How to Become a Grief Counselor and Loss of Parent

How to Become a Grief Counselor and Loss of Parent

The article below is about one year of grief after the loss of a mother.  The woman who is middle aged writes very candidly and open about her initial expression of pain to the very end of acceptance.

The utter devastation of loss is seen as she receives the call.   She laments over this loss through the following months almost lost as she tries to rediscover herself as a woman without a mother.   She lists the dreaded one years marks as well as holidays and birthdays and how she learned to adapt to this loss and allow the goodness of the world around here to sustain her.  She writes:

“Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death. That means I’ve endured many of the difficult “firsts” that grievers dread — first birthdays, holidays, and school events. This one-year mark also signifies that I’ve learned how to live in a world without my mom in it. And let me tell you, that’s no small feat.”

To read the entire article, please click here

I think all people are different to a degree, but react most the same way when loss arises.  The loss of a parent is definitely a difficult one.  I imagine it is almost as if learning to re-see the world in a different light and prism.

This process of adaptation and writing the next chapter in one’s life is not about forgetting, or not hurting, but transforming the relationship with the parent who has gone.  The new relationship takes time to form, but as the woman discovered, she was still a woman with a mother, but just in a different way.   She also learned in this transformation that since the relationship still existed, she could begin to breathe again and allow the love around her to help heal her.

This is no easy path, nor one that  anyone ever envies.  Yet for most, it is a path we must all travel.  While those who are enduring it, endure, many of us who have yet to are scared to even fathom it.  It is frightening and we would much rather deal with it when it comes, or in some bad cases, pretend it will never happen which can lead to a horrid grief reaction.

After one year, we cannot with certainty say where one should be emotionally.  To put all people on a time table of how they adapt to loss is bad counseling.   Yet a person should have some routine of a new normalcy.   One he or she may not yet  like, but one he or she is learning to get to know.  A new normalcy where he or she understands the circle of life and the fact that relationships never die but only change.

Those wishing to learn how to become a grief counselor need to help guide those who lose a parent, like the author of the article.  They need to help them through the grief process and let them experience it.  Of course, grief counselors need to identify unhealthy grieving patterns, but we should not discourage the grief of the first year for it plants the seeds for a new life where one is able to adjust with the pain and write a new chapter in their life that is not void of the loved one but presented in a new light.

I do believe after the first holidays and birthdays have gone, one is finally able to at least start to remember and celebrate the life the deceased parent and to enjoy their presence in a more spiritual manner.

All of our prayers go out to people who have lost their parents.  May they find peace and solace in their loss and realize that death is only a temporary divide and that the relationship while seemingly broken, is in reality still strong and existent but in a different way and level.


For those interested in how to become a grief counselor please review our program in Grief Counseling.  The program consists of four core courses.  After completion of those core courses, qualified professionals can apply for certification.

Certification lasts for three years and is renewed via clinical and academic hours via teaching, counseling, reading and continuing education in grief counseling.

Those who qualify for the program would include anyone with health care licenses or degrees.  Other qualified candidates include those with general social study degrees ranging from counseling to ministry.  Other professionals would include ministers, counselors, social workers, funeral directors, teachers, nurses, pastoral care givers and hospice.  Many professionals who earn certifications in grief counseling at the Academy of Grief Counseling are able to utilize their newfound skills for the good of others and one day also help themselves understand their own eventual grief and loss.

If you feel the call to this area of counseling, I recommend you pursue it. It not only can enhance an already existed career with options but also give one a great satisfaction in helping others overcome grief and bereavement in a healthy way.

If you still wish to learn how to become a grief counselor, then please review the program in full or give us a call so we can answer all of your questions.

In the meantime, please enjoy the blog and article!

Facing the Great Unknown and How to Become a Grief Counselor

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:

Fear of death can cripple our own life.  It prevents us from understanding the temporal nature of life and for us to make the most of it while we are here.

It also causes us to avoid discussion about it.  This prevents many from having good life insurance or funeral plans.  It can also put other family members in the dark about what one wants with his or her belongings after death.

If you are interested in learning more about life and death and the nature of grief, please review our program in grief counseling.  Review more to see how to become a grief counselor

In becoming a grief counselor, one must complete the required courses to become certified. After completing the courses, one is then eligible for certification.

If one wishes to become re-certified, then one needs to complete the required hours both academic and clinical.

Qualified professionals include social workers, nurses, healthcare professionals, counselors, ministers and other pastoral caregivers.  By becoming a certified grief counselor one can enhance their already existing career and be able to help others in need.

In the meantime, please enjoy reading from the blog and our site.  If you have any questions on how to become a grief counselor, then please review.


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Sandy Hook: Finding Gratitude, Even in Grief

The article, “Sandy Hook: Finding Gratitude, Even in Grief”, by Miranda Pacchiana states

“I will let my thoughts turn to friends, neighbors and all of those who are hurting and impacted by grave loss. I will consider the strength and trust that so many of them have shown.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals’ insight:

This article is sad and a sign of grief support.  The families of SandyHook no doubt suffered greatly on Thanksgiving, but many were also able to find happiness and love of the support and new friends they have found since the shooting.

Being able to find gratitude and some sort of happiness is critical in grief support.  Of course, every Thanksgiving or Holiday will bring tears, but being able to live in the present is key to avoiding pathological and self destructive grief

Grief counselors should always look for healthy healing in their patients.  Signs of gratitude and happiness amidst pain, is a good sign, their patients are healing.

If you are interested in learning more about grief counseling or would like to learn how to become a grief counselor, then please review our site.  Qualified professionals who take the four core courses in grief can become a  certified grief counselor.

The certification in Grief Counseling lasts three years and is renewable.  During the three years the grief counselor must practice five hundred hours and earn fifty hours of education credit in the field of grief.

Thank you for your interest in our blog and if you have any other questions please let us know.

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Art exhibition examines death and How to Become a Grief Counselor

The article, “Art exhibition examines death”, by Matt Hudson states

“Meeting your maker. Kicking the bucket. Death. Some fear it, others ignore it.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals’ insight:

Art is an excellent way for the bereaved to express themselves.  Play therapy, art therapy and any type of artistic expression help the grieving heal.

Grief counselors are aware of the importance of this.  One way to further express death and help people understand it is also through art.  This article discusses an art exhibit that examines death.

If you are interested in learning more, read the article.  If you are also interested in learning how to become a grief counselor, then also review our program.

Those interested on how to become a grief counselor range from many diverse professional backgrounds. Some stem from the funeral industry while others come from pastoral care, ministry and hospice.  Others emerge from the counseling field.  Still, even more come from the healthcare field which is diverse.  Some also come from state organizations such as social work.

The program in grief counseling offered at AIHCP and the Academy of Grief Counseling covers basic core concepts that are found in four courses.  After completion of those courses, one can then apply for certification.

After the initial three years, those who wish to re-certify can by accumulating over fifty hours of continuing education in grief and over five hundred hours of academic and clinical work in the field of grief counseling.

Thank you for reviewing the program and seeking to learn how to become a grief counselor.  If you have any questions, then please review the program.


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Learn how to become a grief counselor and help parents overcome the grief and loss of a child via miscarriage

The article, “Walk to Remember returns to Cobourg”,  by DOMINIK WISNIEWSKI states

“Oct. 20 event to honour children lost to miscarriage, stillbirth and early infant death”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:

Grief Counselors understand the pain of a still born or miscarriage.  These horrible things are sometimes unnoticed by society.  This type of disenfranchised grief has gone unnoticed for too long.

One of the biggest errors a nurse can make during a still birth is to not allow the parents to hold the deceased infant to properly grieve and process the loss.  This is the case in many places and the mother and father suffer horribly for it.

This article looks at this type of grief and encourages the community to share in the pain of mothers and families who have suffered the loss of a child this way.  While support groups are around, there needs to be more acknowledgement of this loss.

Grief counselors can also bolster support and awareness for this type of painful loss.  Whether by supporting it, blogging about it or sharing it with others, certified grief counselors can help.


If you are interested in learning more about grief counseling and would like to learn how to become a grief counselor, then please review our program.



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