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 confidents. 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.
Vanessa provides confidential and evidence based support for bereaved pet owners, volunteer and professional animal caregivers. She provides a warm and non-judgemental approach and will give you the safe place you need to tell your story.
She has a Bachelor of Arts with honours in Psychology, a PhD with a specialisation in psychology (human-animal interactions) and has worked in the animal industry for over 15 years where her roles varied from veterinary nurse to animal welfare researcher. She has lectured and tutored psychology and human behaviour for over 6 years and regularly presents her work at international and national conferences. Vanessa values the importance of ongoing professional development and has also achieved her training as a compassion fatigue specialist (therapist), mindfulness trainer, certificate in animal bereavement and is a member of the Anthrozoology Research Group.
Our pets become our best friends and companions and whether we are prepared or not for their loss it is always heart breaking ! It is like losing any member of the family.
I have lost two beautiful German Shepherds ( one only in February this year) in an untimely and tragic manner so I truly understand the grief, heartache and guilt that accompanies such a huge loss. It is very important to express your grief, and although the pain never really goes away, I can offer a kind, supportive ear to help you cope during this most difficult time.
I am available for counselling sessions either via phone/ Skype.
Please contact me for an Obligation free chat via email/ phone for more information.
No referral required.
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement Counselling and Support Service, provides a Victorian statewide specialist bereavement service for individuals, children and families who need assistance following the death of a companion animal. The service offers face-to-face bereavement counselling most of which is office-based, as well as bereavement support programs such as support groups, information resources and remembrance events.
Please note: The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement is not a crisis support service. In an emergency please call 000, or if you require urgent counselling, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Location and Service Area
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement Counselling and Support Service Melbourne office is located at 253 Wellington Road, Mulgrave, Victoria 3170.
Bereavement counselling is also available at a range of other locations across Melbourne. We also provide bereavement counselling to those outside of Melbourne who live in rural and regional Victoria through our telephone and online counselling service which uses high-quality videoconference technology. This provides a convenient, private and secure way of connecting with a bereavement practitioner from your home.
Cost or Contribution
A fee for service is a financial contribution payable by a client which in part meets the cost of the service received. The fee for service payable by the client is dependent upon the client’s income level. Exemptions from fee for service are provided for people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, those receiving bushfire bereavement related services and those attending bereavement support groups. Those attending bereavement support groups are encouraged to make a donation to defray the cost of running the program.
For further information phone (03) 9265 2100 or go to www.grief.org.au
Bianca Lavorgna and Jackie Tarabay – Specialist Bereavement Counsellors
Losing a pet can be a difficult thing to go through as often our animals are our very best friends. Here at Forever In My Heart, I will work with you to guide and support you in understanding and accepting your loss and/or support you in the lead up to a loss. I can relate to you as I lost my Boxer Buckley to a 20 month terminal illness in November 2016. I have experienced what you maybe currently feeling. Together we will work “As a Team” to help you move towards acceptance and to embark on having a “Wonderful Relationship with the Memories”.
Please Contact Me for a “No Obligation” chat via Email, Phone or my Facebook Page for more information. I offer Face to Face and Online Sessions.