Pet Loss & Grief

  • The human-animal bond is a distinct type of relationship that enriches the lives of those involved
  • This connection is often less complex and can be deeper than human relationships
  • Pets remind us of our own purity and innocence, which we seldom feel comfortable sharing with people in our lives
  • Sometimes we grieve more fully over the loss of a pet than for a family member
  • Grief associated with the loss of a companion animal is often unacknowledged or 'disenfranchised'
  • Society tends to underestimate both the importance of pets, and the impact of their death on animal owners
  • Many people are left to mourn alone, fearing that others will not understand or will belittle their grief

What Clients Can Expect From Pet Grief Counseling

I will:

  • Provide a safe and supportive environment to help the bereaved understand and reconcile the loss
  • Listen attentively and with non-judgmental acceptance
  • Normalize pet loss
  • Use a ‘Person Centered Counseling’ approach: Allows each person to freely express all feelings and emotions
  • Respect each person’s grief as a unique and individual process
  • Educate clients on the distinctive issues related to losing a pet, and offer suggestions for healing (e.g. how to create memorial rituals)
  • Discuss the differences in grief reactions depending on the circumstances surrounding the loss

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Helpful Forms

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