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Human Grief and Basic Principles

Seven Principles of Human Grief

Human grief is diverse and complicated.  Please review the grief counseling training.

Human grief is diverse and complicated. Please review the grief counseling training.

There are seven principles that collect the vast and diverse experience of human emotion and griefGrief 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

2 Responses to Human Grief and Basic Principles

  1. Francis G says:

    I concur with the above statements, I have been doing a ‘good grief’ group which has changed its’ name to the “Good Mourning ‘ Group, a positive twist on a dismal and inevitable subject. Everyone has to face death, loss, and change. It has become apparent that through loss there is no expected course of events. It is all variable and intertwined. I have learned from watching myself and my clients through their ‘process’ that there is no correct answer except to have good support that permits expression of thoughts and feelings. This permission allows healing and growth.

  2. Tara Pietrobono says:

    Thank you for writing this article. You are correct – too many times – those who are grieving are put into a box of what is right or acceptable. I hope others read this and pass on the information – to help their friends and loved ones through difficult times.

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