Grief Counseling Human Beings Need One Another Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Grief Counseling

Human beings need one another in order to make things seem right and sane. Helping others in their time of need not only can help alleviate the stress from the person needing help, but also the person giving the help can also benefit greatly from this exercise. It seems that the human condition is designed to help each other.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the group counseling leader behaviors relating to a specific specialty group. For this essay, grief and loss counseling leadership traits will be examined to help explore some useful techniques and methods for approaching this type of problem and how to best solve it.

Specialty Group

I have chosen to examine grief therapy as a subject to evaluate. Grief is a reaction to loss that can encompass a range of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and is experienced differently by each person according to his or her culture, background, gender, beliefs, personality, and relationship to the deceased or loss. Feelings common to grief are sadness and yearning. Guilt, regret, anger, and a sense of insignificance can also be present. Some may also a feel a sense of relief and freedom. Emotions can be surprising in their strength or mildness, contrary to the expectations of the griever; they can also be confusing, such as missing a painful relationship.

Thoughts during grief can vary from "there's nothing I can do about it" to "it's my fault, I could have done more" to "he had a good life" or "it wasn't her time." They can be upsetting or soothing, and people in grief can bounce between unlike thoughts as they make sense of their loss. Grieving behaviors run from crying to laughter, sharing feelings to engaging wordlessly in activities like cleaning, fixing, or exercising. They can involve being with others or by oneself.

The target population of this group includes everybody who knows someone due to the inevitability of death in the cycle of life. Shallcross (2012) suggested that "one of the most imperative things for counselors to understand about grief and loss is that although the experience of loss is universal, every individual's grief process is distinctive. Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. Some people are more emotional and dive into their feelings while others are stoic and may seek distraction from dwelling on an unchangeable fact of living. Neither is better than the other, but if at any point one is concerned about whether one's grief-related feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are "normal" and "healthy," a consultation with a qualified mental health professional may be advised.

Role of the Group Leader

Understanding that notion of uniqueness and applying it in session as a counselor means there is no one "right" approach to grief-related counseling work. As the group leader, it is important to educate bereaved persons that the single most important thing they can do for themselves during their period of mourning is to allow themselves to completely grieve in their own way. There is no right way or right amount of time. The important thing is that they honestly look at what they are feeling, be it anger, sadness, guilt, etc., and that they share their thoughts and feelings with someone they trust -- a friend, family member, clergy, therapist, etc.

A good starting point for counselors is to take the role of witness and realize that the client is the expert. Group leaders need to maintain an presence of…

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