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Working with individuals to achieve a
happier, more peaceful and positive life

Grief & Loss Counselling

Feelings of grief are inevitable, and are a healthy reaction to the loss of someone or something important to you. When we experience drastic changes in our lives, we go through a process of mental and emotional adjustment. The grieving process is part of this and represents this adjustment to a significant loss.

The most common life event which induces a grief reaction is the death of a loved one, or the ending of a significant relationship. Other situations can also cause a grief response, such as the loss of a job, a child moving out of home, or moving away from an area or community that you felt connected to. Additionally, Grief can also occur in relation to the loss of potential, or the recognition that your life is not going to go in a direction that you had wanted.

Like everything in life, the experience of grief can vary significantly in its nature, duration and severity. Grief can be overwhelming and debilitating, and can impact across every area of a person’s life. Sometimes it can be hard to know how to grieve, or how to respond to our grief process. It’s common for people to resist it, but in fact, the most helpful way forward is to find ways to enable your grieving, while also supporting and caring for yourself along the way.

In time, as people move through grief, the usual outcome is to arrive at a place where they are able to cope. They may carry a sense of sadness and loss into the future, but they are able to find peace and contentment alongside their loss. In some cases, grief can become more complicated and persistent. In these cases, it can be of great assistance to seek input from a psychologist.

Learn more about Grief & Loss

In the early stages following a loss, particularly a traumatic loss, you may experience shock. This may bring feelings of numbness and disconnection, disbelief and unreality, as your mind struggles to digest the major adjustment. At this stage of grief, it can feel very difficult to accept the reality of what has happened.

As you begin to process the reality of the loss, you may start to feel emotions such as sadness, despair, and hopelessness. You may feel like you are stuck, unable to feel any joy or happiness or hope for the future. You may find that the sense of loss is ever-present and that there is no relief. You may experience moments of emotional overwhelm and you may often find yourself crying.

You may experience feelings of anger or self-blame. This can reflect an internal struggle to understand the causes of the loss, or to attribute blame, be that toward yourself or others. Similarly, you may feel angry at the person you have lost. Sometimes people feel guilt for other regrets, for example, that they had not managed a more positive relationship with a lost loved one.

You may feel a sense of fear for your future and feel incapable of managing under the changed circumstances. You may fear that you will never find peace and happiness in your future.

You may experience health impacts, such as sleep disturbance. You may find it difficult to sleep, or conversely, you may be sleeping a lot, as a way to escape pain. Similarly, you may experience changes in your appetite, which in turn can lead to physical health problems. You may experience physical exhaustion, or pain.

There is a wealth of research that has identified useful treatments that are of great assistance in treating grief and loss. These treatments include Supportive Counselling, Social Support, Self-Care, Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT), Focused Family Grief Therapy, and Complicated Grief Treatment.

At Laburnum Psychology, our psychologists are experienced and trained to assist people with their experiences of Grief and Loss. If you are experiencing Grief and Loss and would like to seek some assistance, please feel very welcome to contact us.

You may feel that you have lost touch with your life and your sense of self, or that you are stuck in some sort of alternate reality. You may experience stress in your relationships. Many people find it difficult to be present or interested in day to day activities or conversations, leading to a sense of disconnection. The stress of grief can also bring irritability and low frustration tolerance, leading you to be reactive of snappy with friends, loves ones, or colleagues. This can lead to withdrawal and isolation, which can in turn feel like further loss. For some people, grief can trigger a spiritual crisis, as they struggle to understand or accept that God has ‘allowed’ for this loss to occur.

Some people turn to diversionary behaviours in an effort to avoid or numb their pain. This can include over-use of alcohol or other substances. You may feel like your future doesn’t matter or that there is nothing left to live for. These feelings can lead you to take risks without usual consideration for consequences.

The grieving process can often look and feel very similar to depression, especially after a significant loss. However, there are some key factors which distinguish grief from depression.

The grief response often encompasses a variety of emotions, and it is even possible to experience moments of pleasure throughout a period of grieving.  In contrast, depression is characterised by pervasive feelings of emptiness, despair and /or guilt.  Depression can also encompass other symptoms which are not necessarily associated with the grief response.


If you are experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or have self-harmed already, it is important you immediately reach out for assistance.  We would encourage you to contact your GP, or one of the following 24-hour helplines:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14  
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 
  • Psychiatric Triage Department at your closest public hospital. 


If you or someone you know are at serious risk of harm, please call 000 as a matter of emergency. 

How we can help you deal with grief & loss

We are here to create a comfortable and supportive environment where we'll work to achieve the goals together

Our approach to dealing with grief & loss

Work with professionals who don't just listen, but support life challenges

Call us on 03 9877 9179 or complete the enquiry form below. One of our staff will personally be in touch with you.

Lauren Chapman

Lauren is an experienced Clinical Psychologist who has been practicing across public mental health and private practice roles for over ten years. She completed her Master of Clinical Psychology at Deakin University and is a Board Approved Supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia, and a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Lauren’s approach is warm, empathic, and collaborative, drawing from a range of evidence-based therapeutic models such as Schema Therapy, CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

Lauren works with adults aged 17 and over across a range of mental health issues including:

Hilary Austin

Hilary is a highly experienced Psychotherapist and Mental Health Social Worker. She has worked in acute mental health, educational and community settings.

Hilary has a depth of experience working with adults & adolescents facing acute and complex mental health difficulties.  She has a keen interest in psychoanalysis and approaches this with deep value of helping in pragmatic and sensible ways.  Hilary will work closely with you to identify your goals for change, and to navigate the path. Hilary brings warmth and pragmatism to her work, which is of immense value in helping her clients to feel comfortable and understood.

Key Interest Areas

Dr. Josie Sinni

Josie is a highly experienced member of the Laburnum Psychology team, bringing fourteen years of experience to her work.  Josie holds a Doctoral degree in Clinical Neuropsychology and has worked both as a neuropsychologist and a generalist psychologist. In her generalist work, Josie works with clients who experience anxiety disorders, mood disorders, stress, adjustment issues, and low self-confidence.  Josie values building strong rapport with her clients and will work with you to identify meaningful goals and work toward building positive change in your life.  Josie is conscientious to base her interventions in evidence-based therapeutic frameworks, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Key Interest Areas

Dr Carissa Kuswanto

Carissa holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Having achieved a high degree of academic training and clinical research, she now focusses her efforts upon applying these learnings in her work as a psychologist. Carissa’s true strengths as a therapist lie in her empathy, authenticity, and compassion, as well as her genuine curiousity in people. Carissa aims to establish a safe space when engaging in therapy. She loves to learn and she deeply values sharing her learnings in practical and real-world ways, tailoring and blending evidence-based therapy approaches for each unique individual. Carissa works across all age ranges, including adults, older adults, adolescents and children. Carissa also speaks fluent English and Bahasa Indonesia.

Special Interest Areas:

Tim McCorriston

Tim is a registered clinical and counselling psychologist and one of the Practice Principals at Laburnum Psychology.  Tim has over twenty years experience as a psychologist, working primarily with clients, as well as supervising other psychologists. Tim places high value on creating a comfortable environment for people to explore change.  Tim assists people to become conscious of their patterns, identify their change goals, and find practical and relatable ways to intentionally work toward these goals.  Tim has an interest in the neurology of change.  He assists people to understand, from a neurological perspective, the ways that they can intentionally drive and practice their own change processes.  From this base, Tim works with his clients to better understand themselves, manage difficult situations, and improve sense of peace, wellbeing and contentment in their lives.

Key Interest Areas

Kylie Allen

Kylie is a registered clinical psychologist with over twenty years of experience.  She is one of the two Practice Principals at Laburnum Psychology.  Kylie has worked in private practice for the past fourteen years.  She brings extensive experience in working with children, adolescents and adults.  Kylie will tailor an approach to therapy specifically for your set of circumstances and personality, so that you can become your best self.  Kylie helps her clients to achieve a stronger and more conscious sense of self, so they can live with greater alignment to their core values and life goals.  Kylie works with many people to help them understand the impacts of early life experiences, be that trauma or deprivation, or more subtle influences.  Kylie assists her clients to restructure unhelpful emotional and behavioural patters so that they can avert ongoing negative patters in life, and find their way to a greater sense of peace and wellbeing, and more positive relationships.

Key Interest Areas

Larissa King

Larissa is a deeply experience psychologist, with over twenty years counselling experience. Larissa has been with Laburnum Psychology for over ten years.  She brings a breadth of experience to her clinical work.  Larissa’s approach is to develop a safe, warm and trusting relationship and to use an eclectic range of evidence-based psychological approaches matched to each individual’s needs. Larissa has worked in a range of counselling settings including Gambler’s Help, youth sexual assault counselling and generalist counselling.

Key Interest Areas

Elizabeth Charalambakis

Like all of our psychologists, Elizabeth has been recruited based on the individual strengths that she brings to her counselling work, and to our team. Elizabeth works across a wide age range. She works with young people, aged sixteen and above, but also brings a strong knowledge around active aging principles. She is interested in working with a broad range of presenting mental health issues. Elizabeth approaches her work with excellent relational skills and a strong capacity for empathy and rapport. From this excellent base, Elizabeth will draw upon her tool kit of evidence based techniques to assist her clients toward positive change.

Key Interest Areas:

Fina Triany

Fina is a Clinical Psychologist who brings a depth of experience working across a very broad range of life issues and clinical presentations.  Fina is fluent in both English and Indonesian.  Fina always aims to work collaboratively with clients, drawing on their own unique strengths and capacities to achieve change, and find greater peace and contentment in their lives.

Key Interest Areas:

Latha Iyer

Latha has completed a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology.  She approaches her work with a strong sense of compassion and a desire to understand the uniqueness of each individual client and the situations they face.  Latha utilizes a strong blend of interpersonal skills, empathy and technical ability.  Latha’s warm and personable manner helps her clients to feel at ease in their sessions with her.

Key Interest Areas

Mili Vukalo

Mili has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. She has experience working and volunteering across a range of settings, including educational institutions (secondary and tertiary counselling environments).  Mili brings a strong sense of peace and calmness to her work, as well as her strengths in compassion.  She has an excellent capacity to help clients feel safe and at ease in exploring challenging areas of their lives.

Key Interests Areas

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • Academic difficulty
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Life adjustment

Simone Ray

Simone has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, and is currently completing her PhD, studying personality and schemas.  Simone is a warm and empathic psychologist who aims to create a safe and authentic environment for her clients.  Simone works to identify and draw upon her clients own strengths, so that together they can develop effective strategies for change.  Simone has worked in university clinics, schools, community mental health (headspace and drug and alcohol), as well as custodial settings.  She works with a breadth of clients across the lifespan and from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds.  Simone works with individuals and groups, and is confident to work across a wide range of mental health concerns.

Key Interest Areas

Sivan Hadas

Sivan is a Clinical Psychologist who brings vast and varied experience to her work.  She has a high level of professional experience and expertise.  Sivan builds very strong rapport with her clients.  She works with integrity and authenticity, and creates a very secure and calming space in which to conduct her sessions.  Sivan possesses great strengths in case conceptualization and formulation.  She works with adults and adolescents, and is fluent in English and Hebrew.

Key Interest Areas

Emma Gillespie

Emma approaches her work with great strengths in empathy and compassion. Prior to her work in psychology, she has worked and volunteered all around the world, with vulnerable children and communities, and people in sanctuaries, orphanages and primary schools across Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Costa Rica. Emma has worked with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, socio-economic groups, and across all ages. She aspires to create a safe space for individuals to explore their story, and with the goal of identifying practical skills and strategies to move towards their goals and find healing, change and personal growth.

Key Interest Areas