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Role Of The Certified Grief Counselor

CERTIFIED GRIEF COUNSELOR’S ROLEcertified grief counselor

Grief is a natural reaction to loss that is experienced universally throughout the world.  It is found in every culture, every religion and found on every continent.  No-one escapes its grasp or eludes it touch.
Yet, it is part of existence and a basis of being alive.  If we do not grieve, what did we ever achieve?  What wondrous experiences or relationships were ever felt if loss was not capable?  If we had nothing to ever lose or grieve over then we truly never had anything worth to live for.  This is the double edge sword of grief.  It is a necessary evil in a fallen world.  Perhaps the poet was wrong when he exclaimed it is better to never loved at all than to have lost it.

Helping people grasp with this emotion is the role of the Grief Counselor.   The grief counselor helps people come to grips with loss and adapt to the new norm.  The Grief Counselor comes not to take away the pain of loss but to help the person adjust to the loss.  In the past, Freudian psychological concepts have proposed that “getting over” the loss and re-establishing equilibrium was the key.  Freud taught that any lingering or attachment to the loss was a pathology.  Grief Counselors today reject this idea and believe their role is to help people adapt and adjust to the loss in a healthy fashion.  This adjustment does not involve rejection of the attachment, but incorporation of its present absence into one’s life story.  The loss remains an integral part of the person’s life story.
While certified Grief Counselors, who are not licensed, can only deal with natural grief, licensed counselors who are certified in Grief Counseling can deal with states of unnatural grief.  Complicated grief which involves severe depression or inability to adapt to the loss is found under the realm of Grief Therapy.   Certified Grief Counselors who are not licensed have the initial responsibility of referring their clients to licensed professionals when their client does not adjust to loss in a healthy way.


Grief Counselors hence serve the public in this way:

By helping clients adjust to loss in a healthy way
By guiding the client through the various stages of grief
By potentially diagnosing Complicated Grief and referring a client
By providing an important service to the community and church in times of tragedy


Grief Counselors can supply these services to a variety of institutions:

Funeral Homes
Pastoral Ministry
Post Crisis Organizations
Social Work Departments
State Services
Grief Groups


Furthermore, Grief Counselors can also become certified in:

Child and Adolescent Grief
Pet Loss Grief
Christian Grief Counseling
Pastoral Thanatology
Crisis Intervention
Anger Management
Grief Support Practitioner Program

The pivotal role as a Grief Counselor in today’s society will grow as unfortunate events continue to mount in forms of shootings, terrorism , mass genocide and acts of nature.  Loss whether on the social level or private level is a natural aspect of the world.  A little alleviation of this pain can come from the kind and soothing words of a trained and certified Grief Counselor.

GRIEF COUNSELING BLOG: Please visit our interactive Grief Counseling web blog. 


Are you interested in becoming a Certified Grief and Bereavement Counseling Professional?

If this practice specialty interests you then please review our program and feel free to speak with our advisors regarding our complete education program and courses leading to qualifications to achieve the certification.