How I can help you
As a Certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist, I am looking to help others move forward following many different types of loss. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2019. My journey since has been incredibly physically and emotionally challenging as I'm sure you can imagine! As part of my recovery, I completed the 1:1 Grief Recovery Method programme and this had such a huge impact that I went on to become a specialist myself. During the training I was able to work on the loss of my health, alongside other losses I had experienced throughout my life.
The Grief Recovery Method is an evidence and action based educational programme, providing you with the tools for moving beyond the many different types of grief. These include but are not limited to; death, divorce, loss of health, pets, finances, moving or end of addiction. This programme can either be done on a 1:1 basis, in a group and online (Video call).
There is also a set programme for schools, talking to teachers and parents in order to help children experiencing loss.
The Grief Recovery Method has been a key part of my recovery. I would now like to impart my knowledge and reach out to help others who may be stuck in their loss. If you feel you would be interested in undertaking the programme with me as your specialist or would like to know more, please feel free to contact me.
Over 40+ life losses can leave us feeling bereft
When we think of bereavement, we usually think of the death of a loved one. Most people looking for bereavement counselling or a grief coach only feel entitled to do so if someone close to them has died.
However there are over 40 different personal losses that can leave us feeling devastated, heartbroken, lost, hopeless and ultimately cause the same emotional and physical symptoms of grief.
The Grief Recovery Method is unique in that it is applicable to any and all kinds of loss. Each Certified Grief Recovery Specialist has been trained to guide grievers without judgement, criticism or analysis. We do not compare losses and we know that every griever is unique.
Not only can the action steps within the Grief Recovery Method be applied to any type of loss, they can be used again and again with any future losses that occur - once you have participated in a Programme, you will have all the tools you need to cope with loss later in life.
Death of a loved one
Divorce, separation, breakup
Estrangement of family members
Abusive or absent parent
Loss of safety due to trauma
Death of a pet
Retirement, empty nest
Loss of health
Loss of finances
Loss of faith
Loss of career
Loss of identity
Testimonials “Joan literally gave me the light at the end of the tunnel back. Having previously been through various counselling services in my youth which I did not find helpful and as a NHS front line clinician I was all to aware of the lack of provision and accessibility of effective services. I was put in touch with Joan through my husband’s work colleague who knew of Joan and the Grief Recovery Method. Initially I had my reservations due to previous experiences however this has been life changing. The pain caused by unresolved loss of my mum earlier this year literally had consumed my life and I had no idea how to move forward or to continue with my life. The Grief Recovery Method has taught me a new way of thinking and has help me to complete my unresolved losses. The memories don’t fade but they become less painful and I am able to feel like I can live again. This would not have been possible without Joan- she is a true professional but speaks from the heart and is so genuinely invested in you as a person. I have never been made to feel more comfortable in being able to open my heart and let someone in so close. Joan and the Grief Recovery method I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” "For many years I’ve been carrying around grief without realising it; it was only going through this process with Joan that I came to understand the full extent of it. Joan was so understanding and led me gently through the process, supporting me with an easier ‘relationship’, so I understood how it all worked, before taking on the major event that had shaped the last 40yrs of my life. She was there at the end of the phone whenever I needed guidance and help to make sure I was on the right track and never made me feel like I was being a nuisance. I really liked the ‘structure’ of the process as it helped to me to connect with all of the elements of my past that have led to the present day, without judgement or exhaustive discussion. I feel confident now that I have the tools to use in the future and would thoroughly recommend both the Grief Recovery Method and Joan to anyone whose life issues are sitting there on their shoulders unresolved." "I was recommended the GRM (online) by a friend and I have no regrets. I didn't realise how my life has been impacted by both grief and loss. When I read the handbook it is as if it has been personally written for me. I could see so many ways that I fitted the examples given. The GRM is a structured programme that leads you through the process and Joan, my GRM specialist, was with me all the way. As a result I am now starting to recognise how my behaviour and attitudes are changing, acknowledging how the loss and grief held me in a negative place. GRM doesn't stop future loss or grief, but it does give you tools to address them. This has made a real difference to my life and I have no hesitation at all in recommending GRM to you." "I have been working with Joan and the Grief Recovery Method since Feb 2020. I have so much praise for Joans work. There has been lots to work through for me. The more I do the more I uncover the more I realise there is more to do. Each completion brings so much relief. The first 3 are the most challenging but once I got the hang of this system I was and am keen to keen going. It is difficult to get started but the quality of Joans holding is so nurturing and supportive! I have experience of both in person and Zoom sessions and want to emphasis that both are effective. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to work together online as it has been an exceptional resource for me during lockdown in a foreign country. I never felt alone with my grief as it is a shared journey. Please take up this opportunity to learn these tools. They are important and will support you throughout your life. I highly recommend this method to everyone and Joan will guide you through it beautifully." "I was privileged to work with Joan through this wonderful programme. The structure of the course really makes sense to me. Using this method helped me realise every angle of my pain and how it was affecting my life. Loss is such a major part of our lives. We all need this. It’s hard to do this work but unless we do we can’t be free. Thank you Joan for lovingly guiding me through each step. I was held by you though out. I looked forward to our sessions.Thank you for teaching me how to cope. I have more work to do but I now have the tools. If you are tempted do get involved. I highly recommend Joan and GRM." "I would like to thank Joan Hughes whose help l requested on a grief recovery journey. For anyone suffering in silence l can recommend Joan, she helped me deal with issues l had, that l had tried to cope with on my own, and in all honesty l found it hard to even talk about with anyone. Joan had a gentleness about her, and a great deal of empathy, and there were moments l wanted to stop talking about it. Always there on the phone between appointments she allowed me to make my own sense of everything. I thank her most sincerely for her patience and gentle guidance, and can only say that the mental and emotional trauma that had plagued me for so long has now been put into a proper perspective , l can look at it all now, without any problems and know that l am okay with it all. So thank you Joan." "Joan, I’ve known you many years and I have to tell you that I truly admire you. Life has dealt you many challenges and throughout you have always met them with a calm inner strength. Having faced treatment myself, I think the way you have taken the positive from your biggest challenge yet is truly inspirational. I am certain that you will help others find the calm and path forward in whatever storm or crisis they find themselves in." "If you feel trapped by your grief or the pain of loss, unable to feel happy or relaxed, give yourself the opportunity to see the future in a different light. Joan Hughes has supported and assisted me through several occasions in my life when I was bereaved or uncertain about myself. She is gentle, kind and supportive and I recommend her ability to help you find hope for your future, through these proven steps of recovery."
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Helping Children with Loss
In addition to Grief Recovery Method programmes for grievers, I also offer courses for adults - parents, teachers and professionals - who would like to be better equipped to help the children in their care cope with losses of any kind.
The ACEs-informed Helping Children with Loss programme uses the same principles of the evidence-based Grief Recovery Method but adapts them for use with children of all ages and ability level.
Bereaved Mum Nicky Clifford recommends The Grief Recovery Method
From devastating bereavement to Grief Recovery - Jill Attree's story
A brief introduction to the Grief Recovery Method
Help for survivors of bereavement by suicide
If you've suffered a loss by suicide or are looking for bereavement counselling for suicide, we're here to offer support.
First Mother’s Day without Mum
Last July, just as I’d pitched up a tent in a field in Cornwall, I got a devastating call from my mum’s friend to say that she’d started coughing up blood not long after we’d left home and had been taken by ambulance to hospital. She didn’t want to worry us. The next day, we learned she had terminal lung cancer that had spread.
Esther Rantzen - Living with Grief
It's not very often tv talks about grief so we're thrilled that Channel 5 have given Esther Rantzen the chance to explore the topic in this ground breaking documentary. A widow herself, Esther wanted to understand other people's reactions to loss and in the in-depth programme she talks to 6 people about their grief experience.
Learning to Let Go of Emotional Baggage
When people say, ‘You have to let go and move on,’ at the end of a relationship, but not many people give you the steps to teach you how to let go of emotional baggage.
Valentine’s When You’re Grieving
When you’ve experienced the death of your husband, wife, or partner, the lead-up to Valentine’s Day may cause you to want to hide undercover until it’s all over.
Eating, Drinking, Keeping Busy: How we're coping with a second lockdown
Have you been hiding or burying your feelings under food or alcohol? Or are shopping and TV your coping mechanism of choice? Here are some things to do instead.
- Learning to Let Go of Emotional Baggage Posted on 26th July 2021 at 16:04
- Help for survivors of bereavement by suicide Posted on 31st March 2021 at 14:53
- First Mother’s Day without Mum Posted on 9th March 2021 at 16:09
- Esther Rantzen - Living with Grief Posted on 17th February 2021 at 11:27
- Valentine’s When You’re Grieving Posted on 12th February 2021 at 16:07
- Eating, Drinking, Keeping Busy: How we're coping with a second lockdown Posted on 25th January 2021 at 12:25
- Stuck on a painful lasting image? Posted on 8th December 2020 at 15:14
- Top 8 Tips for Surviving Grief at Christmas Posted on 2nd December 2020 at 13:25
- Men, Grief and Sudden Loss Posted on 27th November 2020 at 14:06
- Not Able to Say Goodbye? 2020, a Year of Loss Posted on 19th November 2020 at 12:15
Book your place
Grief Recovery Group Programme
Experience the power of Grief Recovery in a group setting. 8 two-hour sessions with a maximum of 12 people. The programme is task based with weekly homework assignments using the Grief Recovery Handbook as the reference book.
For more information on dates/locations, etc. please click the button below.
Grief Recovery 1 to 1 Programme
This step-by-step course shows individuals how to complete the actions necessary to recover from grief in seven 1-hour sessions. Taking place in a safe environment with a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, it provides a genuine alternative to counselling or therapy. It is a powerful, dynamic, sensible and accessible programme that is genuinely for anyone willing to take the necessary actions to help themselves.
The programme is task based with weekly homework assignments using the Grief Recovery Handbook as the reference book.
Grief Recovery Helping Children with Loss
The Helping Children with Loss programme is for parents, teachers and anyone who works with children in a professional environment. It provides adults with the same tools and techniques used in the evidence based Grief Recovery Method, so they can assist children and young adults of any age or ability level through a loss.
Grief Recovery Pet Loss Programme
The loss of a pet can be emotionally devastating. Sadly, the impact of the heartbreak of this type of loss is often downplayed or ignored by friends and family. This 6-meeting program is focused on offering pet owners an effective mechanism for taking action to move through and beyond their grief.
Grief Recovery 1-1 Online
This evidence-based, step-by-step course will help participants complete the actions necessary to recover from grief in seven 1-hour sessions that take place online with an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist. It is a powerful, dynamic, sensible and accessible programme that is genuinely for anyone willing to take the necessary actions to help themselves.
The programme is task based with weekly homework assignments using the Grief Recovery Handbook as the reference book.
Grief Recovery Helping Children with Loss Online
The Helping Children with Loss programme is an online course for parents, teachers and anyone who works with children in a professional environment. It provides adults with the same tools and techniques used in the evidence based Grief Recovery Method, so they can assist children and young adults of any age or ability level through a loss.