Professional Certification Programs in Grief and Bereavement

A reader writes: I am at a crossroads in my life. I feel I am being drawn to grief education. I want to become a certified bereavement counselor/educator/specialist. I have no idea where my path is going, only that I need to take the journey. I have been told there is special training/certification I need for that, but I can't find anything at the different universities. Any information you can provide would be helpful. 

Below is a list of the programs of which I am aware. (Note that links to these programs are accurate as of March 2017. If you know of any other reputable program you'd like to see listed here, please feel free to add it in the Comments section, below.)

Caregiving and Hospice, January 22 - January 28, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 22 - January 28, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, January 22 - January 28, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

We Bought a Zoo: A Movie Recommendation

I love to read, and I suppose because of the work I do, I am drawn to stories that teach me about grief, most especially those that describe the myriad ways people survive it, as they manage to transcend the most tragic of losses and find meaning in them. I also love to go to the movies, and once again, my favorite films are those about overcoming loss.

In my article, Grief Observed: Using Movies to Move through Grief, I’ve shared my belief that movies can serve as a valuable tool, because—when selected carefully and intentionally— they can help us get in touch with painful, blocked or pent-up emotions, and help us see our own grief issues from a different perspective.

Before I see a first-run movie, I like to read the reviews to help me decide if it’s worth my time (and money), but occasionally I take a chance and go see a film despite what I’ve read about it, and sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. Here is one of those pleasant surprises:

Caregiving and Hospice, January 15 - January 21, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 15 - January 21, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, January 15 - January 21, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Is Anger One of the Stages of Grief?

Photo source: Native American
Legend has it that one evening an elderly Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside every one of us. The battle, he said, is between two wolves. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. His grandson thought about this for a moment, then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" His grandfather simply replied, "The one you feed."

Caregiving and Hospice, January 8 - January 14, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 8 - January 14, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, January 8 - January 14, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Tips for Coping with Sleeplessness in Grief

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep. ~ E. Joseph Lossman

[Note: Since its original appearance, this post has been updated regularly with links to additional articles and resources, below. The most recent update was added on May 1, 2017] 

A reader writes
, “I  can't seem to get to sleep until after 3:00. I am tired all day, but I don't seem to be tired enough when everyone else is going to bed. I was having problems before my husband died, but now it is a LOT worse. Benedryl makes me sleepy but it has not helped at all. How long should I let this go on before being concerned?”

Disruptions in normal sleep patterns are very common in the first weeks and months of grief.  If you're having trouble sleeping, you might try some of the simple methods recommended by experts in accredited sleep centers:

Caregiving and Hospice, January 1 - January 7, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 1 - January 7, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, January 1 - January 7, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Helping Another with Pet Loss

When someone we love loses a special companion animal, we may not be sure what we can do to help. If anything, we feel helpless, since we know there's nothing we can do to bring the pet back. We can't take away the pain of the loss. We have no answer to the question, "Why?"

Sometimes another person's loss reminds us of our own past losses -- or of ones we ourselves eventually must face. If we've never been as strongly attached to a pet as our friend or family member was, we may not consider the loss as significant as it really was to them. If we've yet to experience the loss of a special friend or loved one, human or otherwise, we may not be familiar with how painful such grief can be. And some of us were raised in families that didn't express feelings openly, so we never learned how to comfort others.

Sadly, for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, many of us shy away from the person who is grieving, or we never go beyond saying "I'm sorry."

What else can we do to help a friend who's hurting when a cherished pet is lost?

Caregiving and Hospice, December 25 - 31, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 25 - 31, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, December 25 - December 31, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
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