LGBTQ Diversity and Grief Video

Different minority groups share different social traumas and collective grief.  The LGBTQ community is no different in experiencing its own pain and suffering in the world.  The collective grief that is shared within the community when a night club is shot up not only resonates within their community but also causes trauma and fears of other hate crimes that can be perpetrated against them.

LGBTQ groups suffer a collective type of grief. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Diversity Certification


Individually, they face uphill battles within their families, churches and communities.  Many are discriminated against by family members or potential jobs.  Some lose parents or siblings over their identity.  Others face issues within their faith as moral questions take central stage.  Along with marriage rights and civil rights, the grief of having an alternative life style can be over bearing.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Diversity Certification.  The program is a sub certification for those already certified as Grief Counselors.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals looking to better meet the diverse grief experienced by minority groups.


Please review the video below

Grief Support Vs Clinical Grief Counseling

Grief care and support is a key element in mental health.  It is not a pathological treatment but a humane way to be there for another person.  This is why it is lay and pastoral in nature within church, chaplaincy, hospice, funeral, and other pastoral settings.  Many professionals help individuals deal with basic human loss and how to come to terms with it.  AIHCP certifies many individuals to help others in this adjustment to loss and how to understand the nature of grief and loss itself.

There is a large difference between grief support and clinical grief counseling. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program


AIHCP’s certifications also aid others who are clinical professionals who wish to obtain a Grief Counseling Certification.  However, licensed and clinical professionals are innately able to offer more than basic lay and pastoral grief counseling but can offer clinical counseling for grief that goes off the rails.  When grief becomes pro-longer, complicated or depression exists, clinical and licensed counselors are needed to help and aid.  Those who obtain certification in grief counseling but are only lay in nature cannot offer clinical assistance in grief itself.

It is important to understand these key differences between lay and pastoral grief counseling via grief support and licensed and clinical grief counseling itself.  This is one of the most numerous questions individuals ask when becoming grief certified.  They do not understand the differences between grief support and clinical grief counseling and what a certification in grief counseling permits them to perform.  Again the answer is simple, ones certification enhances understanding in the grieving process but the level at which one helps others is determined not by the certification but the professional status of the individual seeking certification

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.


Please review the video below

Holistic Approaches with Exercise for Depression

If one is dealing with grief or loss it can be a difficult time to balance oneself emotionally.  Adapting to loss can take a long time.  Unfortunately, complications in the grieving process can occur which can lead to depression.  Clinical Counselors can help individuals deal with depression however sometimes medication are required to help balance the brain during depression.  Many prefer healthy coping strategies or herbal remedies.

Exercise can help against depression but it can be difficult to start when depression itself causes fatigue. However studies show exercise has an extremely positive effect against depression for those who are able to utilize it


One successful strategy is exercise. Exercise has an ability to release endorphins that elevate one’s mood and grant a higher sense of self and accomplishment.  Of course the biggest problem is motivation to work out or exercise while depressed but for those who are able to find the ability to exercise, will find rewards during depression.  Exercise has been shown to be more effective for individuals dealing with depression.  The article, “Move Your Mind: Exercise Outperforms Medication for Depression and Anxiety” by Ben Singh, Carol Maher,  and Jacinta Brinsley from University of South Australia reviews the benefits of exercise to cope with depression over various medications.  The article states,

“Exercise is believed to impact mental health through multiple pathways, and with short and long-term effects. Immediately after exercise, endorphins and dopamine are released in the brain. In the short term, this helps boost mood and buffer stress. Long term, the release of neurotransmitters in response to exercise promotes changes in the brain that help with mood and cognition, decrease inflammation, and boost immune function, which all influence our brain function and mental health.”

“Move Your Mind: Exercise Outperforms Medication for Depression and Anxiety”. Ben Singh, Carol Maher,  and Jacinta Brinsley. April 11th, 2023. SciTechDaily.

To review the entire article, please click here


Holistic and Integrative Health Care Specialists look for alternative and other ways to help individuals face mental and physical issues from a more natural standpoint.  Grief Counselors also look to help individuals cope with grief through support and advice. The simplicity of exercise alone can play a key role in a grief counseling plan as a well as a holistic perspective in dealing with loss and if worst depression.

A Closer Look at Grief and Exercise in Holistic and Integrative Practices


Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, trauma, and environmental stressors. Symptoms of depression can include persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating.

While depression is often treated with medication and therapy, these methods may not be enough for some individuals. That’s where a holistic approach comes in. Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of depression, a holistic approach takes into account the whole person and aims to treat the root cause of the problem.

The Limitations of Traditional Treatment

Traditional treatment methods for depression can be effective, but they often only address one aspect of the problem. Medication, for example, can help alleviate symptoms of depression, but it doesn’t address the underlying causes of the condition. Similarly, therapy can be helpful in providing coping mechanisms and support, but it may not be enough to fully address the problem.

That’s why a holistic approach that considers the whole person is so important. By addressing all aspects of the problem – physical, mental, and emotional – a holistic approach can be more effective in treating depression.

What is a Holistic Approach to Depression?

A holistic approach to depression is one that takes into account the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of depression, a holistic approach aims to treat the root cause of the problem. This can include addressing physical health issues, such as poor nutrition or lack of exercise, as well as emotional and spiritual issues.

A holistic approach to depression may include a variety of different treatments, such as therapy, medication, and alternative therapies like acupuncture or massage. The goal is to create a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all aspects of the problem.

The Importance of Exercise for Mental Health

Exercise has a large impact on mental health. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Certification


Exercise is a powerful tool in the fight against depression. Research has shown that regular exercise can be just as effective as medication in treating mild to moderate depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters, and can help reduce stress and anxiety.

In addition, exercise can have a positive impact on self-esteem and confidence, both of which can be negatively affected by depression. By incorporating exercise into a depression treatment plan, individuals can improve their overall mental health and well-being.

How Exercise Affects the Brain and Body

Exercise has a powerful impact on both the brain and body. Physically, exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength and flexibility, and improve overall physical fitness. Mentally, exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase cognitive function.

Research has also shown that exercise can help promote the growth of new brain cells, which can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. By incorporating regular exercise into a depression treatment plan, individuals can improve both their physical and mental health.

The Benefits of Incorporating Exercise into Your Depression Treatment Plan

Incorporating exercise into a depression treatment plan can have a number of benefits. First and foremost, exercise can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. In addition, exercise can help improve overall physical health and well-being, which can have a positive impact on mental health.

Regular exercise can also help individuals develop a sense of routine and structure, which can be helpful in managing depression. Exercise can provide a sense of accomplishment and can help improve self-esteem and confidence.

Types of Exercises Recommended for Depression

There are a variety of different types of exercise that can be effective in treating depression. Aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, can be particularly effective in reducing symptoms of depression. Yoga and other mind-body practices can also be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety.

Strength training, such as weightlifting, can help improve overall physical fitness and can have a positive impact on mental health as well. Finding an exercise routine that you enjoy and can stick to is key in incorporating exercise into a depression treatment plan.

Incorporating Other Holistic Practices into Your Routine

In addition to exercise, there are a variety of other holistic practices that can be helpful in treating depression. These can include therapy, meditation, acupuncture, massage, and more. By incorporating a variety of different practices into a depression treatment plan, individuals can address all aspects of the problem and improve overall health and well-being.

Additional Resources for Holistic Depression Treatment

If you’re interested in a more holistic approach to depression treatment, there are a variety of resources available. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional about incorporating exercise and other holistic practices into your treatment plan. You can also look for local support groups or classes that focus on holistic health and wellness.

Conclusion: Taking a Holistic, Whole-Person Approach to Depression

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program, as well as its Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Certification


Depression is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive treatment plan. While traditional treatment methods can be effective, they often only address one aspect of the problem. By incorporating exercise and other holistic practices into a depression treatment plan, individuals can address all aspects of the problem and improve overall health and well-being.

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to depression treatment. What works for one person may not work for another. That’s why it’s important to work with your doctor or mental health professional to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and circumstances.

If you’re struggling with depression, know that there is hope. By taking a holistic, whole-person approach to treatment, you can improve your mental, physical, and emotional health and live a happier, healthier life.

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program as well as AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.  Please review and see if the programs meet your academic and professional goals.


Grief Counseling and Negative Coping Over Loss

Coping is an essential element in human response to loss, grief and stress.  Even at the most simple levels of existence, coping and adaptation to change is critical to survival.  Human beings cope with loss and mental stress through a variety of ways.  Initially, sometimes, the way one copes may not be the best way but it initially allows the person to retreat, review and respond but many negative coping habits over a long period of time can become pathological.  Grief Counselors can offer basic grief support to help individuals avoid the pitfalls of bad coping.

Healthy coping is possible when the person is able to understand the situation and react to it in adaptive way that is not maladaptive or destructive.  When one responds socially or emotionally in ways that attempt to numb the pain consistently.   Avoidance is one of the most common themes of negative coping.  While initially it may be beneficial, overtime, the the short fix to numb oneself and avoid things that incite pain, grief, shame, guilt or any emotion associated with the loss are key signs of negative coping.  Negative coping may ease the initial pain, but it does very little in healing the person over time.  It becomes an obstacle to healing.

Poor coping strategies can lead individuals to avoidance behaviors of the grief itself where they either isolate or bury themselves in work


What’s Your Grief offers a very insightful article on negative coping in their article, “Grief and Negative Coping” by Eleanor Haley.  The article looks at what negative coping is and various examples of the behavior in regards to work, socializing, and parenting.  It also lists other ways individuals attempt to temporarily cover the pain.  Haley states,

“Negative coping is like emotional aspirin. It numbs the pain temporarily, but the pain reappears once it wears off. Often these patterns of behavior end up making your stress worse because they are unhealthy and require a lot of effort to maintain. Moreover, they prevent you from effectively processing your emotions and experiences, which can lead to a prolonged sense of anxiety and emotional pain.”

“Grief and Negative Coping”. Eleanor Haley.  What’s Your Grief

To read the entire article, please click here


Haley points out three interesting ways adaptive versus maladaptive coping manifests in work, socialization and parenting.  Many individuals will either relinquish responsibility or drown themselves in responsibility to avoid the pain of a loss.   Haley illustrates how this occurs in work, life and parenting.

Poor coping looks for temporary numbness over facing the loss and finding healing


In working, some individuals will work long and exhausting hours, while others may not show up for work.  Adaptive coping is the ability to handle the loss but still after a few days, show the ability to function within the work place.  Likewise, with parenting, grieving parents may ignore their responsibilities with their children or over indulge in their life to cover the loss.  Likewise, in the social sphere,  one can see the same type of extremes with individuals who instead of normal engagement become a recluse in the house for weeks or turn to partying every night.  All the extremes in these scenarios are examples of negative coping.  In it, the individual is trying to mask the issue at hand by avoiding it through excessive work or depressive avoidance of life.

In addition, many negatively cope through the use of substance abuse.  This in turn becomes a difficult endeavor to continue as one constantly seeks the numb feeling associated with the substance or drug.  This can lead to greater issues with addiction and loss of relationships.   Commonly, individuals who suffer may have a few days alone or have a couple drinks, but this type of abuse is far longer and in a greater scope.  It is not a way to escape the initial pain to retreat and review, but is a permanent new life style that prohibits any response to the true problem and hence preventing any type of healing.

Other examples of negative coping include over-eating and food indulgences, as well as isolation, fighting, avoidance of places, people and things and any type of destructive behavior.

Instead of seeking a numbing experience, individuals need to finally respond to their grief.  They need to learn to adjust to the new normal even if painful.  This involves adjusting emotionally but also not allowing it to sidetrack life itself.  Positive coping looks for cognitive reframing of the situation and an understanding of how the loss or stress plays a role in the overall story of life.  Positive coping looks at ways to incorporate the loss into one’s life without ignoring it or harming oneself financially, emotionally or physically.  It involves healthy decisions.

Some examples of healthy coping include meditation, prayer, exercise, memorializing the loss, discussing the loss with family and friends, and reframing the loss and finding its place of meaning and construction within one’s own life narrative.


Do you find yourself utilizing positive or negative coping strategies? Please review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification


It is natural to wish to avoid unpleasant things.  It is natural to avoid pain.  Humans are wired to react negatively to pain and instead look away.  When emotionally hurt, one wishes to ignore the pain and avoid it.  Individuals look to numb it instead of sometimes facing the horrendous lost.   While initially this is natural, hence why many individuals deny first bad news, overtime, this can become detrimental to healing.  The quick fix of avoidance and bad coping may numb something temporarily but the pain will always return.  Eventually, one must perform grief work and cope in a healthy way to ever find healing itself.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals and needs.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.

Additional Resources

“6 Coping Skills to Work Through Grief”. Hope Gillette and Sandra Silva Casabianca.  July 21, 2021. PsychCentral.  Access here

“How to overcome grief’s health-damaging effects”. February 15th, 2021. Harvard Health Publishing. Access here

“The Process of Coping with Grief and Loss”. Isaac P. Tourgeman Ph.D., M.S. September 1st, 2021. Psychology Today. Access here

“Grief: What’s Normal, What’s Not — and 13 Tips To Get Through It”. July 27th, 2018.  HealthEssentials. Cleveland Clinic.  Access here

The Importance of a Will and Medical Directive

Affairs untended to after death can lead to a multitude of problems for surviving family.  Division, arguments and issues with the state can follow the death of a loved one without a will in regards to possessions and financial funds.  In addition, one’s wishes after death may not be properly carried out.  In addition to death itself, sometimes individuals can become unable to make decisions due to an injury.  A Medical Directive or Living Will can also list one’s affairs in order and lay out important medical decisions that one would make if conscious.   These directives protect the individual from others making medical choices for them in regards to medication utilizing extraordinary measures.

Wills, Living Wills and Medical Directives are important. Please also review AIHCP’s Pastoral Thanatology Program


Please also review AIHCP’s Pastoral Thanatology Program, as well as its Grief Counseling program.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a certification in Grief Counseling or Pastoral Care.

In the meantime, realize it is not a morbid thought to contemplate death or accidents, but an intelligent one that does not wish to ignore this important part of life.  Hence actively partake in what legally must be done with one’s life and health to prevent others from doing it for oneself.



Please review the video below

Grief Counseling Video and the Loss of Grandparents

One of the first significant losses for someone is the loss of a grandparent.  This loss is more severe than other more distant losses.  For some, this loss comes early in their life, for others, it is during young or middle adulthood where they finally say farewell to their grandparents.  For some as well, this loss may sting more if the relationship and attachment was stronger.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.


Please review the video below

Grief Counseling Certification Video on Nightmares and Unresolved Trauma

Trauma if it is not faced consciously will re-emerge in the subconscious.  Nightmares can bring back past trauma in an attempt to understand and face the eluded issue.  Due to disassociated mental material, trauma is trapped in the brain and not stored as a long term memory properly.  Due to this, the trauma memory becomes a rogue thought within the brain.  It haunts the individual through PTSD.  Grief Counseling can help.

Only till the trauma is resolved, faced and understood, can one begin to heal from the event.  Nightmares surrounding the trauma manifest as a way to face it but in an incomplete way.  The nightmares at first are more vivid and true to the event but overtime can become more symbolic.  The only way to overcome the nightmares is to face the trauma when awake.  Counselors can also help individuals who are facing nightmares with strategies to minimize the nightmare and prepare the mind for a more peaceful sleep.  Ultimately though, one has to be put in the work when awake to eventually overcome the haunting past traumatic event.

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management, Crisis Intervention and Grief Counseling Certifications.  The programs all deal with trauma in some aspects.  They are all online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.

The video below from AIHCP takes a closer look at nightmares and trauma.



Please review the video below

Stress Management Consulting Blog on Happiness, Meaning and Self Esteem

During recover from severe trauma, the person must be able to reconnect the dreadful event with his or her life story.  The injured person must understand the event as a chapter that has meaning to one’s life and connect it to the present and how to cultivate the future.

As one progresses in their treatment of processing the traumatic memories, one will need to create future chapters that are not defined by the evil of the trauma, but are defined by growth from it.  The present and future need to find happiness, meaning and self esteem in order to self sustain any recovery and help the person integrate back into society.

Individuals suffering from trauma and PTSD have a difficult time finding happiness, meaning and self esteem in their lives. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and Grief Counseling Program


Happiness can be subjective in regards to what makes one smile, but at the most inner most level, it is universal.  Happiness when misplaced in material things can never lead to true happiness, but values and beliefs and love and family can all have more long lasting meaning to sustaining happiness and leading one to it.   One who has suffered severe trauma may have difficulty defining oneself or finding love and connection with the world, so it is important to understand how again to be happy.  Obviously placing one’s faith in the most elements of happiness is critical.  Far too many who even suffer no trauma, still choose false idols of happiness.  They place their love in things over people, self over family, and in ideas that die with time instead of live eternally.

Some common traits of those who experience some relevance of true happiness can be found in those who possess a healthy self esteem and peace of mind.  These individuals cultivate virtue and love within themselves and with others.  They have healthier experiences with social interactions and bonds that form from these interactions.  Most hold a belief in something greater than than themselves.  Most find this in faith and religion, but any type of objective code that binds one beyond oneself, gives a person purpose and meaning.

Happy individuals usually also possess a mastery of their life.  They have believable goals, moderate ambitions, and mastery of their schedule and how things are accomplished.  They are not in chaos but order.  Furthermore, they possess an optimistic outlook on life that is not always defined by success but by self and self worth.   Unfortunately, like a thief in the night, grief and loss can occur.  Even the happiest person can be robbed of everything, even beyond family, virtue and love.  Grief is the price of love in this temporal world.  With that truly happy individuals will deal with pain and sorrow and trauma but they will ultimately have the meaning and self esteem to guide themselves through the journey of grief and adapt and adjust to the loss.

Happy individuals are not always happy or content but they are not constantly dragged down with hate, blame, bitterness and helplessness.  They may deal with trauma but eventually again find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Some may require help but ultimately, their spirit may be hurt, but never killed.

Individuals who experience trauma or PTSD may not be able to find happiness in their life.  They may not have the skills or the trauma was so great, it paralyzed their spirit.  As those who experienced trauma reawaken, they need to work towards re-involvement into society and hobbies.  They need to form and organize a plan.  They need to stop worrying as much and become more optimistic and find value in life itself.

This centers around having meaning.  Without meaning, something is useless.  So it is imperative for those recovering from trauma to again find meaning to life.  What meaning or direction can they decipher from the horrific event they witnessed or were apart of?  How can this event give them meaning forward?  How can the person move forward from it and do new things?  Victor Frankyl during his days in the Nazi concentration camp found meaning in survival and a deeper sense of justice that would one day come.  He found meaning in the smaller things that reflected goodness that existed among the evil.

A deep core to meaning usually involves having a commitment to something higher than oneself.  Whether it be a philosophy, or a faith, one can anchor oneself despite any waves of the ocean of life.  No matter what occurs, even it temporarily numbs, one is able to find course due to meaning.  This moral compass can find true north in the most terrific storms.  Many individuals are stripped of meaning at a young age because of trauma.  They are unable to again find meaning.

It is important then to create self esteem.  This may be difficult for someone who has been stripped of all dignity, but through therapy and work on self, one again can start to find value in oneself and separate oneself from the trauma.  In finding self esteem, one can find meaning and happiness again.

Self esteem looks at value in self.  It correlates with the numerous qualities that happy people experience.  At its core, one sees intrinsic value in self, unconditional worth, the experience of love and growth in life.

Self esteem is realistic in self.  It is based in truth, even in imperfections.   It is appreciative of one’s good qualities and ignites positivity in oneself.  It does not create a false arrogance or deception but sees all as equally beautiful in different ways.

Furthermore, self esteem is able to separate the value of one’s core from externals.  Bad things that happen or mistakes are not the core of one’s soul.  One may have had bad things accidentally occur, but that does not make oneself a bad person.  Instead of “BECAUSE” of that, I am “THEREFORE ” this or that, the mind sees that  “EVEN THOUGH” this occurred, “NEVERTHELESS” I am still me.  The EVEN THOUGH/NEVERTHELESS logic separates someone from the incident.  It does not make the person a product of the incident.  This slight change of words creates an entirely different person.

Trauma victims need to cultivate self esteem. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


Individuals with good self esteem are able to see their core self absent of bad events.  They are able to truthfully see the bad and good, but not define oneself by any bad, but only work on the good.  They are able to put this optimistic energy into change.

Again, when things go astray, they do not see these things as permanent but temporary.  They do not define lack of success as themselves.  They do not look to be better or less than anyone and they are more likely to see someone different due to position not necessarily more or less innate worth.

Trauma can destroy self worth.  It can make one feel horrible one self and equate oneself to the trauma.  One cannot differentiate between core and accidentals.  One hence is always feeling less and inadequate.  This can lead to competition with others, or fear of being in the open due to fear of failure.  It can cause mistrust and bitterness and envy.  It can force one to deny any meaning in life but trauma and the product of that trauma.

Happiness, meaning and self esteem are key to functioning individuals.  Trauma can take it temporarily or permanently for some.  It is important to anchor oneself to something more than the event.  To anchor oneself even to something more than this world can ever take.  We live in a valley of tears and bad things happen to good people, but there is good too and light that can be found.  Those who are able to find meaning and self esteem and value in something greater are better able to navigate and cope with trauma during life.

Counselors can help others learn these skills and cultivate these values.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program, as well as AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and Crisis Intervention Program.  The programs are online and self paced and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management Consulting, Grief Counseling or Crisis Counseling.



The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth by Glenn R. Schiraldi, PhD

Stress Management Certification Blog on Guilt and Trauma

Guilt is a necessary emotion.  When anchored with a good conscience, it provokes truth and justice when wrong is committed.  It prevents future wrong doing in some cases and helps guide the person to proper moral outcome.   It is hence sometimes good to feel guilt.  If one lacks guilt in appropriate circumstances, it is a sign of a deeper and more sinister moral flaw.   Sociopaths are incapable of guilt and can commit the most grievous offenses without any sense of emotional wrong doing.

Victims can carry disproportionate grief. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Certification


For the more tender hearted and as well as those who experience trauma, guilt can sometimes become excessive and over play its reach.  It can become a pathological agent that prevents proper healing.  When guilt is not properly processed and understood according to reality, it can then continue to haunt a person and prevent emotional healing.   Guilt must be processed.  If due to trauma it becomes part of dissociative material, then it can linger.  It needs to find resolution, where appropriate sorrow is displayed and a chance for change and growth occur.  When guilt is stunted, either not accepted or over felt, then it can keep a person stuck in the past.

With trauma, guilt is usually not proportionate and a variety of distortions exist.  These distortions continue to exist when individuals keep trauma to themselves and do not face it.  This is why dialogue is so critical to healing.  It allows the wound to bleed and also the opportunity to discuss falsehoods regarding the traumatic event hence allowing integration of the memory.

Most distortions create an imbalance of guilt.  Either the person blames oneself 100 percent or finds no blame at all.  Associated with this are usually feelings that one does not deserve to live or survivor guilt.  In addition, many individuals feel the guilt is critical to show they still care and that they must punish themselves and repeat the pain.  Multiple reasons incur this guilt.  Many believe they are guilty because they were afraid, or found relief.  Others find guilt in having to kill, making a mistake, finding enjoyment in the event, wanting to die, or expressing extreme hatred.  Others find guilt in their actions in not being able to save others, not taking precautions, freezing under pressure, not stopping the abuse, or not saying “I love you” one last time.

Many things can haunt a person who experienced trauma.  Depending on the trauma and event, they can differ, but they all carry a haunting voice that judges what one felt, did not feel, did, or did not do.  Distortions to the event can amplify the sorrow the person experiences.

Dialogue is obvious the first step in unlocking guilt.  Various cognitive therapies look to identify guilt and then properly ascertain legitimacy of it.  This involves discussing with a therapist the event itself and verbalizing the details.  The patient then must attribute the level of what they think was their fault in a numerical percentage.  Following this, the therapist challenges the events and asks probing questions of who else may be at fault.   The guilt is then re-assessed and a recalculation occurs in which proportionate percentages of guilt are discovered to be less.  This process can be repeated weekly to illustrate to the victim and patient that the guilt attributed is far from fair.

Also, the therapist can help the victim distinguish between the emotion of concern versus guilt, as well as shame and guilt.  Many equate these emotions with guilt.  The sexual victim may equate shame with guilt.  In doing so, one can then start to attack the various distortions of guilt.

It is also important to help the patient understand their decision under pressure.  Normal decision making under peaceful situations are quite different than decisions under duress.  Fight or flight mechanisms can erupt and many lose rationality.  So it is good to point out that one does not think the same way under trauma as if not.  A therapist can also help the patient look at the choices that were available, the time constraints, all the information at the time and the intent of the outcome.

Another important way to help one see the past is to have the person play the role of two.  As if an advisor or friend, to respond to one’s own criticism.  By separating oneself from the event, and counseling one as if a friend, one can then begin to see the overall picture.  So many therapists recommend patients play a two role therapy of talking and then responding as two different individuals.

It is important to properly process guilt in trauma. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


In addition, various rituals can help.  Spiritual visualization of healing, as well as finding forgiveness through a higher power.

Through this, one is better able to properly rank their guilt and true proportionate role in the traumatic event.  The person can then understand the situation, move on from it and process it.  Through this, the victim can be better prepared for the future and understand the role he or she played.

Of course, various therapies help individuals with PTSD and trauma better recollect the situation and process any negative emotions.  EFT, Rewind Techniques, TIR and EMOR are all way therapists can better help an individual relate to the emotions and events of a particular trauma.  They can also help the person cognitively restructure the event appropriately to reality.  Removing inappropriate guilt is obviously an important step.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program, as well as Stress Management Program and Crisis Intervention Program.  All programs are helpful in teaching professionals to guide others through trauma.   The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.



“The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth” by Glenn Schiraldi, PhD


Grief Counseling Certification Program Video on Grief and Creativity

Grief is transformative.  It forever changes an individual.  The person retains identity but outlooks and personal views can alter and how one integrates the loss into life.  From that integration can come beautiful ways to express oneself and generate new ways and new habits.  Creativity is a by product of past destruction as things are rebuilt and understood in new lights.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification


Please review the video below