Counselling for Mental Health

by | Oct 10, 2021 | Mental Health

It’s the last day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Uncannily, my baby son, Cody, died on the 1st day of the month, albeit way back in 1995. It therefore seems fitting to book-end the month with a video interview about going on living after his death. I wrote previously about grieving when there’s someone to blame – this time, I’m talking about surviving baby loss.

I was privileged to be interviewed by Cait Wotherspoon, a bereavement counsellor based in Sydney, working with people ready to move beyond grief and loss, and rediscover joy. I grew up in Sydney myself before jumping ship to Melbourne, and we are both grief counsellors, so we have a lot in common and could have talked for hours! Sadly, we also share another commonality: the experience of surviving neonatal baby loss. One of Cait’s twins died one week after birth, and my son Cody died 9 hours after birth.

In this video, we discuss issues such as the disenfranchisement of paternal grief, grieving after negligence, and couple grief after baby loss. We also address the nuances of that pesky question that is so difficult to answer: “How many children do you have?” Ultimately, we reflected together on surviving baby loss over the years and how grief stays with us, transforms us, and changes over time.

I hope you enjoy watching my conversation with Cait.

I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me if you’d prefer to connect privately.

About the author: Karen

About the author: Karen

Counsellor and Coach

I’m a Registered Clinical Counsellor based in Melbourne, Australia. I came to counselling through my own experiences of loss, and my desire to come alongside people struggling to come to terms with loss and grief. It’s a privilege to companion someone in their darkest days and help them find the light inside themselves again. I am based in Melbourne, providing online counselling throughout Australia and coaching internationally.


  1. Barbara Lea Bell

    Hello Karen,
    I have read your article and found it to be a most wonderful expression of counselling. A speaker today on the ABC talking about the new government concern in regard to childhood mental health recommended people to find a psychiatrist or psychologist for mental health of a child but did not once mention counsellors. I am really sick of referrals to the quoted mental health people and not including counsellors. I am a counsellor and my practice is not viable and I have given up; especially when you have people like today’s speaker advocating psychologist and psychiatrists. Perhaps It is because I am only level 2 counsellor with the ACA. I am quite disheartened. Thank you for your article. It really needs to be put into the public eye more prominently so that a wider range of the community can read it.

    • KarenBieman

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve given up your practice. I agree with you that it’s a pity counsellors are frequently overlooked as a more-than-viable option for mental health care. I hope that with time there will be more recognition of the important work we do. All mental health professions are important and valid. They are not the same, but they should all be acknowledged so people have equal access to a professional of their choice.


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