Grief and bereavement are something that we all experience at some point in our lives. This typically happens when we lose a loved one or a friend, and it seems that the closer that person was to us in life, the greater our grief is. Grief can be so great that it is something that we simply cannot get through without professional help. In this instance, we have need of a grief counselor. Bereavement counseling takes a special type of person.
There are several job opportunities for grief and bereavement counselors. These professionals work in hospitals, nursing homes, funeral homes, and in private practices. These professionals help the family and friends of the recently deceased and the services that they provide to these individuals can continue for a long period of time. Their main purpose is to help these individuals through the grieving process, without skipping any of the necessary steps, so that the individual can continue living their own lives in a healthy manner.
Grief and bereavement counselors typically earn around $50,000 annually, but those who are in private practice and those who offer other types of counseling services typically do the best, from a financial standpoint. For this type of work, however, an advanced degree is required. Some can break into this field with at least a Master’s Degree, but depending on where you intend to work, and whether you will include other types of counseling, you may want to go ahead and seek a doctorate degree in the field of psychology, with a special focus on grief and bereavement.
Once you’ve finished your education, you will also need certification in your field. This certification can come through the Association for Death Education and Counseling, United States National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, or even the American Association of Suicidology. Additionally, you may need state licensing, which will require taking a state board examination.
Recommended Counseling Resources
Course Title: Bereavement Counseling
Company Name: University of Phoenix
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Description: While the University of Phoenix does not directly offer specialization training, they do offer the foundation of the required education for specialization as a grief and bereavement counselor.
Course Title: Certified Grief Counselor
Company Name: The American Academy of Grief Counseling
Location: 2400 Niles-Cortland Road, S.E, Suite 3, Warren, Ohio, United States
Description: The AIHCP offers education for grief counseling, allowing you to obtain certification, or allowing you to obtain recertification.
Course Title: Grief Counseling and Thanatology Certificate Program
Company Name: Canyon College
Location: Online, United States
Description: This home study course prepares you for certification through the American Academy of Grief Counseling, and requires 180 hours, equaling 12 semester hours to complete.
Course Title: Advanced Certificate Program in Grief Counseling
Company Name: Brooklyn College
Location: 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Description: This is a master’s degree program, and those students who received their bachelor’s degree through Brooklyn College can be matriculated into this program, if they received their degree in a related field of study.
Course Title: Grief Counseling
Company Name: Breyer State University
Location: 6080 Center Drive, 6th Floor, Los Angeles, California, United States
Description: This is a Master Level Course, resulting in a Masters in Grief Counseling and Thanatology. The program requires 75 hours of study, but you can take your exam for certification through the American Academy of Grief Counseling after completing the first three courses in the program.