavement counsellor to be non-judgemental and to treat you and your circumstances absolutely confidentially to enable you to speak freely about your thoughts and feelings. During the session you might be asked about various aspects of your relationship with the person who you lost. You might be asked details about how you are experiencing grief but they can equally help those who aren’t feeling grief despite someone close to them dying and feeling like they should be grieving.

With the counsellors' help and support you could explore the various emotions specific to you and your circumstances. Sessions usually last 50 to 60 minutes. Sessions are often weekly but this is not essential in some cases. Talk with your counsellor about what you would like and agree with them on something that suits both of you.

Duration of Counselling

This is something that is very individual but it is common for sessions to happen over several weeks to several months. Some counsellors specify that they offer short term, medium term or long term support. Others are more open ended and will adapt to you and your changing circumstances. Some therapists offer a course of sessions, for example six, with the option to check in after this point and see if more sessions might be needed. Your counsellor will specify how they tend to work and what to expect if you choose to work with them.

Benefits of Bereavement Counselling

For those who are struggling with issues around loss and grief there can be many potential benefits to talking with someone experienced in providing counselling for bereavement. Having the safe, dedicated space and time to talk about the person who died can be very cathartic for some. Developing strategies for coping with key upcoming moments in life like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas etc can be very beneficial in helping you to move forward, rather than to move past what happened. Finding ways to deal with the smaller day to day moments when their loss is particularly noticed is also something that can come from these sessions.

You may want to consider talking to a bereavement counselling specialist if you have been struggling since being bereaved. Finding someone skilled and experienced is an important first step and you will find those people on this page. You are welcome to get in touch with the Sheffield Wellness Centre and we will help and support in any way we can. We will help you find someone who is likely to be a good fit in helping you so you can begin to process your feelings and begin to see how life could be without that person being here.

Further bereavement information and resources:

National UK wide support:

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)– UK Wide - “We are the only organisation offering peer-to-peer support to all those over the age of 18, impacted by suicide loss in the UK.”
Widowed and Young  “WAY is the only national charity in the UK for people aged 50 or under when their partner died. It’s a peer-to-peer support group operating with a network of volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age themselves, so they understand exactly what other members are going through.”
Amparo – “We believe in the transformative power of counselling. As a thriving and developing charity and social enterprise, we’re here to help those who’ve been bereaved, suffered loss or experienced separation.” 0330 088 9255 www.listening-ear.co.uk

Sheffield specific support:

Sheffield Cruse – 1-1 bereavement support. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. 0114 408 1408
Here to Hear – A multi-lingual and multi-faith bereavement helpline 0114 395 2127
St Luke's - specifically for those who are or for people who are close to those being cared for by St. Luke's
Sands – “We work to support anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby; improve the care bereaved parents receive from healthcare and other professionals; and work closely with others to save babies' lives.”

Sheffield support groups for bereavement:

Crystal Peaks bereavement support group: 1-3 Peak Square, Crystal Peaks, Sheffield, S20 7PH: 07895 063 221
Bereavement Support – St Marie’s Cathedral: 0114 272 2522
Bereavement Support Group: St Aidan’s Church, 2 Manor Lane, Sheffield, S2 1UF: 0114 278 0707,

Our therapists have helped get some amazing results

*SPEECH THEREPY HYPNOSIS*Richard helped me last year to overcome a BIG fear of mine - delivering a speech at my wedding!I got married in September last year and I knew I wanted to tell a few stories and thank some special people.My determination to do it was there, but my confidence and anxieties about my how I speak and how I might come... across, started to make me feel a little overwhelmed.I found Richard Henessy's details online.Just after the first phone call, talking about the techniques and my current situation, I already felt more at ease.At the end of my sessions with Richard, I felt calm and was actually very excited about delivering my speech. Come the big day - I absolutely nailed it and loved every second of speaking. Something I never thought I'd be able to do.Thank you so much Richard! You helped me a great deal, not just for my wedding speech, but being more confident when I speak in general.read more
I found Richard online and was eager to find a professionally qualified hypnotherapist. His website gave me all the information regarding his services and MOST importantly his professional qualifications and affiliations. After my free phone conversation with Richard I attended for an initial consultation where we discussed my needs and problems.... I wanted additional confidence in the work place and for my hobby of singing and performing at the Lyceum. I have now finished my last session (of 3) and feel a great improvement. After the 1st session I had an audition and instead of being petrified I sailed through and got the part I wanted. At work I have been able to perform a disciplinary procedure without doubting my ability or authority and I perform better under stressful conditions. I even found the deep relaxation helped a very painful back spasm!! All in all a winner.Richard is thoroughly professional and adapts his technique and mannerisms to match the needs of his patients.If you're a skeptic Hypnotherapy may seem a bit "far out" when compared to traditional science and healthcare but it definitely works and proves that it really is mind over matter.read more
Why I considered hypnosis:I decided to consider hypnosis to find a way to tackle my problems with public speaking, which have caused panic attacks over many years. These episodes have affected my quality of life, causing general stress and anxiety, loss of self-esteem and mental health issues. My health suffered, from loss of sleep, shortness of... breath, poor temper, tension and lack of concentration. At times I felt desperate and unhinged, despite knowing deep down the feelings were unfounded and irrational.I buried the problem for too long, choosing to ignore it and hope the problems would not repeat. After lockdown, I felt tension increasing and problems re-surfacing. So I decided I had to do something about it, and contacted Richard at Sheffield Wellness Centre to seek help.The process:I don’t like being the centre of attention, or talk about my feelings, so was originally concerned the setting might be strange or intimidating. However, I found the Centre welcoming and relaxing; a space to be able to open up and be honest. This was essential for the first session, which was to discuss my past problems.During the hypnotherapy sessions, I didn’t know what to expect, so was initially slightly nervous. But I relaxed into it quickly. The set-up was slightly unnatural - speech was slow and deliberate, and I just listened for 50 minutes. But there was nothing worrying about the situation. I felt in control the whole time, and not brainwashed like you might think from seeing hypnosis on TV.The first part of each session helped me relax and study my breathing, relax my body, be ‘present’ and ignore external distractions.Richard used carefully crafted words to promote positivity, which were specific to the problem, but which were also general enough to apply to other situations. Richard was totally understanding my problems, which showed his intuitive nature, bringing years of practice and experience.At some sessions I felt like I drifted into a trance. And on all occasions, I finished the session feeling totally energised and like I had experienced a factory re-boot, feeling completely relaxed, happy and sociable.The recordings have been really helpful. Having them available to me after the session has enabled me to re-enter the feelings I had in the Centre. They have helped me repeat key parts, or sections I missed the first time. By listening back, I have been able to practice and embed the positive messages in my head.The outcome:I met with Richard 4 months ago. We had 4 sessions in total over 3 months.After the 2nd session, I had to make three public speaking presentations at work. I am delighted that these went really well. Although stressed beforehand, I was able to control my nerves and be clear, coherent and engaging, which I hadn’t been able to do previously. I can’t imagine how disastrous and stress-inducing the presentations might have been without hypnotherapy. This positive experience gave me so much confidence and a real mental lift, and showed how powerful and valuable the process had been.I know that I am not miraculously ‘cured’ – I still need to invest regular time and effort to overcome my issues. Although I am very happy with progress, I will continue to work on what I have learned, and go back over the recordings to keep it up.I am really pleased I chose this path to seek a positive improvement in my wellbeing. Life is short; this issue has affected my health throughout my life, and I am glad I chose to confront it before causing more years of harm. I feel this has been an investment in myself. It has taught me to take things slower and make myself more of a priority; to give myself more downtime and space to recuperate.I would recommend this path to anyone else who feels they are in a similar situation. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose.read more
I got in contact with Richard because I was struggling with confidence and anxiety around my placement as a student paramedic. I had previously been having CBT sessions, which were okay but not impactful enough for me. Whilst having an occupational health check, I was encouraged to try hypnosis, and a Google search later, I came across Richard. I... was a little dubious at first, because I thought that I would not be able to go into trance and that it wouldn't work for me. But Richard had no doubt about the former. He talked me through all my questions and concerns and reassured me that if it wasn't for me, I would get my money back. He also highlighted to me that hypnosis is not a magic wand, it doesn't solve the problem for you; it gives you the tools to help you help yourself.Listening to Richard is like being immersed in honey; his words and the way he speaks makes you feel safe and calm. Being in a trance is like that period before you fall asleep. And it was so easy to get there. I was aware of everything at the time, but now I look back on it, I wouldn't remember the things that Richard was saying to me. If I wanted to move, I could have done, but I was so relaxed that I didn't even want to move my hand to scratch my nose. After every trance, I awoke feeling absolutely amazing and so good about myself.I don't feel like hypnosis particularly helped me when I think about it. However, it must have done, because I have since become a qualified paramedic. My mentor said that the change in my behaviour and confidence was profound. Maybe my conscious mind is unaware of the changes in my subconscious and that's why I don't feel different? I don't know how this stuff works, but I suppose it did! So, thank you Richard, you've helped me open the door to my brand new career.The only reason why Richard doesn't get 5 stars is because he forgot about one of our appointments and turned up 15minutes late, and I wasn't emailed a copy of our second recording session and was therefore unable to listen to it in my free time.read more
The hypnosis completely turned around my mindset in just one hour - I couldn’t believe how effective it was! I had got very panicky about my driving test and when I broke down in a lesson a couple of weeks before my test, decided to get some help. Richard instilled me with confidence and I left feeling amazing, drove great and went to the test... calm and prepared 🙂 He put so much energy into his voice and used how I already think to tailor the session to me. Thanks Richard for helping me pass my test!read more
I’ve had four sessions of hypnosis, which was prompted by a new job, anxiety and feelings of imposter syndrome. I found Richard to be enthusiastic and able to explain hypnosis and the mind in an accessible way, and I feel like I learned a lot. The sessions themselves were peaceful and relaxing, with recordings provided to listen in between and... afterwards. I’ve noticed big improvements in my general levels of anxiety, my sleep pattern, and confidence, which is amazing. I also felt like the decision to continue and/or stop sessions was completely up to me, there was never a feeling of pressure to do either which was great.read more
I recently went to Richard for hypnotherapy because I was suffering crippling nerves and anxiety when attending job interviews. It was really affecting my ability to secure jobs at the interview stage because, although I was getting the interviews following what must have been good applications, I was not managing to get the jobs.I had three... sessions and found them fantastic. In addition, Richard forwards his recording of the sessions afterwards in case anything has been missed whilst under hypnosis, and also giving time to reflect again and reaffirming what he said during the hypnosis.The interview I attended after the last session went well and I secured the job. I can’t say that I wasn’t still very nervous because I was, but I managed to calm myself using the techniques Richard recommended.I would not hesitate to recommend Richard and his hypnotherapy to anyone. If you are experiencing confidence or anxiety issues, I would say just go for it as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.read more
As an older woman I didn't feel I would find the confidence /motivation to begin a weightloss journey again. However since January I've joined Gemma Hobson's fitnesses classes and have found a love for working out again. you can go at your own pace and what's comfortable for you whilst seeing some amazing results. Thanks Gemma, would recommend to... anyone wanting to start to get fit who's been out of the habit for so long.read more
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I had a Reiki session with Nadine, it was so good and Nadine was excellent she took time to explain everything and made me feel comfortable. Good communication and really helpful. So happy with the session I booked straight in for my next.
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