About By My Side:
Pet Loss Grief Counselling
By My Side is a Pet Loss Bereavement Counselling service operating from Sydney, Australia. Vicky Nonas offers grief counselling in-person, and online, to people all over the world.
Vicky’s counselling services specialise in pet loss, with an academic background that harnesses the most meaningful and current theory surrounding the subject of disenfranchised loss, trauma, and grief.
Pet grief counselling sessions with clients often begin with a clear acknowledgment of the importance and authenticity of the human-animal bond.
- Grief and Loss
- Pet Grief and Loss
- Anger Management
- Life Transitions
About Vicky Nonas
Hi there – I’m Vicky, and I want you to know that I’m no stranger to pet loss. That’s why I’m here to support people just like you.
My story started about a decade ago when I lost my best furry friend, Boofey, of 18 years. When he died, my world utterly fell apart. The worst part about it was nobody seemed to understand that he wasn’t “just a dog”. He was my life partner. He was my soulmate. On top of my profound pain, I felt the weight of judgement from others, and even from myself. I was left floundering in a well of grief and shame that felt infinite.
Eventually I found a counsellor who was remarkably helpful, and things started picking up. Not everyone will need to reach out to a professional for support, however, I’d found myself in that subset of bereaved people experiencing intense and chronic grief.
Now I see that all I went through – and the tending process that comes with losing someone so precious – led me into an enriching time of deep study into the grieving process, which has guided me here, today, as one of the few Pet Loss Bereavement Counsellors in Australia.
As a pet loss grief counsellor, I am human first. I travel alongside you, rather than above, or hiding behind a mask. I’m just like you, always in the process of unravelling and healing.
In my own counselling practice, I can be found most days with my sweet 6 year old cattle dog Lilly, offering a safe space for clients in which they can express their sorrow and talk about the fond forever memories of their beloved pets. I offer a deep witnessing, and acknowledgement of this underestimated grief, and a knowing that for many, losing a beloved pet can be just as significant as losing a human loved one, perhaps more so for some people.
To read more about my story, and discover my tips to help you through your time of grief, you might like to purchase my e-book, Healing After Pet Loss, here.
I have a nationally recognised qualification as a Counsellor with a particular interest in grief and loss having achieved a Major in this particular field. I was also blessed to be mentored by Dr. Wallace Sife, Founder of APLB (Association for Pet Loss Bereavement) and gained specialist training under his tutelage. My passion for supporting people experiencing grief and loss led me to complete deeper studies in this area and in 2021 I completed a Graduate Certificate in Bereavement Counselling and Intervention.
I continue to study and undertake ongoing professional development and always adhere to a strict Code of Ethics as set out by The Australian Counselling Association.
Please note By My Side is not a crisis counselling service. If you are in a crisis please contact:
Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 24/7 on 1300 659 467.