I’m Julie Wood, and I help grieving pet parents after the death of a pet using a blend of hypnotherapy and grief counselling.
I first trained as a hypnotherapist back in 2011 and I was used to seeing clients with conditions like anxiety, overeating and drinking, sleeping problems, and other emotional issues. Increasingly I became aware that when we traced the problem back to the start there were many, many instances where it started with the death of a cherished pet.
When the clients had been grieving many of them had been told that ‘it was only an animal’ or why didn’t they just go and get another one. Even friends who were initially supportive expected the client to recover from their grief very quickly. That’s when I decided to see what help was available for people grieving for their fur baby.
Soaps, such as EastEnders and Coronation Street, have included pet death in their story lines, but many people don’t realise that pet grief is a real thing. There is so little specialised help available and I KNEW that hypnotherapy combined with grief counselling could work in a gentle and effective way. That’s why it helps so much.
During the first session she constantly talked about her dog being ‘put to sleep’. The connection her mind had made was that if someone is put to sleep they might not wake up again
Unresolved grief can cause long term emotional damage. For instance, one question I always ask EVERY client, no matter what they come for is can they think why a goldfish would lead to a man having 4 marriages?
Then I go on to explain that when this client was seven he had a goldfish. He’d won it at the fair (back in the day, when you could do that kind of thing), and he loved this fish. One day he was at school and the fish died, and his Mum flushed it down the loo and put a replacement fish in the bowl! But my client knew! And – very briefly – he never trusted his Mum or another woman again. Now, he had always remembered what had happened with the fish but he didn’t remember how shocked he was at the time, and didn’t make any connection between the fish and his mistrust with his relationships.
Another client came to me with sleep problems. During the first session she constantly talked about her dog being ‘put to sleep’. The connection her mind had made was that if someone is put to sleep they might not wake up again.
But the most common feelings clients come to see me about are guilt, regret and self doubt. Did they make the right decision when it came ot their pet? Maybe they should have opted for more tests? Or less tests? Should they have spotted the problem earlier? Did they trust the wrong person to look after their pet, or choose the wrong vet? If this sounds like you, get in touch or have a look at some of the videos on my YouTube Channel to see if any of them help. Don’t struggle on feeling terrible. Grief is a natural process, but we don’t all experience it in the same way and we don’t have to continue with our own life nursing a broken heart.