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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Bereavement service

The bereavement counselling service is based at Forest Holme and provides support and counselling for individuals, couples, children, young people and families before and after bereavement

The services are available by appointment from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, with some flexibility for early morning and early evening sessions.

There is also a confidential listening service staffed by a team of trained and experienced volunteers who meet people in their own homes. The volunteers are supported and supervised by the counselling team

What is bereavement counselling?

Bereavement counselling takes place in a relationship built upon trust, respect and confidentiality, to facilitate the processes of normal and complex grief

It is a way of working that enables people to explore their concerns in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental atmosphere and to find the best outcomes for them.

Talking to a counsellor may help people to:

  • See things differently
  • Explore feelings in a safe environment
  • Find ways to manage feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Improve communication with family, friends and health professionals
  • Feel supported
  • Find a level of acceptance and increased understanding of their deepest concerns.

Who can use the service?

The service can be used by anyone who is affected by someone who is dying, or has died from cancer, and has received treatment from Poole Hospital.

Referrals can also be made through the medical and nursing staff, and the hospital and community specialist palliative care teams.

An initial assessment session will be offered to discuss your needs and whether counselling may be supportive to you at this time.

No charge is made for the counselling sessions.

We recommend, whenever possible, that the person choosing to have counselling contacts us directly. We appreciate that making the first contact may take considerable courage, as it is the first step towards being in the counselling relationship. This is especially the case if you have not previously talked about personal issues to someone outside of your friends and family.

Please telephone 0300 019 8096 between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday to make an appointment with a counsellor.

If you call outside of these hours please leave your name, a brief message and times when you are available and we will return your call.

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