Dr Russ Hargreaves, Clinical Counselling Service Manager

I first started counselling in the NHS, working in a busy London cancer hospital and offering emotional support to cancer patients, their families and bereaved relatives.  During that time, I also worked with Cruse Bereavement Care and most recently, I have worked in the hospice sector with patients approaching the end of their lives.  My work is accredited by my professional body, the BACP. 


Based in Canterbury Kent, I now split my time between Petals and private practice, working mostly with traumatic grief and loss.  You might think this is an odd way to spend my working week, immersed in the pain and discomfort of others.  On the contrary, I meet people on a daily basis who remind me that life is incredibly precious, and that anything we can do to pull together and explore our losses has to be a good thing. 


I am now responsible for ensuring that our Petals Clinical Services are meeting your needs, running as safely as possible and doing our best to meet the rapidly growing needs of many thousands of individuals and couples affected by baby loss. 


In 20 years of counselling, my work with Petals has been some of the most difficult yet rewarding work I have ever done.  I am staggered that the loss of a baby, however old and whatever stage in a pregnancy, is still such a taboo subject.  Baby loss continues to floor our friends, families and colleagues, often rendering them speechless and apparently willing to talk about anything but the elephant in the room.  I am always honoured that the parents I work with at Petals let me into their lives, sharing their losses and working together to imagine a future which is very different from the one they hoped and dreamed of.