Why the Best Grief Counselors Are the Ones Who Have Suffered Loss

Grief comes in many forms and, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all remedy to take away some of the suffering of loss. Sometimes that loss comes in the form of the death of a loved one and other times it is the result of the breakup of a relationship; and other times still it is the loss of a job or a pet or a friend who’s moved away. Anytime there is loss, there is potential for grief and if you have ever loved and lost, you know what grief can do to you. Those who have suffered loss understand the stages of grief and the pain they experienced, and why it is often said they make the very best grief counselors.

The Difference between Sympathy and Empathy

Let’s take a look, for a moment, at a grief counselor who is sympathetic towards a client’s pain and suffering. Although that sympathy is heartfelt, it isn’t the same thing as empathy. How many times have you wanted to smack someone (figuratively of course) because they said, “I know how you feel.” No, they don’t know how you feel. They’ve never been there, never done that and certainly have never felt what you are feeling now. (No, you can’t know this but you ‘feel it’ in their response. There’s something not quite authentic in their tone or expression.)

Popular Careers in Psychiatric Social Work Prepare You for Grief Counseling

One of the most popular and highly needed careers as a social worker with an MSW online is in the field of grief counseling because that is something that not everyone is cut out for. Some people can work with those suffering profound loss and others are simply unable to deal with such a high level of pain in another person. According to information released by Rutgers Online in their online MSW program, psychiatric social work is a highly favored branch of social work in which a grief counselor would be employed.

With the right training you can be taught to think with empathy and not sympathy because that is what a grieving widow will hear in your voice. That is what an unemployed family man with three little kids will feel coming from you. Without that touch of sincerity, ‘understanding’ what they feel may do more harm than good.

Many Approaches to Help Those Stricken by Grief

Whether you choose a career in social work to counsel those who are suffering grief from a psychological or emotional perspective, or are in a profession that enables you to offer them the kind of financial help they need to get through a very trying time, this is something you can do and be good at if you, yourself, have suffered loss. Yes, you can learn social work without having shared common experiences with your clients, and sometimes it helps you stay detached if you haven’t.

However, when it comes to grief counseling, those who have suffered loss are less likely to give textbook platitudes. They are more likely to speak from the heart and that is what someone grieving really, really needs.

Grief Help: Care For Depression, Anxiety Helps War-Exposed Children

 children grief help

(Reuters Health) – Treating depression and anxiety in youngsters affected by war may have lasting benefits for their mental health and ability to function in society, new findings suggest. The study, of former child soldiers and other young people affected by Sierra Leone’s civil war, found that those with higher levels of anxiety and depression two… [Read more…]

Are You Troubled? Are Life Circumstances Getting You Down?

(this support article is not part of the Road to Recovery book)

     Everyone faces issues in their lives, one form or another. Oftentimes, you may feel great anxiety or despair or fear or some other type of depression. This is only natural but knowing that will not comfort you. I believe there is one simple solution to this very scary situation.

I know because it has worked for me. I believe it will work for you because I have been called to share this with you.

The next time you encounter one of these scary feelings, do the following:

Ask aloud for the Lord Jesus to help you. Ask aloud for the Holy Spirit to bring you peace. Believe and have faith that God will bring you this comfort.

There have been several times in my life where I had the wisdom to do this. In those cases I was enveloped by God’s peace, which quickly brought me comfort and washed away my fears. This is a tremendous feeling, let me assure you.

You don’t have to know or believe in the Holy Spirit or Jesus for this to work. Specifically ask Them to help you and they will.

Is it really this simple? Yes, it is. I have had great anxiety in my life, not just from the death of my wife in a tragic accident. God may not answer prayers for you to win the lottery, but in a time of need, he will calm the storm raging in your mind.

 

 

Contact the Author of “The Road to Recovery.”   He is here to offer you comfort and support in your difficult time.