When someone close to a child or young person dies

The death of a parent or someone very close to a child or young person can be extremely distressing for them. They may find it hard and frightening to feel the pain on their own; the pain can feel too big and go too deep to manage alone. They will need someone who is able to be with them in their pain and not try to distract them out of these difficult feelings. Counselling allows and helps a child or young person’s feelings to be processed and digested so that they can move on. Depending on circumstances and the age of the child or young person, this can be done through talking, play, art, stories or poetry which can help a child find expression and then words for their feelings. Over time, if these painful and difficult feelings of loss and grief aren’t explored and made sense of, a bereaved child or young person is likely to become depressed or stuck with angry feelings, or challenging behaviours. Any future bereavement may become particularly traumatic and difficult to manage. Children or young people may find it hard to trust loving feelings again, they may link loving someone with losing them; they may then try to cut off from loving feelings in an attempt to prevent more pain. A warm and empathic relationship with a counsellor can help a child to dare to feel love again.

The counselling

Children and young people can be seen for 1:1 counselling here on the premises:  • Who are between the ages of 2 to18 years of age • Who have lost a parent, sibling, close relation or significant person in their lives • For between 6 and 12 sessions on a regular weekly basis. The counselling room is fully equipped with art materials and toys appropriate for children between the ages of 2 to 18 years. The counsellors are trained in using these materials to help children and young people explore and make sense of their feelings in a manageable way within a safe environment.