1 April 2014 | Volunteering | Back to Blog

Being there in the bad times

216953_10152085242535383_384595177_nBy Kevin

I’ve recently started a voluntary placement for Lewisham Bereavement Service as a trainee counsellor. After 5 weeks training on models of bereavement, theory and the like I’ve now started working directly with clients.

The issues clients bring to counselling all revolve around their issues of grief and bereavement and their personal difficulties in moving through a difficult, testing and inevitable period that we will all go through, probably numerous times.

The sense of personal duty and responsibility I feel in working with these people who have often experienced terrible emotional pain has sometimes felt quite overwhelming. However, the rewards I also get from seeing the counselling relationship develop and the therapy starting to have effect are incredible. Perhaps even more amazing is the changes I’m personally going through in this work. In order to be an effective person centred counsellor you need to have a grasp on what’s really going on in your own mind and I’m discovering, as anyone would, that there’s quite a lot going on up there…

The skills I’m gaining from practising counselling are totally transferable too. I’m gaining a greater sense of how I respond to others, why others respond to me the way they do and what, how and why I am …well…how I am. Counselling for a bereavement service is not everyone’s typical idea of a fun volunteering role, but in helping clients to be able to face each day with renewed optimism after the death of a loved one its certainly turning into one of the most rewarding roles I’ve ever had.