Vanessa Rohlf

Dr Vanessa Rohlf

PACFA Reg. Clinical Research Fellow, La Trobe University PhD, MCouns&PsychTh, BA(Hons).

Companion animals play an important role in our lives. They provide us with unconditional love, support and share our ups and downs. We consider them our family; our children, siblings, friends, and confidants. When this special bond is broken and our beloved pet dies, grief can be a painful yet very natural and necessary response to loss.

Sometimes grief can be overwhelming and during these times it can really help to talk to a professional who understands and appreciates the importance of the human-animal bond and the grief and trauma that can arise when we lose our companions.

I provide confidential and evidence-based support for bereaved pet owners, volunteer and professional animal caregivers. I provide a warm and non-judgemental approach and will give you the safe place you need to tell your story.

I have a Bachelor of Arts with honours in Psychology, a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a Ph.D. with a specialisation in psychology (human-animal interactions). I have worked in the animal industry for over 20 years where my roles varied from veterinary nurse to animal welfare researcher. I have lectured and tutored psychology and human behaviour for over 7 years and, as a research fellow in the area of human-animal relationships, burnout, and compassion fatigue at La Trobe University, I regularly present my work at international and national conferences and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

I value the importance of ongoing professional development and have also achieved my training as a compassion fatigue specialist (therapist), mindfulness trainer, and have a certificate in animal bereavement. I am a member of the Anthrozoology Research Group, American Psychological Association, and a registered clinical counsellor with the Psychotherapists and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Contact Dr Vanessa Rohlf

Website & Social Links

Also available via telephone, Skype or Zoom

Counsellor's Location

Malvern, Melbourne

Pet Loss Counsellors

Why invest in professional counselling?

Not all counsellors specialise in grief and even less deal with the grief associated with Pet Loss. That's why we created this directory to help connect pet owners with qualified and experienced pet loss counsellors.

How much does it cost?

Fees and charges will vary by service provider, please contact your preferred counsellor to discuss your options.


Are there free services?

Yes, please visit the Grief & Bereavement Support Services page.

Here you will find our recommended partners, friends and organisations who offer a mixture of free and donation based support.

You may also like to visit the Pets and People facebook page or browse our free library of resources and articles on pet loss & grief.