Maybe you’ve had a rough patch in your life or you know someone who has experienced the death of a loved one. If you would like to help others manage their grief professionally, there are counseling courses that are available at many online universities.
Grief management models are studied in these courses, and will usually give students a comprehensive overview on what to expect in special circumstances. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for example, is a lot different than other types of grief, and clinical studies along with counseling theories explain why.
The Stages of Grief
Professional grief counselors know that people mourn in different ways. They’re aware that the grieving process is shaped by socialization, but universally speaking, there are stages of grief that every person will go through. These are:
- Denial – You may continue living as if death never happened
- Anger – The blame game is often played out with questions of unfairness and why me?
- Bargaining – If you could’ve, then you would’ve and should’ve
- Depression –Thoughts of frustration and hopelessness develop
- Acceptance – You’ve come to terms with what has happened
These stages don’t come in order. Oftentimes clinical depression develops with grief and this is where counselors are needed. Patients will have suicidal thoughts or are unable to perform normal daily activities like grooming, holding a job or socializing with others, just to give a few examples. Professionals can determine the best way to handle a patient who has lost their grip in life as a result of grief.
If you think a degree in grief counseling is right for you, then there are steps you can take to become a professional counselor. Begin by enrolling in a college that offers the degree program. Many of these colleges are available online. You will also need to gain work experience, which can be accomplished through an internship.
It takes a lot of compassion to become a bereavement counselor. If you are up to it, take the first step in a career that cares. Bereavement course overviews can be found online.