020 8366 8077
Normal Grief

Grief is a normal experience; it is painful but does not need medical treatment. There are three main stages.

1) Numbness

This lasts from a few hours to one week. You may feel emotionally numb and feel as if the person hasn’t died or that you can’t accept the reality of the death.

2) Mourning

From one week to six months (easier after three months) you  feel sad , depressed, have little appetite, find yourself crying a lot, or be agitated, anxious and have little concentration. Some people feel guilty. They feel they had not done enough for the deceased. Others blame professionals or friends and family. You may find that you have physical symptoms such as pains during this phase. Most people have the feeling at some time during that the deceased is present in some way and one in ten reports either seeing, hearing or smelling the dead person when they are not there. Manu of the experiences mimic depression but they are normal-you are not depressed or going mad.

3) Acceptance

Six months onwards. Symptoms subside. You start to accept the death and try to get back to normal. This takes variable time.

Coping with Grief

Grief is natural and so are your feelings. Grief is a process that has to be worked through. If it is not, then the feelings could fester and they could catch up on you in the end turning into depression. Grief should not be bottled up and needs to be let out.

Even if you seem to be having a severe reaction to the death at first, you are likely to come through the process with just the support of your friends and family or a counsellor.

It is usually best to turn to your family and friends initially. They will need to grieve themselves and help and support that they offer you will help them to come to terms with what had happened.

Counsellors can offer support in grief and can help people work through the process in a controlled way. They are particularly useful if you find that you are not passing through the stages of grief or you are having a particularly difficult time. Bereavement counsellors aim to help you acknowledge the death by helping you talk about the circumstances surrounding it; they encourage emotional expression of the pain of grief; they try to identify coping strategies and people who might offer support; they help the process of building a new life and help you let go of the dead person.

Abnormal Grief

Not everyone passes through the stages of grief smoothly. Some people find that they do not pass through the normal stages and suffer persistent problems. Others find it difficult to grieve and do not acknowledge the death at all. Some people find that they are consumed with intense anger or feelings of betrayal which last for months. If grief is intense and unbearable it needs to be treated. Contact your doctor or a psychotherapist.


The overall aim of counselling is to provide an opportunity for the client to work towards living life in a way he or she experiences as more satisfying and resourceful. Counselling may be concerned with developmental issues, addressing and resolving specific problems, making decisions, coping with crisis, developing personal insight and knowledge, working through feelings, inner conflict, or improving relationship with others.

At Harley Street Counselling we provide help and management with the following issues:

  • Body and physical acceptance
  • Eating disorders
  • Fears, phobias
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Work related stress
  • Sexual Health Issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Separation/Divorce
  • Difficulties making decision(s)
  • Addictions
  • Abuse
  • Bereavement
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Panic -Attacks
  • Depression
  • Suicide and suicidal thoughts
  • Low self esteem/Confidence

Sessions at Harley Street Counselling are strictly confidential and complete discretion is assured.

What to Expect

After an initial appointment in Harley Street, there is no obligation to continue if you do not wish to. You and I may use the time to examine the life difficulties for which you are considering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Counselling, Humanistic Therapy, Integrative Therapy or Psychotherapy. I will address any questions you may have. You can see how you feel working with me. You and I will then be able to decide if my mental health practice is right for you.

The Integrative Counselling approaches I use:


Counselling centres on listening to you, and assisting you. You determine what issue concerning your childhood and/or adulthood you discuss. An objective of Counselling is to help you to talk about a difficulty and discover a solution that is appropriate for you.

Integrative Therapy

Integrative Therapy combines therapeutic approaches to fit your needs and the issues you experience. It considers your subjective experience and choices. The aim of Integrative Therapy is to help you develop your self-understanding.

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic Therapy focuses on valuing you. It sees you as a whole human being and prioritises your personal growth. Humanistic Therapy aims to help you recognise your autonomy.


Psychotherapy focuses on you, and you obtaining insight into the problems you face. It explores your thoughts, feelings and significant moments in your life. Psychotherapy intends to help you develop or find appropriate methods of coping.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy concentrates on how your thoughts (cognitions) influence your feelings and behaviour. It recognises and addresses unhelpful thoughts that perpetuate the problems you experience. The aim of CBT is for you to experience healthier thoughts and feelings.

Chris Stavri, Counsellor and Supervisor at Harley Street Counselling.

To arrange an appointment, please either call Tel: 020 8366 8077 or fill the form below, and someone will contact you very soon.

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