Grief Counselling Singapore

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Grief Counselling

Losing someone you love through death is one of the most painful experiences. The depth of your pain can be so immense that your body aches, your world is turned upside down, and you may even wonder how can you ever move on with your life. Losing someone you love is traumatic. 


Grief can leave a person in a state of despair, emptiness, hopeless or numbness. Experiencing grief is a normal process when someone you love dies. We all experience grief in different ways. However, if grief is prolonged, or not processed, it can manifest into complex grief, resulting in longer-lasting symptoms and impairing your day to day living.

Signs of normal grief ?

Normal grief is characterized by 5 stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are not linear. Rather they are emotional states that the grieving person can move in and out of through their grieving process.

Denial Stage

Happens when you first learn of the loss and you find it hard to believe it. You may have thoughts like “this isn’t happening”, “how can this be?”. In this stage, you may be in a state of shock, disbelief or numb. Depending on the how the deceased had passed on, and the type of relationship you have with the decided, the intensity of the shock and denial can vary from persons to persons. The shock and trauma can be more intense especially if the death is sudden and unexpected.

Anger Stage Singapore

Anger Stage

Followed by feelings of shock or denial, once reality  sets in, you may be faced with  the intense pain of your loss. You may also started to feel anger if the death of the deceased is caused by an external factor eg motor vehicle accident, a form of illness or even to God. You may be directing your anger towards a source that is perceived to have caused the death of your loved one. You may feel anger towards the loved one too, and this is normal as well.

Bargaining Stage

In this stage, you may find yourself going through loop of asking yourself what you could have done to prevent the loss. You may have thoughts like “if only I had done this…”, “what if…”.  Bargaining stage tends to engender self blame and guilt. It can also led to feelings of anger and confusion.

Bargaining Stage Singapore

Depression Stage

This is the stage where you feel intense sadness. You may find yourself experiencing waves of sadness, crying, tearing or even dissociating. You may feel overwhelmed, fatigued, lonely, and empty. Going about doing your normal activity may be difficult. Your usual sleeping pattern and your appetite may be interrupted.  This is where you feel like moving on with life is effortful.


This is the final stage of grief whereby you accept the reality of the loss. Although you feel sad, you start to feel stronger and feel like you can move forward with your life. Reaching the acceptance stage can take time and it varies from person to person.

Acceptance Stage Singapore

Generally, when one is going through grief, it is important to know that all your feelings are normal and it is healthy to let those feelings flow out from you. Allowing your tears to flow, expressing your feelings or processing your feelings can help heal your grief. Gradually, those intense feelings will lessen over time and you will start to feel better. Everyone’s duration of grieving is different. It can last for 6 to 12 months.


However, keeping in your feelings or avoiding feeling them can prolong the grief process. This may then lead to unresolved or complicated grief.  

What is Complicated Grief

What's Complicated Grief?

Complicated grief happens when you find yourself still experiencing intense emotions such as depression and anger after a prolonged period. You may still struggle with getting on with your life and your daily functioning may be affected.  If you have not healed from your grief, and you are still having intense feelings of grief after 12 months, it may be time to seek professional help.  

You don't have to struggle on your own – we're here to support you!

Counselling Psychologist

Sylvia Tan - Founder, Principal Counselling Psychologist, MPsych (SRP Registered)

Sylvia is a Counselling Psychologist practicing in Singapore. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from Curtin University of Technology ( Perth, Western Australia) and is currently a registered counselling psychologist and a clinical supervisor with the Singapore Register of Psychologists (SRP). 


After her graduation in 2002, Sylvia lived and worked in Australia for many years before her relocation back to her home country Singapore in 2014. To date, Sylvia has over 20 years of experience working in a range of settings both in Australia and Singapore. 

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