Seven Principles of Human Grief
There are seven principles that collect the vast and diverse experience of human emotion and grief. Grief counselors should be aware of these seven principles when counseling the bereaved.
The first principle is there is no one right way to grieve. Remembering this will prevent counselors from forcing everyone into one paradigm that may not fit for a particular person. For instance, some people show resilience in their grieving. If one was to assert that these people are in denial, then proper counseling would not correlate with those who are in fact resilient.
Second, one cannot fix or cure grief. This is fundamental. Grief is a natural process that must work itself through due to loss.
Third, there is no universal time table. Although most professionals give normal grief reactions six months to come to a acceptable close, one cannot assert this for every individual. There are too many variables that can influence how long one will grieve verus another person.
Fourth, every loss is a multiple loss. This simply means, when one loses someone, they also lose another aspect in their life. These are called secondary losses. A wife who loses a husband, not only loses her love, but also loses a bread winner.
Fifth, is a simple equation that all should remember: Change=Loss=Grief. Any type of change produces a loss of something that was previously different. In the losing of the past, grief takes place, even if the change brings some joy as well. An example of this would be moving away from home. The new challenges and start are exciting, but we are still losing some part of life we once cherished.
Sixth, when one grieves a new loss, we also grieve old losses. It is only natural to compare and contrast the present with the past. The dying of a loved one can remind us of the loss of past loved ones and how they suffered.
Finally, we can grieve when a loss has occurred or is even threatened. This is referred to as Anticipatory Grief.
If you are interested in Grief Counseling Training, please review the program.
(The Seven Principles of Grief can be found in the text, “Helping Grieving People-When Tears Are Not Enough” by J. Shep Jeffreys)
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C