Counselling or coaching?
What’s the difference?
In my own grief, I worked with a bereavement counsellor for over a year and I found this support to be immeasurably helpful in giving me the space to process the shock, trauma and devastation that I had been through. In the early and acute stages of grief, I was unable to think or talk about the future at all. All I wanted to do was re-live the past and talk about what I’d lost. While this can look a lot like depression, this is not depression. This is the reality of extreme grief. While you are in this stage of grief, I would personally always recommend counselling over coaching. Counselling allows you to process the past where coaching is much more future-focused.
Around eight months after the loss of my partner, I realised that I couldn’t live the rest of my life wedded to my sadness and that I needed to think about how I was going to live without him. At this point I sought out the help of a coach and coached him in how to help me; there were some questions that I couldn’t answer and some prompts were still too painful. (What do you want? I want him back!) However, eventually I found a new path. Coaching is about setting goals and making plans. Gradually for me it was about seeking out the aspects of my life that still brought me joy or meaning and building on them.
I can’t tell you how to rebuild your own life, but I can be alongside you and gently encourage you to find your own new normal. If you would like to talk about whether coaching could help you, please get in touch.
Swimming through Clouds
Sadly, I have experienced unusual amounts of loss and have found that this has permeated both my writing and my work. I have lost both parents to terminal cancer and, shortly after the death of my mother, I lost my relatively new partner to sudden death, throwing my life into turmoil.
Words were a life raft for me during those turbulent times and I found myself writing a blog about my experience. A mixture of prose and poetry, it is both a record of grief and the story of a very unique and special love affair.
Read my Swimming through Clouds blog here.
My blog has also been adapted into a book: Dear Blacksmith - A Journey of Love and Loss, now available on pre-order here.
Attempting to rebuild life following bereavement can be a very challenging experience. For many months after the death of my partner, I was unable to contemplate the future at all. Instead I found myself living moment to moment, breath by breath, focused only on trying to stay alive.
Eventually, though, I was ready to think about how to move forward and I sought the help of my life coach. Gradually I started to emerge from the fog with a plan for my future. As a result of this journey I’m now able to use my own skills and experience to help other bereaved people to find the light at the end of what can be a very dark tunnel.