Grief Counseling

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5 Things Every Social Worker Should Know About Grief Counseling

Social workers are often required to educate their clients about the grieving process, spot abnormal bereavement and provide sympathetic, nonjudgmental support. The job entails serving as de facto mental health professionals and listening actively to suggest coping techniques and help people accept deaths and other losses that cause them to grieve.

Ignorance of Counseling Techniques Can Aggravate Grief
It 's important to understand key facts about the grieving process, or social workers could make things worse or fail to spot the warning signs of unnatural grief. The following five areas contain essential information for successful grief counseling:

1. Understand the Symptoms
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However, some people become dangerously affected by grief and develop harmful symptoms like substance abuse, severe depression, loss of purpose in life, anger at God or authority figures, lack of energy, shortness of breath, weakened muscles and other physical effects. Medical research hasn 't identified all the physical or psychological issues that trigger severe grief, but the following situations often result in people experiencing prolonged -- and potentially dangerous --…show more content…
Each individual, family and relationship has its own dynamic, so always remember that the person in front of you may not be like the person you saw yesterday. Repeat the mantra to yourself, "It 's not the same." The case before you has its own characteristics, and it might require a very different approach regardless of how similar the two cases might appear on the surface. Listen actively until you get an accurate picture of the client and see him or her as a unique person with special needs, idiosyncrasies and personal qualities.

5. Drawing a Line Between Sympathy and Respect for the Counselor
Regardless of how devastated any client becomes, social workers must be firm at some point with each client. Parents correct children with love, and grief counselors bear responsibility for encouraging grieving people to resume normal lives despite their pain. Acting out, giving up and disrespecting counselors and others aren 't appropriate behaviors, and counselors should not encourage or empower these kinds of conduct. It 's especially tricky when dealing with children to balance the need to show sympathy while not allowing the child too much leeway for acting out, throwing a tantrum or
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