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Questionnaire: Do You Need Bereavement Counselling?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 24 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Bereavement Counselling Grief Emotions

In the aftermath of a death it is perfectly normal to cycle through many different emotions. Feelings of sadness, frustration, anger, denial, guilt and even relief can all be typical of those who are grieving. Even when people know this, however, there are those who will not recognise when their emotions are making a major impact on their lives. Bereavement counselling can help people work through their grief, resolve any lingering conflicts and come to terms with their new lives and selves.

To help you determine if you need bereavement counselling we have put together the following questionnaire. Answer each of the 12 questions below with "yes" or "no". Total your answers and match the number of "yes" answers to the explanations at the end to find out if you need bereavement counselling.

1. Have your sleeping patterns changed considerably since the death of your loved one?
2. Has your weight changed considerably since the death of your loved one?
3. Have you experienced great or regular confusion since the death of your loved one?
4. Have you been unable to stop crying since the death of your loved one?
5. Have you been unable to concentrate since the death of your loved one?
6. Have others told you that you are not coping well since the death of your loved one?
7. Have you had suicidal thoughts since the death of your loved one?
8. Have you thought of harming yourself or others since the death of your loved one?
9. Have you been unable to make decisions since the death of your loved one?
10. Have you felt uncontrollable rage since the death of your loved one?
11. Have you experienced physical pain since the death of your loved one?
12. Have you worried about your thoughts or behaviour since the death of your loved one?

Do You Need Bereavement Counselling?

If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then you most likely do not need bereavement counselling. It seems as though you have acknowledged your thoughts and feelings about the death of your loved one, and that you are working through them in healthy ways. If you don't agree, however, or you feel that you would still like the support of others or the chance to speak with someone non judgemental, then you might want to investigate individual or group bereavement counselling anyway. If you've ever had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself or others as related to your grief then you should seek professional help immediately.

Yes to 5 -8

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you might need bereavement counselling. It is very easy for grief to spiral out of control or take over your life, and bereavement counselling could help you better understand your emotions and what you can do to work through them and eventually overcome them. Bereavement counselling can also be a great, safe place for you to discuss your loved one, his or her death, the role (s)he played in your life and how you would like your life to take shape in the future - both the positive and negative aspects of all. It may not seem like your life has been impacted greatly yet, but attending bereavement counselling could keep it from being impacted irreversibly in the future. Please seek help immediately if you feel that you are a danger to yourself or others.

Yes to 9 or more

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you most likely need bereavement counselling. You have obviously experienced great changes in your life due to your grief, many of which may keep you from enjoying full physical or emotional health. Your days, and possibly your night as well, seem to be dominated by the loss of your loved one. In order to better move forward, to work through your grief and put together plans for your future, bereavement counselling can be an important first step. If you believe that your physical health or safety is in danger then don't delay in seeking out bereavement counselling services. Cruse Bereavement Care and the British Association of Counselling are both excellent starting points for finding a bereavement counsellor or support group.

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[Add a Comment]
My husband died last year,I was already suffering from depression so when this happened,the bottom just fell out of my world,we had been married for fourty five years and know that he has so gone I just don't know what to do with myself.people expect me to be the same as I was, but I can't I feel like a big part of me has died and I don't think i will ever be the same person that I was,I feel crushed.
Foamy - 24-Sep-17 @ 3:55 PM
I'm Jamie i lost my fiancé to suicide on the 16th August. She had mental health issues of Borderline personality disorder unfortunately i have ADHD so we argued a lot. Anyway due to the arguments between us she would rage and hurt me with words and violence and i would act in self defence and have to push her away from me unless i was able to get out in one piece i would have to go to parents houses.This always happened after she drank at night in the day she was the most loving,caring,compassionate woman who loved me dearly never meetanother like her.
Jamiew - 11-Sep-17 @ 9:21 PM
Ladyejo - Your Question:
I lost my husband, best friend and soul mate 18 weeks ago. Raymond found out he had cancer on the 16th March and 6 weeks later on the 1st May he passed away.I am totally heartbroken. I'm at a loss. We were married for 34 happy years.He was buried as he wished but I cant stop thinking of him in the dark. All alone. Does he think ive abandoned him. I miss him so much.

Our Response:
Please try not to project any guilt or blame on yourself; you have not abandoned anyone. As we've said to other readers, it will really help if you talk to someone - a counsellor or local support group about this. You can find various contacts such as:
This directory of bereavement counsellors
Grief Encounter
Way Out
The Loss Foundation
Age UK
Cruse Bereavement Charity
FacingBereavement - 6-Sep-17 @ 1:57 PM
I lost my husband, best friend and soul mate 18 weeks ago. Raymond found out he had cancer on the 16th March and 6 weeks later on the 1st May he passed away. I am totally heartbroken. I'm at a loss. We were married for 34 happy years. He was buried as he wished but I cant stop thinking of him in the dark. All alone. Does he think ive abandoned him. I miss him so much.
Ladyejo - 4-Sep-17 @ 8:42 PM
I lost my mum 7weeks a go I miss her so much not many days go by I don't cry can be on a bus when I'm ironing any time I don'tsleepat work I want to scream at customers when they moan about a faulty toaster .my whole life has changed I don't know how to sort it
Scottie - 31-Aug-17 @ 3:35 AM
I lost my eldest sister 3 weeks ago. She was 62 and passed away following a short battle with lung cancer. I am 54. I also lost my dad 4 years ago to cancer. Losing my sister has been a huge shock and we are devastated. I was very close to my sister, as am to my other sister, who is 61. How can I get through the grieving process?
Ang - 23-Aug-17 @ 10:43 PM
Dad passed away January and having a hard time getting over him .
Taff - 16-Aug-17 @ 9:41 PM
I lost my dog after 141/2 years. I absolutely adored him and he was always with me. He had a great personality and was much loved. We finally had to have him put to sleep as he couldn't walk. I know it was the only way but it felt wrong. I held him as he died. I have lost my dad and best friend and coped well with their deaths as I have a strong faith and believe that they are with God. However, I'm not sure where dogs go hen they die. I cry most days and am not the same person I was. I was always happy and optimistic, now I feel fearful of losing my husband too and am struggling. What can I do? It seems trivial to mourn a dog so much
Ju - 21-Jul-17 @ 3:14 PM
sad - Your Question:
I am nearly 34 years old. I was adopted when I was born. My family is the only family I have known. I loss my dad at the end of Dec 2016. The call was unexpected and alarming and it literally pulled me to the ground. I was in complete and utter shock. The entire trip to hometown I kept blacking out from reality. My dad is survived by my mom, my brothers and their family, and me and mine. Since he has passed the pervasive and lasting emotional thoughts in my own insecurity and grief is that I am somehow officially orphaned and no longer legitimately part of my family. To be fair and clear, my mom and brothers have not moved in this way at all, it is all in my head. On top of the emotional mental battles I have had severe health issues. I have had cycles of flu-like symptoms and exhaustion for four months. The people close to me say that I am within normal grieving process, and that each of us process loss differently. I just feel so overwhelmed. All of my rational and reasoning life, my dad was my closest friend and mentor, not just an authority figure. I can't put it fully into words, but it was more than most parent -child relationships ever achieve. I sincerely feel like I have lost a part of my person. I do not wish this anguish on even an enemy.

Our Response:
This is part of the grieving process. You can help yourself by accessing counselling services and/or local support groups. It may help you to simply share your thoughts with someone else who may have had a similar experience.
FacingBereavement - 2-May-17 @ 12:48 PM
I am nearly 34 years old. I was adopted when I was born. My family is the only family I have known. I loss my dad at the end of Dec 2016. The call was unexpected and alarming and it literally pulled me to the ground. I was in complete and utter shock. The entire trip to hometown I kept blacking out from reality. My dad is survived by my mom, my brothers and their family, and me and mine. Since he has passed the pervasive and lasting emotional thoughts in my own insecurity and grief is that I am somehow officially orphaned and no longer legitimately part of my family. To be fair and clear, my mom and brothers have not moved in this way at all, it is all in my head. On top of the emotional mental battles I have had severe health issues. I have had cycles of flu-like symptoms and exhaustion for four months. The people close to me say that I am within normal grieving process, and that each of us process loss differently. I just feel so overwhelmed. All of my rational and reasoning life, my dad was my closest friend and mentor, not just an authority figure. I can't put it fully into words, but it was more than most parent -child relationships ever achieve. I sincerely feel like I have lost a part of my person. I do not wish this anguish on even an enemy.
sad - 1-May-17 @ 7:01 PM
Hi I lost my son suddenly 12 years ago on holiday abroad he was disabled but was shocked when he died I haven't been able to come to terms with it, I have still worked through this and just seem to block it out until anniversaries then it takes weeks to get over them
Mau - 22-Apr-17 @ 1:13 PM
I lost my mum 11 weeks ago, she was my best friend and she had fought cancer for the last 3.5 years. I feel lost without her, I get no joy out of anything, the only thing keeping me going are my young children but I find myself snapping at them and everyone else all the time
Kdoo - 18-Apr-17 @ 9:07 PM
TC - Your Question:
I am 55 and just before Christmas I lost my step dad of 53+years. I helped him a lot through his years of treatment and feel I let him down. I got him home to die. But can't quite get to grips with life without him. He was a wonderful man who was liked by everyone. Although I am married with children and grandchildren I would happily have taken his place. I am disabled and useless. He was still very active and looked after mum. I feel so crap (sorry)

Our Response:
Please don't feel so bad about yourself or useless. Yes your stepfather did care for you and your mother and it's very difficult to lose someone who was liked to by all and on whom everyone relied so much. That doesn't mean the love and care you give your children/grandchildren is in any way diminished. Please talk about this to those around you and if necessary, contact local bereavement support groups or access some counselling. Things will never be the same, of course they won't, but there is still a lot of life to look forward to with the rest of your family and your friends.
FacingBereavement - 11-Apr-17 @ 11:50 AM
I am 55 and just before Christmas I lost my step dad of 53+years. I helped him a lot through his years of treatment and feel I let him down. I got him home to die. But can't quite get to grips with life without him. He was a wonderful man who was liked by everyone. Although I am married with children and grandchildren I would happily have taken his place. I am disabled and useless. He was still very active and looked after mum. I feel so crap(sorry)
TC - 9-Apr-17 @ 5:54 PM
My husband recently passed due to overdose on prescription pills although there is dispute over whether it was intentional or not. Our 12 year old daughter is finding it very hard also. Would bereavement counselling help?
Brown - 2-Mar-17 @ 6:13 PM
Notcopingwell - Your Question:
My mom passed away 7 years ago at age 60 of cervical cancer. I was her primary caregiver for the one year that she fought for her life and passed. I am not coping well yet. I have gained 100 pounds, have nightmares every night that I can't find her. I can't talk about her without breaking down. She was my best friend, an amazing mom and grandma. She was taken too soon. I feel like a shell of what I once was. I feel I should find more joy in my kiddos than I do. I have no motivation to participate in most life activities. Is this normal grief stuff or should I seek counseling?

Our Response:
It is normal grief, but you do need some help to deal with the grief. Counselling will help, as will joining a support group etc. Your doctor may be able to refer you for counselling and your local Citizens' Advice will be able to find you local support groups.
FacingBereavement - 29-Nov-16 @ 11:19 AM
My mom passed away 7 years ago at age 60 of cervical cancer.I was her primary caregiver for the one year that she fought for her life and passed.I am not coping well yet.I have gained 100 pounds, have nightmares every night that I can't find her.I can't talk about her without breaking down.She was my best friend, an amazing mom and grandma.She was taken too soon.I feel like a shell of what I once was.I feel I should find more joy in my kiddos than I do.I have no motivation to participate in most life activities.Is this normal grief stuff or should I seek counseling?
Notcopingwell - 28-Nov-16 @ 10:10 AM
hi there it is coming up to 2 years since i lost my dad to lunch cancer, it took 51days from being told to him passing away. i have 2 children 7&12. i am struggling to keep my emotions together, i keep everything bottled in..me & my husband argue nearly on a daily basis & i know im pushing him away...and my friends. its affecting my job, my mum has left her job & she has changed. im struggling to control my emotions, i dont know how to deal with them...i feel sometimes im better of where my dad is!! i just dont know what to do anymore..please help!
hannah - 26-Nov-16 @ 7:41 PM
Darrin - Your Question:
I lost my mom in 2013 which was my best friend to unexplained death well we was told she died of heart failure but we think it was neglected by the nursing home she was in and is closed down permnately but I find myself sneaking around I swing pain killers for pains I never had before I take aleve pm to sleep every night don't socialize a lot and my husband and 2 sons say I need couseling

Our Response:
It does sound as though counselling will help you. First, go to you GP and tell him about the pain killers. The GP will be able ot help with both that, and a referral for some counselling.
FacingBereavement - 9-Nov-16 @ 12:27 PM
I lost my mom in 2013 which was my best friend to unexplained death well we was told she died of heart failure but we think it was neglected by the nursing home she was in and is closed down permnately but I find myself sneaking around I swing pain killers for pains I never had before I take aleve pm to sleep every night don't socialize a lot and my husband and 2 sons say I need couseling
Darrin - 8-Nov-16 @ 4:03 PM
Mak - Your Question:
I lost my younger sister aged 56 to Ovarian cancer 5 months ago it was a four year fight during which she exuded massive amounts of positivity and did many things I knew were on her bucket list.We had a traumatic abusive childhood I was the main target however we shared and acknowledged our past whilst getting on with our lives.She chose not to have children but loved mine.I find myself dwelling on our abusive childhood and wishing I had been able to do more for ger emotionally. I'm sure it's time but find daily life a struggle to be joyous. Family pass comments but I can't get beyond my thoughts. Ive tried reiki and practice yoga. Any advice very welcome.I'm stuck!

Our Response:
It seems like a common theme for us to suggest it, but we really do think you would benefit from counselling and/or joining a support group. Please ask your GP about any organisations in your area or try the internet. A good place to start finding resources is CRUSE.You could also try NAPAC an organisation supporting adults recover from childhood abuse.
FacingBereavement - 19-Oct-16 @ 12:35 PM
I lost my younger sister aged 56 to Ovarian cancer 5 months ago it was a four year fight during which she exuded massive amounts of positivity and did many things I knew were on her bucket list . We had a traumatic abusive childhood I was the main target however we shared and acknowledged our pastwhilst getting on with our lives. She chose not to have children but loved mine . I find myself dwelling on our abusive childhood and wishing I had been able to do more for ger emotionally. I'm sure it's time but find daily life a struggle to be joyous. Family pass comments but I can't get beyond my thoughts. Ive tried reiki and practice yoga. Any advice very welcome..I'm stuck!
Mak - 18-Oct-16 @ 8:33 AM
Ang - Your Question:
I've been trying to cope with my sons suicide 18 months ago but the anxiety of it all is getting me down my hubby gets on my nerves since this happened and I don't know what to do Valium helps but the doctors won't give it me I'm trying to find a good chemist on line to see if I can get some there you get no help of them all I got on the day it happened was you need to go threw it well I thought thanks a lot I know that but a little help wouldn't go a miss any advice it was his birthday on the 11october thank you

Our Response:
Have you asked your GP about counselling at all? If they cannot refer you to one, you might be able to find help via local support groups etc. A couple of useful organisations to try are
SOBS - Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
or
Support After Suicide
FacingBereavement - 14-Oct-16 @ 11:13 AM
I've been trying to cope with my sons suicide 18 months ago but the anxiety of it all is getting me down my hubby gets on my nerves since this happened and I don't know what to do Valium helps but the doctors won't give it me I'm trying to find a good chemist on line to see if I can get some there you get no help of them all I got on the day it happened was you need to go threw itwell I thought thanks a lot I know that but a little help wouldn't go a miss any advice it was his birthday on the 11october thank you
Ang - 13-Oct-16 @ 9:34 AM
Anon - Your Question:
I lost my dad a year ago at Christmas time. I'm really struggling with it, I was close with him and he was my friend as well as my dad. He had a long term illness and in the end we had to switch off his life support. Myself and my husband ended up having to organise and tie up a lot of loose ends as my mum wasn't up to it. We are still dealing with legal stuff for her , but she has now met someone. I am feeling really uneasy with it all. I want her to be happy but I am really angry, upset and confused. I just want to be in control of how I feel and just be fine with everything. I hate how emotional I am and have to hide it most of the time as I don't want my kids picking up on it. I can't talk to my mum and my sibling doesn't feel the same as me, they feel that everything is fine. So I guess it's me that is wrong. I'm so sorry for rambling.

Our Response:
It's not you that is "wrong" - you simply feel differently. It might be worth considering counselling or joining a bereavement support group to help you work your way through this.
FacingBereavement - 25-Aug-16 @ 11:36 AM
I lost my dad a year ago at Christmas time. I'm really struggling with it, I was close with him and he was my friend as well as my dad. He had a long term illness and in the end we had to switch off his life support. Myself and my husband ended up having to organise and tie up a lot of loose ends as my mum wasn't up to it. We are still dealing with legal stuff for her , but she has now met someone . I am feeling really uneasy with it all. I want her to be happy but I am really angry, upset and confused. I just want to be in control of how I feel and just be fine with everything. I hate how emotional I am and have to hide it most of the time as I don't want my kids picking up on it. I can't talk to my mum and my sibling doesn't feel the same as me, they feel that everything is fine. So I guess it's me that is wrong. I'm so sorry for rambling.
Anon - 22-Aug-16 @ 2:33 PM
Daniela - Your Question:
My mum passed away almost a year ago.It's been a months of a struggle but everyone hope she will gets better, when she passed away I lost my self.I see that as my failure, because I didn't save her.I lost motivation for living, for life, I can't wait night when everything is quiet and I take antidepressants and read a book.Soon as I wake up I am thinking how in the evening I will go to bed again.I am not feeling to leave the house and as time is passing I am feeling worse and worse.My husband is by my side all the time and I have his support but now he started to lose his patience with me.I am afraid that after my mum I will lose him too which I wouldn't stand.I see my self as a failure on every field and I just want my life back, I want my relationship back the most previous thing that I have.I am fighting so hard with my thoughts but I have constantly pictures of my mum in the hospital, and her funeral that I just can't go back to normality.I want to make my self feel better just I don't know how.

Our Response:
You can't do this on your own. You need to seek support from others both connect and unconnected with you. Look for local support groups or use national organisations like CRUSE bereavement care , your GP will also be able to recommend a bereavement counsellor and give you some suggestions for handling/coping with your depression. Please tell your husband that you want to get help and need his support in finding it. If he sees you're trying to help yourself he will understand.
FacingBereavement - 6-Jul-16 @ 12:01 PM
My mum passed away almost a year ago. It's been a months of a struggle but everyone hope she will gets better, when she passed away I lost my self.I see that as my failure, because I didn't save her.I lost motivation for living, for life, I can't wait night when everything is quiet and I take antidepressants and read a book.Soon as I wake up I am thinking how in the evening I will go to bed again.I am not feeling to leave the house and as time is passing I am feeling worse and worse.My husband is by my side all the time and I have his support but now he started to lose his patience with me.I am afraid that after my mum I will lose him too which I wouldn't stand.I see my self as a failure on every field and I just want my life back, I want my relationship back the most previous thing that I have.I am fighting so hard with my thoughts but I have constantly pictures of my mum in the hospital, and her funeral that I just can't go back to normality.I want to make my self feel better just I don't know how.
Daniela - 5-Jul-16 @ 1:27 PM
Ben - Your Question:
It's been 2 years since my fiance passed away and not a day goes by were my thoughts don't drift off thinking about her. I know it wasn't my fault, but the pain in my heart still hasn't gone away. I feel like I'm losing my mind half the time, especially on my job that has me driving for long extended periods of time. I'm finding myself holding full conversations with a person who isn't there all the time. And I know it's not a good sign, but I can't help it. I still hear her voice. I tried saying again, but it's just not working out. Not really sure what to do at this point.

Our Response:
Have you tried any local bereavement support groups where you live? This might give you a focus and something else to think about/look forward to while you're driving. Your GP should be able to recommend one to you. If you work for a big company, it might be worth talking to the HR department - they might be able to offer a course or to make some changes to your job so you do not spend so much time driving.
FacingBereavement - 20-Jun-16 @ 10:45 AM
Gaz - Your Question:
I have lost my mum 7mths ago and I am finding it so hard to cope with out her Evan tho I have my own family I think about her every day it has been building and building up with extremely heart ache what should I do

Our Response:
Losing your mum is really difficult. It's especially hard when you're older, and a mother yourself, as people often think you should have "grown out of" any dependency on your mother. If you have someone who you can open up to about this, a partner, sibling or close friend perhaps, please do. You may find that they can help you with emotional or practical support. You can also try bereavement counselling or contacting an organisation like Cruse
FacingBereavement - 20-Jun-16 @ 10:30 AM
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