Grief Counseling: What is Next for Newtown?

Overcoming the Grief in Newtown

As Newtown continues to live the nightmare from last Friday, many are asking what is next for these poor victims of such a horrible crime.  Many are preparing a critical step in grief recovery which is commeration.  Through funerals, memorials, outreach from the country and important recognition from the president, the community will be able to grieve and express their feelings.  While this is far from the end of this nightmare and many tears are yet to fall, this is the beginning of a long journey of grief.

Wayne Drash from CNN, writes about the grieving process in Newtown and how people are trying to understand and commerate the deaths of so many innocent children and people in his article, “Candles and Tears: Portrait of a Grieving Town”

Please click here to read the article.

If you would like to learn more about the grief cycle, please review our site and click here and most importantly remember the people of Newtown in your prayers.
If you would like to learn how to become a certified grief counselor, then please review the program


Miscarriages and Grief and How to Become a Certified Grief Counselor

Grief Counseling and Miscarriages and How to become a certified grief counselor

If you wish to learn how to become a certified grief counselor, then review
If you wish to learn how to become a certified grief counselor, then review

One of the hardest things to grief counsel is a miscarriage.  Miscarriages strip a woman of part of herself.  She feels the intimacy of the lost more than anyone else in the family.  The hormones, the emotion and the lost can become overbearing.  Perhaps the most painful aspect of the loss is that it was unseen.  Without any formal burial or ceremony, it can become a disenfranchised loss.

Clara Hinton writes about this horrible experience many women go through.  In her article, “Miscarriage Is Such An Empty Feeling”, she examines some of the thoughts, feelings and physical symptoms a woman must face. 

“Miscarriage is a loss that is so difficult to explain to others. When child loss occurs through a miscarriage, it very seldom seems real to others because in an early miscarriage there is nothing that solidly validates a new life.” 

If you would like to read the rest of the article, please click here

If you are interested in grief counseling courses, please click here.

Let's Amend the Family and Medical Leave Act

Grieving the Loss of a Child

Please review on how to become a certified grief counselor
Please review on how to become a certified grief counselor
It has often been said that there is no greater loss than losing a child to death. We believe this is true. Our current Family and Medical Leave Act does not include “loss of child” as an approved situation for a leave of absence from work. One person, Barry Kluger, is attempting to have this changed. His own journey of grief has now brought him to this important work and the American Academy of Grief Counseling supports him in this important quest.
Please read the following article regarding Barry and the important journey he is undertaking.
From: USA Today
Access article
If you would like to learn how to become a certified grief counselor, then please review.

Complicated Grief and It's Manifestations

Complicated Grief and How to Become a Certified Grief Counselor

The grief cycle always stings but it does include recovery via acceptance and adaptation. Nonetheless, sometimes reactions to grief go well beyond the natural cycle and the skills of a grief counselor and require higher help. Abnormal or complicated grief can occur and in these cases requires this higher help. Abnormal characteristics include chronic depression, delayed grief, distorted grief, excessive grief, masked grief, or concomitant grief.
When analyzing these reactions a few things need to be noted. First within a subjective element. The person who experiences the grief reacts differently than another person may to the same thing. This is a result to the level of attachment to the thing or person valued. The greater the attachment, the greater reaction. The greater the reaction, the greater possibility for complicated reactions. Some reactions can be chronic depressive, some delayed and others masked.
From an objective standpoint, the grief event can be concomitant/multiple events or traumatic. The more severe the event the greater the reaction. This is the case of traumatic grief which is a result of a devastating event. These can include natural disasters, war, sudden loss, or mass death. Survival guilt, death imprints and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome can all result from these.
In most cases, complicated grief reactions require medication and professional counseling. A grief counselor can work in concordance with an LPC but should not work alone with these conditions. It is the grief counselors role to identify signs and situations that cause complicated grief and direct their clients to the proper resources
If you are interested and would like to learn how to become a certified grief counselor, then please review the program.

Grief Counseling and Prolonged Grief

Grief Counseling has to treat prolonged grief different than regular grief reactions.  While Bowlby’s ideas on attachment theory were originally designated for infants and their primary caregiver, the idea of attachment and the forming of bonds are still very important elements in how one will respond to a loss of a loved one.  In regards to complicated grief, its trajectories can lead to numerous pathological issues that need professionally addressed, however, surprisingly most people respond with resiliency to grief within the first six months.  Only 15 percent of the population experience complicated or prolonged symptoms.  Still, this number nevertheless represents a large number because everyone experiences loss.  With this in mind, treatment of prolonged grief is essential.

Grief Counseling and the Function of Sadness

prolonged grief. Also please review to learn how to become a certified grief counselor
prolonged grief. Also please review to learn how to become a certified grief counselor

The emotion of sadness serves two functions. In previous articles, we discussed how it allows the person time to reflect, meditate and heal from the loss.  This enables the person to find new meaning in one’s life narrative.  Secondly, we pointed out that sadness also manifests itself physically to awaken others to one’s needs of emotional support.  These components of the emotion of sadness are all natural and essential in normal grieving, but can become malignant to one’s emotional health if prolonged.
It is important to note that prolonged grief differs from depression.  In depression, one loses self esteem and feels emptiness due to no physical or mental stimuli but prolonged grief is an acute response to loss.  Prolonged grief is a desperate and painful yearning for the loss object.  It is an obsessive fixation that can find no value in anything else.  It is a haunting pain that finds only the ghosts of the deceased or loss.  It is also associated usually with guilt and lack of esteem in regard to the person and the deceased.  False notions breed within the mind, producing more intense yearnings that cannot even find joy in past memories.  These unhealthy attachments can also be intensified with people who were more economically or emotionally dependent upon the deceased.
Grief Counselors and other professional counselors can help those with prolong grief.  One treatment is exposure treatment.  Exposure treatment forces the person to face his or her pain and talk about the most painful aspect of the relationship with the deceased.  It is through this that counselor and patient can talk together about what the person feels is bothering them.  It is the hope of the counselor to find out if any false notions exist within the patient during this session.  Feelings of guilt, anger, or lack of self esteem can all be identified and addressed.  In addition to this, the counselor will eventually set up goals for the person.  Usually people who suffer from prolong grief have become reclusive.  The  grief counselor will try to push the person into the social settings to form new interests and attachments.  The purpose is not to eliminate the past attachment, but to help create a healthy adapted bond with the deceased.  The person should be able to integrate the loss of the deceased into his or her life narrative but also write new chapters and find happiness in other things.
While these things are crucial it is important to note two things.  First medication may also be applied.  In these cases, medical professionals need to be involved and second, since it is complicated grief, the grief counselor should be working in accordance with a LPC.  Of course, if the grief counselor is already an LPC, then this is all the better.
If you would like to learn how to become a certified Grief Counselor, then please review.
Mark Moran, MA