Grief Counseling, Counselor Competence, and a Christian Perspective
Grief is a common universal experience that everyone is faced with at some point in their lives. In today’s society, more people are turning to professional grief counselors for help dealing with his or her loss through acceptance in order to move forward in their lives. Different types of grief are discussed, as well as different strategies, interventions, and techniques used depending of the level of distress. Everyone handles grief differently and grieves in different ways for different lengths of time, requiring different counseling interventions. Grief counseling classes or training is not currently a part of curriculum
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Grief is expressed in different ways, for different lengths of time, and with manifestations that range from depression to avoidance (Howarth, 2011). While the experience is universal, people cope with the feelings of grief and loss differently. Some people are able to cope with the reality of the loss. They grieve by mourning the loss and healing while not losing sight of their daily responsibilities. Without appropriate coping skills or support needed, many people are unable to deal with the loss which leads to an unhealthy grieving process (www.webmd.com). Two forms of grief are associated with loss, normal grief and complicated grief. Normal grieving includes enduring a period of sorrow, numbness, guilt, and anger, followed by gradually fading feelings. Most people experience normal grieving by acceping the loss and moving on (Howarth, 2011). Normal grief is characterized by feelings of great sadness and anger, physical symptoms. People move through a grieving process which includes reconciliation- the grieved individual integrates the new reality of life without the loved one who died by adapting to the loss and moving forward with life (Howarth, 2011). Most people are able to cope with the grieving process without complication. However some people find it difficult to do so. Their grief reactions are more painful and complicated grief may develop (Howarth, 2011).