Counselors Should Take The Death Of A Pet More Seriously; for some reason, losing a pet is frequently dismissed as a source of trauma. Anyone who has ever lost a pet will know the tidal wave of anguish it can bring. By giving counselors fresh ideas to consider when working with clients whose pets have died away, a recent review hopes to change that.
According to Colleen Rolland, president and pet loss grief specialist for the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, “individuals are more likely to experience disenfranchised grief after a loss that cannot be resolved and may become complicated grief.”
The main objectives of this study are to present many aspects that may affect how one grieves the loss of a pet and to give counselors something to think about when working therapeutically with clients suffering from sorrow and loss. Additionally, it outlines counseling strategies that can be used to create a comforting, judgment-free environment where clients’ emotions of grief are accepted.
The number of people owning pets and the amount of time they spent with them increased during the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial lockdowns, which saw a third of the population confined to their homes. It was discovered that pets helped save people’s lives when they were alone, highlighting the critical role our furry friends play in our lives.
Despite this proof of their worth, Rolland and Dr. Michelle Crossley, an assistant professor at Rhode Island College and co-author of the review, think that mourning the loss of a pet is still not taken too seriously by many people. They believe this may harm a person’s health by making the healing process more difficult since people may be less willing to seek treatment when they need it if they fear that their sadness over the loss of a pet will be mocked.
Group therapy sessions, either in-person or online, and therapeutic arts and crafts for young children trying to process a loss are suggested methods for helping clients get through their grief over a deceased pet.
Through their evaluation, the researchers want to inform counselors about the importance of pet loss for some people and the importance of validating pet loss grief to promote better healing and more accessible care.
According to Crossley, “Losing a pet can be a terrible event for an individual, especially given the depth of attachment, the role the pet played in the human’s life, as well as the circumstances and type of loss.”
Counselors can support clients who have lost pets by “giving a voice to people grieving a disenfranchised loss. Additionally, it is crucial to incorporate pet loss work into counseling interventions and currently employed coping mechanisms.