Couples counselling can be the lifeline you and your partner need to cope with the loss of a child. Nothing prepares you for the magnitude of such a tragedy and everyone experiences grief in different ways. But, the right support can equip you and your partner to navigate grief during this sad and difficult time.
Relationship and grief counselling with a psychologist Bryon Bay in-person and online services offer grieving parents could be the support you need. Professional therapy can assist you as a couple to face the new reality forced on you and your relationship.
Keep reading as we talk about couples counselling and how it can support you through the grief process after losing a child.
5 Ways Couples Counselling Help After the Loss of a Child
1. Keeps Your Relationship Afloat While You Grieve
One of the hardest realities about losing a child is that life goes on. You may have other children to care for, have to return to work, feed the pets and keep your relationship with your partner afloat. Day-to-day activities challenge you to keep going when all you want to do is give up and call it quits. However, dealing with all these responsibilities may become overwhelming.
Marriages and relationships with life partners often take the hardest knock after a child dies and couples therapy could be the lifesaver you and your partner need. Counselling gives you a safe space to talk about the loss and how it impacts your relationship.
A skilled psychologist will guide you and your partner through the emotions of the various stages of grief, while keeping your marriage intact.
2. Voice Thoughts in a Safe Space
Not everyone can talk openly about the loss of a child. While one parent may easily share how they feel with family members and friends, the other may shut down their emotions and keep quiet, which isn’t healthy in the long run. Having the opportunity to voice thoughts in a safe space is vitally important for mental and emotional wellbeing.
Hearing the thoughts of your grieving partner in therapy will help you support each other in the way each individual wants to be cared for without feeling smothered or obliged to open up to everyone in your lives.
For one thing, the more demonstrative parent who shares their grief with others can learn to respect the privacy of a less verbal grieving parent.
3. Prepares You for the Grief Cycle
The grief cycle is made up of five stages:
It’s not a linear process and you can swing from one stage to another many times a day. It can lead to confusion and frustration between grieving partners as they experience different stages at different times. You may weep for days while experiencing the depression stage while your partner endlessly plays computer games as a response to anger.
A psychologist will prepare you for the grief cycle by explaining what to expect and that each person will experience the stages in their own unique way. Understanding disparities will help you cope with the various stages of the grief cycle and bridging the grieving process.
4. Helps Bridge the Grieving Process
Every individual grieves differently and this is no different for parents losing a child. While you and your partner are sharing the same loss, it doesn’t mean you’ll go through the grieving process similarly. One parent may swing through a range of emotions within a couple of hours while their partner becomes emotionally distant and shuts down.
Skilled counsellors can help you to bridge the grieving process to reduce dissonance in the relationship while respecting each other’s grief. Through therapy, you and your partner can learn to understand each other’s personality changes, self-evaluation and perspectives caused by bereavement.
Bridging the grieving process maintains a sense of equilibrium for couples while dealing with a terrible loss.
5. Improves Communication Between Grieving Partners
The shock of losing a child is immense and heightened emotions can result in arguments and disagreements between grieving partners. A couples’ counsellor can help you and your partner to:
- Express intense feelings in a safe space
- Listen actively to what the other person is saying before responding
- Respond in a loving and caring way
- Resolve conflicts with better communication skills
Often, the passing of a child can lead to blame, shame and guilt which could explode during conversations with your partner. Talking through these feelings with a therapist will help you to navigate your grief with your partner openly and honestly without causing harm, while allowing for healing to take place.
Losing a child is one of the hardest life challenges an individual and a couple may ever face. Managing grief and children when there are siblings involved places additional strain on grieving parents. Couples counselling can guide you, your spouse and your children through the loss of a child and sibling.
Booking a session for couples counselling Bryon Bay therapists offer will help you and your partner navigate a new and bewildering reality.