Counselling : What you need to know Counselling is not the only type of bereavement support available but is often the first thought of. It doesn't suit everyone and there are many other ways that you can get the support that you need to help you cope with your grief. You can search through a comprehensive range of support on the bereavement services section of this website. However, to find out if counselling is right for you, we provide some information here about what it is, what to expect and how to find a good counsellor that suits your needs. The information is helpfully provided by the Association of Christian Counsellors but applies to the profession as a whole. What is Counselling? Counselling is a professional relationship providing a confidential space, in which you can talk through issues affecting your life with someone trained to help you. Professional, qualified counsellors have skills to help people in many situations. Most counselling sessions are done through regular meetings over a period of time and counsellors will work with the issues that you bring and towards the goals that you have set. Some counsellors may have additional training and experience in specialist areas such as bereavement, addiction, trauma or children and young people. Although there are many types of counselling, all counsellors should offer; a safe place to talk empathetic listening a supportive relationship a process to reflect and consider your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Is having counselling a sign of weakness or failure? Having counselling or any type of bereavement support is not a sign of weakness or failure. In fact it takes courage to be open to yourself and others about what is going on in your life and to seek professional help. Asking for help or support when you are bereaved is a way to help you along your bereavement journey and is a positive step towards grieving healthily. How do I find a counsellor I can trust? Make sure the counsellor you choose is on a register of counsellors overseen by the government via the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). Anyone on the PSA register will be trained and committed to ethical practice. You can find registered professional counsellor registers on the PSA website. Search for the type of counselling you are looking for or the region where you live.CLICK HERE. You can also access a counsellor through; your GP workplace or school the Association of Christian Counsellors in the Bereavement Services section of this website - CLICK HERE to search for support local to you. Look for accredited counsellors - they will be trained to the standards if the profession and required to maintain a high standard of professional by continuing professional development as part of a requirement of their membership. Look for BACP or UKCP. What to expect from a counsellor Counsellors should provide you with a contract in your first session and clearly explain: the services they offer and what they charge their confidentiality policy and boundaries the professional bodies that they are registered with and their ethical code (see above). When is the right time to get bereavement counselling? Some professionals suggest that bereavement counselling is best left until six months or more after the bereavement. It is at this time that friends and families have begun to get on with their own lives and may assume that the bereaved person is ready to do the same. About the Association of Christian Counsellors The ACC is a registered charity which holds a Professional Standards Authority (PSA) register of counsellors who are: professionally qualified working within a code of ethics Christians ACC Counsellors work with people of all faiths and none. They will not impose their beliefs on anyone but will value different faith perspectives.