Grief Counseling Essay

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Grief counseling is a division of social work that involves the interpersonal aspect of the social worker’s role as expert in coping with death. In this paper I will define grief counseling and some ways to cope with loss. Next I will discuss the history and seven stages of grief. There are two main forms of grievers which are intuitive and instrumental. In addition there are four major types of grief which are acute, anticipatory, sudden and complicated. The helping process is explained as well as some disorders related to grief. A current trend for grievers is to seek involvement in programs such as the Canadian Cancer Society, Missing Children of Canada and Victim Services. These organizations provide counseling services and crisis…show more content…
People going through grief often feel disorganized and have difficulty eating, sleeping or concentrating. Grief counselors ease the expression of emotion and thought about the loss and give insight to their feelings (Doka 1996). There are numerous reactions to grief, both good and bad. Behaviors that deal with grief positively are through art, writing, support groups or celebrations of the loved one. Some negative ways to deal with grief include feelings of anger, frustration, helplessness, depression and withdrawal from family and friends. A common yet self-destructive way to cope with loss is by turning to substances such as alcohol or drugs. This also requires counselors in order to help them get to the root of their problems. Sigmund Freud was an influential psychoanalyst in the late 18th century to the early 19th century. He made many advances in the field of psychology which have impacted other academic areas such as sociology and social work. In his 1915 paper “Mourning and Melancholia” he connected the normal realm with the pathological. In which he “compared mourning – a normal if painful event from which hardly anyone is spared – with a pathological although very common one: melancholia” (Fiorini et al. 2007). The natural human process is to mourn the loved subject or object when it is lost. Freud explains that grief is the feeling of losing love and once it is fully lost desolation and fear takes its place
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