An Evening on Grief and Sorrow with Julia Samuel
Join renowned psychotherapist and bereavement counsellor Julia Samuel as she leads a compassionate and supportive discussion of what it means to lose someone you love.
Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist specialising in grief, who has spent the last twenty-five years working with bereaved families. She was a counsellor at St Mary’s Hospital for over two decades, providing guidance and emotional support to those living through the tragedy of a child’s death. In 1994 she helped launch and establish Child Bereavement UK, as Founder Patron, a leading national charity which offers support for families who have lost a child and children who have themselves experienced loss.
Although bereavement has become more openly discussed in recent decades, death itself remains one of the most taboo subjects in our society, one which we often struggle to address directly. As Julia herself has put it – “Death is the great exposer: it forces hidden fault lines and submerged secrets into the open, and reveals to us how crucial those closest to us have been.” Even in situations where we do not experience bereavement explicitly – in divorce, for example, or when events conspire to permanently deny us certain opportunities – we can experience this shattering dimension of loss.
Drawing from her many years of professional experience, Julia will begin the evening by giving a talk on the nature of the grieving process: how we heal and how we come to terms with loss. This will include a detailed explanation of the eight ‘Pillars of Strength’ which she has identified in the course of her career – developing them into a comprehensive system of support for all those coping with bereavement. The evening will also involve (entirely voluntary) periods of interaction and participation; audience members will be invited to share their experiences of grief and will be invited to pose questions for Julia in a Q&A session.
Different segments will be broken up by group song, as audience members are invited to join in concert, singing popular songs with uplifting messages of shared sorrow and the overcoming of pain. Those attending will be provided the opportunity to share, console and be consoled in turn as grief and sadness are discussed in a welcoming and compassionate atmosphere.