Grief and Loss Counselling

Loss of a loved one

grief and loss @ auckland therapy : counselling and psychotherapyThe loss of a loved one can be life-shattering. The intensity of bereavement can be overwhelming, frightening and unrelenting.

While the shock of loss is hard enough, perhaps the hardest part of grieving is when the days turn into weeks and months. Often the world quickly moves on but life can seem empty, robbed of colour and purposeless - a numb emptiness.

The circumstances are often significant - for instance, losses from suicide can be particularly difficult. Some losses may be less obvious - for example, the loss of a pregnancy can be devastating yet largely invisible. 

Other losses

Grief can also occur when we lose any important part of our lives, such as a health, job, home, pet, marriage or relationship. We can also lose parts of our identity such as security, innocence, culture, health or faith. Indeed, any change to our normal life can bring about a process of grieving. Even immigration or moving cities can also involve significant loss.

Normal reactions

Grief is a normal reaction to loss but is expressed in very individual ways. There is almost no limit to reactions. One person might become sad, another angry, another may withdraw or become more extroverted. Some reactions can be quite confusing such as guilt or relief. For many, a few counselling sessions is all that is needed to sort through such confusions.

Other people find the companionship of counselling helpful as they journey through their grieving.

Complex grief

Some grief is more complex and requires longer term counselling. Examples include:

  • Using unhealthy ways of coping (inappropriate anger, alcohol, self-sabotage, etc)
  • An accumulation of many losses (maybe over many years) - can be mistaken for depression
  • Unrecognised trauma or PTSD (particularly from a violent death or circumstances that trigger past traumas)
  • Loss that comes on top of existing emotional, psychological or relationship problems or trigger old emotional issues


Counselling can be helpful for grief and loss, especially when people are hurting but need to keep it together for family and employment. Talking about loss is often difficult however it can improve relationships, health, wellbeing and resilience as people rebuild their lives.

Find a Therapist


All of our team are experienced in counselling for grief and loss. See a map of Therapist Locations or find an Auckland Therapist by suburb or learn more about the Counselling Services we offer.

Children and Teens

Often loss deeply effects children, even when they appear to bounce back. It is important to pay attention to changes in mood or behaviour that may appear months or even years after a significant loss. Child therapists understand children's grief reactions and can help them through.

See our child, adolescent and family specialists.