Pet Bereavement

I lost my dog who I had for 12 years and was my only companion since my husband passed away. Since then I feel no motivation, appetite, and cry a lot. What is wrong with me?

You are probably going through the depression stage of bereavement for your dog. People suffer bereavement for their pets as much as they suffer for their friends and family. Specially having it as your only companion, the loss is huge. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described loss in the case of a bereavement and for severe illness in 5 stages:

Denial – The first reaction is denial. In this stage, individuals believe the news/diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.

Anger – When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at close individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; “Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.

Bargaining – The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise. For instance: “I’d give anything to have him back.” Or: “If only he’d come back to life, I’d promise to be a better person!”

Depression – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one; why go on?”
During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.

Acceptance – “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it; I may as well prepare for it.”
In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions

These stages may occur one at each time, or one stage may start before a previous stage hasn’t finished, overlapping. There’s treatment available for this if it becomes an issue.

first session

So what happens in the first session with a Psychotherapist?

One imagines that during the first session or two, I decide whether what i offer, both in terms of time and of expertise, is going to be valuable to the client, and whether the client will be able to make good use of the opportunity. However, that is not all that happens in the first session!

In the first sessions, what really happens is a mutual assessment, with clients also deciding whether psychotherapy is right for them.

During the assessment, I will not simply be assessing clients at present but also their projective capacity to use psychotherapy in the future.

There are many things that play a part in this decision, including whether talking therapy is the right mode of communication for that client, or if a more direct approach such as medication or a different therapy would be more appropriate.

Ultimately, although it is the clients’ decision to continue with the sessions,  this would only occur if we both agreed this was the best direction to take for the client.


“And the day came when the risk to remain a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin


Accept that you may have problems that you may not be able to solve alone.

Who Seeks For help at The StressCatcher?

Who Seeks For help at The StressCatcher?

I see a whole range of people here:

·         people who are having problems with their relationships, with friends and family,

·         with school or working life,

·         with depression, anxiety, with self-harm or suicidal thoughts,

·         with problems related to self-esteem, eating difficulties,

·         and with experiences of abuse and trauma, including violence, family break-up, bereavement.

Sometimes people come to me with an established diagnosis (e.g. depression, anorexia, personality disorder). Often the problem is more complex and difficult to clarify. This does not limit my work and I do see people with and not limited to issues such as:

  • ·         dislike of appearance
  • ·         drug and alcohol issues
  • ·         difficulties leaving home
  • ·         difficulties coping with school, work, college or university problems, or unemployment
  • ·         problems following difficult early life experiences, including abuse, neglect or trauma

Mostly people come when they are facing a crisis of one type of another, as it is when our coping skills seem to fail us most that we realise that we no longer function as we wished we once did.

As I often find myself working with people that are at a crossroads in life; a particular crisis, and the therapies I am trained in are particularly helpful for this.

Your Journey

Are you ready for your journey to begin?

People come to me with all sorts of difficulties and the first thing we need to do is to understand what is troubling you. After the first few meetings, we will think with you about how best I could help.

Being ready for treatment means being:

1.       Accept that you may have problems that you may not be able to solve alone.

2.      Take responsibility and be brave to ask for help.

“And the day came when the risk to remain a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin


Here are some of the articles published recently by me as The StressCatcher.

If you have any questions on any of them, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Pet bereavement

Grieving for the loss of a beloved pet?

People react in different ways to loss.

Bereavement Pet Counselling is designed to help people cope more effectively with the grieve of their pet.

It can:

  • Help you understand your mourning process
  • Explore what is preventing you moving on
  • Help resolve areas of conflict and guilt
  • Help you adjust to a new situation