At Petals we provide a free counselling service to support women, men and couples through the devastation of baby loss.
Petals’ counselling programme is unique and has been specifically designed and developed to meet the needs of parents who have suffered pregnancy complications, the loss of a pregnancy or the death of a baby. Our counsellors are experts in this field and between them have many years of experience in counselling people after all types of baby loss.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM PETALS COUNSELLING
It is most likely that you will have been referred to us via your bereavement midwife or another healthcare professional.
All referrals that come in are checked against eligibility criteria which will depend upon the hospital you have been referred from. We accept a small number of self-referrals which will also be checked against our own eligibility criteria.
The team at Petals are working hard every day to raise the funds needed to expand our service so that all those who need our support can access the service no matter where they live or the type of loss they have suffered. In the cases where we are unable to accept a referral, our counselling coordinator will always respond and signpost you to other relevant support services.
If your referral is accepted, you will be invited to book an online triage assessment session.
When your referral has been accepted, you will be invited to book a 30-minute online triage assessment session with one of our senior counsellors.
Before your triage appointment, you will complete a psychological assessment questionnaire which will only be shared with the senior counsellor taking your triage session and the counsellor you are then allocated for your ongoing sessions.
The senior counsellor you speak with will use this session to understand more about your experience, how you are feeling, explaining to you the Petals counselling process and what you can expect from our support. They will also review your questionnaire with you and tell you how many counselling sessions you will be allocated, talking you through what the next steps of the process will be.
Please be aware that the senior counsellor who takes your triage session will not necessarily be your long-term counsellor.
Once you have committed to counselling at your triage appointment, you will be moved to our waiting list. The majority of clients are allocated a counsellor within four weeks of completing their triage assessment. Your waiting time will not exceed six weeks.
As soon as a counsellor becomes available, you will be sent an online counselling agreement form and another short psychological assessment form to complete. Once these are returned your counsellor will contact you to arrange your first session.
YOUR COUNSELLING SESSIONS
Petals counselling sessions take place online via Zoom and will be arranged with you by email or sometimes, by telephone.
Sessions are 60 minutes and usually take place fortnightly. Your counsellor will ensure you are sent a Zoom link for the session in advance.
All Petals counsellors deliver the Petals Counselling Programme which will take you through our specialist model that has been designed specifically for parents who have experienced baby loss.
Grief, anxiety, depression and PTSD are all normal and very common reactions to baby loss. The experience can feel enormously complicated, overwhelming and lonely; as well as shattering your worldview and confidence in the future.
That is exactly why Petals exists: we are here to provide a safe space for you to talk about the experience(s) you’ve had and to help you begin to absorb the reality this brings.
All Petals counsellors genuinely care about the close relationships they develop with parents as they move through our counselling programme. They will work with thought and sensitivity to understand your experience. They will respond to your needs with empathy and skill and will work flexibly to ensure specific issues can be addressed.
Your Petals counsellor will help you to make sense of the impact of your loss on you personally, on your relationships, and on the future you’d been hoping for. All Petals counsellors are specially trained to work through the grief and trauma of your experience with you in order that you can begin to understand how it has affected you. As the sessions progress, you will notice your feelings changing. It may not feel possible at the start, but over time you will begin to settle, cope, and adapt to your ‘new normal’. Your counsellor will hold trust and confidence in you to move forward in a healthy way, by supporting and guiding you towards hope and belief in your future.
Many of our clients tell us how much their counselling sessions helped when they thought nothing could. Click HERE to read some of their stories.
COMPLETION OF COUNSELLING
During your last session, your counsellor will ask you to complete another psychological assessment form and you will also have the opportunity to feedback on every aspect of our service. We place a high value on client feedback – it is important to us to understand what has worked well for you as this enables us to keep providing the very best service we can for everyone we support.
We know that many of our clients feel a deep connection to Petals following their sessions and remaining connected to us is important. At the end of your sessions, you will be invited to join the Petals community which includes peer-to-peer online support groups and fundraising events as well as our newsletter and a thriving online social media community.