Grief is the act following the loss of a loved one. While grief and bereavement are normal occurrences, the grief process is a social construct of how someone should behave. The acceptable ways that people grieve change because of this construct. For a time it was not acceptable to grieve; today, however, it is seen as a necessary way to move on from death (Scheid, 2011).The grief process has been described as a multistage event, with each stage lasting for a suggested amount of time to be considered “normal” and reach resolution. The beginning stage of grief is the immediate shock, disbelief, and denial lasting from hours to weeks (Wambach, 1985). The middle stage is the acute mourning phase that can include somatic and emotional turmoil. This stage includes acknowledging the event and processing it on various levels, both mentally and physically. The final stage is a period of
Students Grieving the Loss of a Loved One: A Program Evaluation of an Eight Week, Grief Support Group for Teens in a High School Setting
Grief groups will be led by two facilitators, at least one of which will be a trained therapist. All facilitators will undergo training at the center via a proprietary training program developed by the Executive Director. Facilitators will come from three sources:
**I attended a Tuesday afternoon grief support group at cancer services in January. I felt that this group was very beneficial because it still felt like the holidays. The group I attended was very full. The group consisted of people who were age 50 and up. There were probably around 20 individuals there. There were more females than males; however I was surprised at the amount of men who attended the group. Majority attended because of loss of spouse, there was one lady who was adjusting to the loss of her son. The group dynamic was very respectful, a lot of input, and genuine feelings of care towards each other. They appeared to have developed into their own little family. A lot of people expressed emotion, lots of tears this meeting.
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.
The authors of the A Pilot Study of Meaning-Based Group Counseling For Bereavement is Christopher MacKinnon, Nathan Grant Smith, Melissa Henry, Evgenia Milman, Mel Berish, Amanda Farrace, Annett Korner, Harvey M. Chochinov, and Robin S. Cohen.
As grief is a natural process of life, schools must expect that a percentage of their students will be affected by the death of a close family member each year. High school students have little experience with loss and employ less developed coping skills than most adults. Many adolescents will exhibit symptoms of grief stress that are separate from normal adolescent behavior issues. Due to the ambiguity of the blending of the two behaviors, a grief process is often confused with “normal” adolescent behaviors and thus overlooked or not addressed from a therapeutic format. The purpose of this group is to provide support and education about death, grief, and coping to students who have experienced the loss of a family member. The goal is for the student at the completion of the group is to better understand their feelings, anticipate possible problematic emotions and seek support for themselves while meeting with peers who have also lost someone in order to normalize their behavioral reactions.
“…there are shortcomings in traditional theorizing about effective ways of coping with bereavement, most notably, with respect to the so-called ‘grief work hypothesis.’ Criticisms include imprecise definition, failure to represent dynamic processing that is characteristic of grieving, lack of empirical evidence and validation across cultures and historical periods, and a limited focus on intrapersonal processes and on health outcomes.” (Stroede & Schut p. 197 1999)
The need for this study find the best practices in which will assist the complicated grief interventions that fail to reduce stress for future clients. In past studies, uncomplicated grief was being broadly defined as a bereavement response with acute distress in the first 6 to 12 months which was not social, physical, occupational functioning. Today, the individuals who are experiencing uncomplicated grief are seeking services to receive effective interventions. The knowledge of this topic will be used for adults experiencing uncomplicated grief seeking recommendations for future interventions conducted in this study (MacKinnon, et al., 2016).
I chose the GriefShare support group because as nurses we will need to help our patients and their families with the grief process when a loved one passes away. On March 29, 2014, I met Claudette St. John, the group leader, at 6:45pm at Northwest Christian Church in Acworth, GA. Rick Baldwin also attended the meeting. The group meets from 7-8:30pm. Claudette shared that she has been doing grief support classes for the past 20 years and the past 3 years she has been doing GriefShare at Northwest Christian. She lost her teenage daughter in a car accident 20 years ago. She expressed that there really are not any rules, other than just respecting each individual. She tasks herself with keeping the meetings on track and has a democratic leadership style. GriefShare is a Christian based program consisting of 13 weekly session. Participants do not need to attend all 13 sessions, the sessions can also be done individually. A workbook is given to those that are participating in the program. GriefShare’s goal is to help those experiencing grief, work through the process and recognize the different aspects of grief that they may encounter.
In Koblenz’ (2015) study, she finds that group sessions are beneficial, especially if the child is surrounded by peers that have suffered the loss of a parent, friend, sibling, or loved one (Koblenz, 2015). Szymanowska (2014) also agrees that having contact with close relatives and other bereaved families is good for children suffering from the loss of a parent. Such contact is viewed as beneficial to the child’s mental and physical safety (Szymanowska, 2014). Children may be more inclined to form a group with other children that have lost a parent to combat the
In this essay I will discuss what grief is and the kind of grief a client could experience. We will move onto attachment theory and its link as to why we grieve. I will then look at what tools are available for counsellors to support their clients through a normal or abnormal grieving process.
Online bereavement support group is a form of counseling that can work for certain groups of people. It allows people to connect with others that they would normally not connect with people in person. Some online bereavement groups creates virtual world communities where you can create an avatar and simply designed their lives. People can interact with others in this world like. The article Bereavement in Online Communities: Sources of and Support for Disenfranchised Grief, mentioned that “players often perceive their avatars as a median through which one’s soul, one’s inner person is expressed”. This virtual world provides a safe place where people can be creative and express their inner feelings. Other online bereavement groups do blogs or YouTube videos to connect with others online. For instance in the Grief Forums, demonstrated different categories such as spiritual/religious beliefs, non-death losses, violent death and so forth. The different categories have different blogs of people expressing their situation and other give advice or write an encouraging message. I write a comment
Support groups bring together people facing similar issues, whether that's illness, relationship problems or major life changes. Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful just getting to talk with other people who are in the same boat. While not everyone wants or needs support beyond that offered by family and friends, you may find it helpful to turn to others outside your immediate circle. A support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing similar challenges. A support group shouldn't replace your standard medical care, but it can be a valuable resource to help you cope (Staff, 2013).