Grief Counseling Certification Article on Stuck Points in Grief

Some individuals while coping through grief deal with difficulties in overcoming the grief due to various thoughts that surround the death or incident.   Trying to escape these thoughts can become exhausting emotionally.  Whats Your Grief refers to these as stuck points, when someone is unable to move past a certain aspect of the loss.

Usually these points challenge pre-conceived notions or values.  The loss makes the griever doubt these notions and prevents them from moving forward but keeps them constantly stuck, re-tracking and falling prey to those thoughts.  This is very detrimental to the grieving process and coping

PTSD and other problems can make individuals stuck in grief due to thoughts that prevent coping and advancement in the grief process


The article, “What are Stuck Points in Grief?” from Whats Your Grief states,

“Stuck points refer to thoughts that repeatedly bubble up in a person’s inner (and outer) dialogue that make it difficult for a person to process, cope with, or reconcile their experiences. To me, stuck points are like mean old trolls living under a bridge. Whenever a person tries to gain some momentum in working through their experiences, the troll comes up and says “Nope, you can’t pass. Now go back and think about what’s happened.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Another type of stuck point is a religious view some may contend with.  Many pray to God for cures or good things to occur.  The problem is sometimes that cure does not occur.  Bad things do happen to good people.

This can create a complex within someone that creates a religious paradigm within the individual.  While coping with grief and loss, they may constantly turn back to “Why did God do this to me?” or “Were not my prayers good enough?”

In addition to this, others may begin to see their loss in a form of religious struggle.  If God is good how can he allow this evil?  Or if God is good, then he must not be All Powerful to allow this evil?

These spiritual dilemmas are a result of primitive understanding of faith.  First, prayer is not contract.  When prayer is seen as contract, it fails to meet the relationship that exists.  A covenant of mutual care not necessarily answers that we demand if we do this or that.

Second, God is All Powerful and All Good, but he has given free will to others.  This permits evil.  One can also not see the over all view of existence within our temporal realm.

Loss can challenge preconceived notions of life and the universe, as well as previously held religious and spiritual beliefs. This can cause intense anxiety during the grief process


The article also does a good job at looking at other world views that are not religious.  The ideal of the world being a safe place when violence occurs to a loved one can have long lingering effects.

Grief is difficult enough to deal with.  Coping with a loss can be difficult but when certain ideas regarding that loss start to affect one’s coping and emotions, then they need to be analyzed and understood.  As the article states, one should document in a diary how common these thoughts are and relate them to reason as opposed to emotion.  If necessary, talk about these thoughts and try to get passed them.

If you would like to learn more about Grief Counseling, then please review our Grief Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.

The program is a home study program. It is online and self paced.  As an independent study program you go at your own pace.  After completing the required four courses, you can proceed to apply for certification.  Certification is four years and can be renewed as needed.