Confidential grief and bereavement counselling and support is available to:

  • adults, adolescents, children
  • individuals, couples, families
  • workplace, schools and health professionals impacted by loss

Services offered by the Centre are primarily focused on supporting people who have experienced a death or are living with/caring for someone with a life limiting illness. However, counselling services also support grief following loss of health, relationship, employment, home, faith and other such losses.

Sonia has extensive experience in supporting children following a loss.  Where practicable and appropriate, preference is to support bereaved children under the age of 8, through a trusted primary care giver(s).  Sonia will support the carer by building knowledge around children and grief; enabling open conversations with the child about loss particularly where it relates to death and/or dying; enhance understanding of grief in the family context; explore strategies for children and families to cope and build resilience together.

Where the primary carer is not able/ available to support the child, Sonia will provide a safe space for the child to explore and understand their loss experience and build healthy coping mechanisms to work with this.  Sonia can assist you to determine the type and level of support most suited for you and your child.

Referral Options

You can self refer by either phoning directly or sending an enquiry here. Alternatively, you can consent to a friend, family member or health professional facilitating contact with the Centre on your behalf.

A referral from a medical practitioner is not required to access the Centre, further ensuring the confidentiality of your visit. A Mental Health Plan is not required to access services.  

Fee for Service Practice

The Centre is a private, fee for service practice.  It does not receive Government or any other form of allocated funding to deliver services. 

Currently, Government rebates are not available for services offered at the Centre. However, the fee is commensurate with the gap you may be expected to pay under a Medicare rebated service. You might like to read our blog regarding Mental Health Plans and counselling services . Check with your private health fund for available insurance rebates on counselling services.  Current service provider with BUPA, Police Health and Medibank.  

Payment can be made by cash or EFTPOS at the end of the appointment.

Structure of Appointments

All appointments are one hour in duration unless discussed and agreed by both parties prior. An appointment can generally be made within two weeks following your initial enquiry.

Your needs at this time will be unique and treated as such by the staff at the Centre. You will not be expected nor required to attend a fixed number of appointments. The frequency of visits will be determined by you in consultation with the counsellor, to ensure you continue to cope and adapt to your loss in a way that is meaningful for you.

To discuss your personal needs, please contact the Centre.

Training and Education

Canberra Grief Centre designs and delivers grief workshops for both public and professional groups.

Workshops are designed to target the specific learning needs of each group. Learning topics may include any combination of the following and more:

  • Grief in the school context
  • Grief in the work place
  • Grief in the family context
  • Bereaved children
  • Disenfranchised grief
  • Suicide bereavement
  • Supporting those at end of life
  • Grief models
  • Continuing relationships
  • Grieving styles
  • Grieving experience of carers
  • Supporting grief in others

If you are seeking to upskill with contemporary grief and loss training, or prepare and support your group for the impact of loss and grief, I welcome an opportunity to discuss your specific needs.

Contact the Centre here.

Incident Support

Incident support and debriefing is available to you, your colleagues and/or employees impacted by a threat to life, an experience of death, multiple deaths or multiple exposure to death.   Supported can be provided on site or at the Deakin office.

To discuss your incident response needs, please contact the Centre

Support Groups

Bears of Hope (pregnancy and infant loss support group)

Bears of Hope will be running a Canberra based support group for parents who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. These groups will be facilitated by experienced and registered counsellors. The aim of the group is to hear from others/ share with others (as you feel comfortable to do so) who walk a similar journey. The group is offered in an informal, relaxed environment.

Where: Griffith Neighbourhood Hall, Stuart St, Griffith, ACT. Free parking to the front of the Hall.

When: One evening per month on the following dates (2020) between 6.30pm – 8.30pm.
  • 2020 dates to be advised
Cost: No charge to attend. Tea and coffee provided. Please bring your own tea/coffee cup.

Bereaved by Suicide Support Group – Counsellor Facilitated

This support group is a new initiative and a collaborative partnership between Canberra Grief Centre and Lifeline ACT.   The group will run fortnightly over six meetings in the format of a closed group, meaning that no new members can join the group once it commences. Participant numbers are limited to 12 adults between 3 months and 3 years bereaved.  Groups are facilitated by registered and experienced counsellor practitioners.

Dates:  27 July 2020.   This program is now closed to further registrations.  
Location:   Lifeline Canberra city (details provided following registration)
Time:  6pm – 7.30pm
Cost:  $30 (in total) – the cost of one Lifeline phone call
Registration: Lifeline ACT reception on 61716319. Please mention that you would like to register your name for any future Bereaved by Suicide Support Groups. 

Bereaved by Suicide Support  – Peer Support

This support group is an informal meeting of parents bereaved by suicide.  It is not attended nor facilitated by a counsellor, but rather the strength of the group is being with others who are experiencing the same loss and grief.

Dates:  Second Saturday of the month
Location:   Bookplate Cafe, National Library
Time:  2pm
Contact: Verlene on 

Dead Parent Society (death of a parent support group)

Youth living with grief after a parent dies

This group is for youth aged 16-30ish who have experienced the death of a parent or parent-figure. The aim of the group is to meet others who have experienced a similar loss and to support each other through informal discussion.  The group will be supported by a registered counsellor from Canberra Grief Centre.

2020 Meeting Dates:

  •  9 July (zoom)
  • 13 August (zoom)
  • 10 September
  • 8 October
  • 12 November (zoom)
Where:  Monster Bar, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, New Acton
Time:  5pm for 5.15pm – 7pm.  No charge to attend
RSVP: Please register your interest in joining the group with Louise or Tash on
Monthly reminders will be send via email or Facebook 

Bereaved Dads Fireside Group

Spend a few hours around the fire with other bereaved dads.  We don’t do therapy or counselling but what we offer is valuable.  This is a peer network, no organisational affiliation.  We take responsibility for our own actions at catch ups.  

When: First Friday of the month
Where:  Natural settings around Canberra.
Time:  6.00pm.  
RSVP: Adam:  , 0412 732 968

‘Feel the Magic’ – Camp for Bereaved Children

Camp Magic® is to support bereaved children and teenagers between the ages of 7-17 following the loss of a parent, sibling or legal guardian. Campers attend a transformational weekend-long program free of charge that combines fun, physical challenges with grief education and emotional support.  The aim of Camp Magic® is to eliminate the isolation that grief often presents by bringing bereaved children together to meet others who are in a similar situation. It provides a unique opportunity for campers to create lifelong friends, hear other’s stories and if they choose to, share their own. Everyone at Camp Magic® has experienced loss and can relate on a level that few others can. Camp Magic® strives to increase awareness and provide resources and support for grieving children. Campers learn that hope can be restored and they once again can imagine a life full of possibilities, knowing they are not alone.  Camp Magic® is held over a three-day weekend.
Canberra Grief Centre is honoured to be part of the Canberra based Camp Magic.  
When:  2020 camps to be advised  
Where: Birrigai Outdoor School, 142 Tidbinbilla Road, Tharwa
Further information including registration:

Canberra Young Widows and Widowers Support Group

This is a peer support group run by bereaved people (under 55s) who have had a partner or spouse die.  The group warmly welcomes all new members.  The group try to meet informally every six weeks at various Canberra locations.  Further details can be found at

Workplace Policy and Procedural Support

It is not a sound strategy to be developing your response to a  workplace loss (particularly a death), whilst in the midst of responding to the incident.  And yet how you respond at the time will shape the loss experience felt by those impacted, morale, confidence in the organisation, absenteeism and potentially organisational reputation.  A simple procedural guide supported by a contemporary, supportive and flexible policy will facilitate effective incident management, minimising the risk of organisational or management harm.

Contact the Centre for support and advice in developing your response to grief and loss