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
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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Bonnie Goodman provides counseling for grief, loss, & mourning. She specializes in pet loss bereavement, as well as helping clients cope with the loss of spouses, parents, siblings, and other significant relationships. Bonnie provides grief counseling focused on supporting her clients as they deal with feelings of shock, denial, sadness, anger, guilt, depression & despair, hopelessness, anxiety, & feeling out of control or overwhelmed.