Learning to communicate again - Relationship counselling after loss of a child

The loss of a child is a huge blow to any marriage. It causes distress as both parties are reminded of their loss by seeing the other person and often so lost in their grief that they struggle to support each other and any other children in the best way. Relationship counselling can help the partners express their grief safely and establish new boundaries for their marriage.


Relationship counselling can help to provide a safe space to discuss any loss of trust in the relationship following the loss and work through any aspects of the child's death that have created less trust. These can include perceived issues as well as real issues, and having a neutral space to discuss these issues can help to resolve them and work through any contention.

For the other children in the family, a death in the family can also create concerns over the loss of parents or more children. Counselling can help you provide a united and confident front as parents, which in turn will help the children to feel more comfortable and reassured.

Safe space

As people express grief differently, having a space to discuss how you are both coping with your grief can help both parties to feel closer. Some people bury their grief into practical actions, such as diving more into the care of other children, while some people move inwards in the process of dealing with their grief. If one person is becoming quieter and more depressed while another wants to discuss the child, this mismatch in grieving styles can lead to resentment and frustration. Counselling can help both parties acknowledge the other's grieving style and work out the best way to support each other.

Reworking of goals and plans

For many couples with children, their future goals and plans have been shaped around their children. The loss of a child prompts a revaluation of goals and dreams, and counselling can help couples to discuss and negotiate some new goals together. Without having an open discussion in a neutral environment about what the future looks like for your redefined family unit, it's all too easy for your goals to move in different directions which can cause the family to separate.

Relationship counselling can be a useful tool in the aftermath of dealing with the loss of a child, to help your family come back together in a strong way. Seek out a clinic like Southside Psychology in your area to learn more about counselling services and how a psychologist can help you navigate the more difficult parts of life.