A lot of people want to help grievers. There are more than 40,000 listings under the heading of “grief books” on Amazon.com. The unfortunate thing is that the majority of these books tell the stories of one individual’s struggles with grief or are books that offer logical solutions to a problem that is certainly not logical. Grief is an emotional experience. Emotions are not logical. Grief is anything but logical. No matter how you try to deal with grief logically, logic never begins to have a significant effect on the emotional pain of loss.
Everyone has their own story of the pain that they experienced with a loss. The problem for other grievers is that it’s not their story! Each relationship is different, which means that each story and the pain associated with that loss is different. Reading about another persons’ loss does little, or nothing, to help you deal with your own.
Of the 40,000 references listed on Amazon, only one offers a step by step set of directions, Grief Recovery actions a griever can take, for dealing with the emotional pain of any loss: “The Greif Recovery Handbook.” The authors, John James and Russell Friedman, start the journey at the very beginning, covering the lack of helpful information most of us learn in our formative years for dealing with loss and grief. They then take each griever through an individualized process of “completing” their relationship with their own specific loss. They give each griever examples on how to deal with each step of the process, but continue to remind everyone that their loss is totally unique.
If you really want to help other grievers work their way through their grief, rather than just starting a group that supports them in continuing to live with their pain, you should consider Grief Recovery Certification Training. The Certified Grief Recovery Specialist training is unlike any other programs out there; it’s not grief counseling certification or grief counseling training, nor is it bereavement counseling certification, and our Specialists are unlike a grief counselor. This specialized educational program trains people to offer grievers the best possible assistance in dealing with the emotional pain of loss. Our Specialists do this by providing accurate information and creating a safe emotional environment for the griever to take the actions of Grief Recovery.
What leads people to become a Grief Recovery Specialist?
Step One in the certification process
There are two parts to this educational training. The first part is focused on taking these “Grief Professionals” through the entire process of The Greif Recovery Method by dealing with one of their own personal emotional losses. The reason behind this is very simple: how can you help other people if you have not already helped yourself? We often use the example of taking scuba diving lessons. Would you trust someone to teach you scuba diving that has never done it themselves? Of course not! Likewise, how could any griever trust someone to help them deal with the most painful event(s) in their life if they have never taken action for themselves?
Grievers are among the most abused people on our planet. Friends and family members try to help them by telling them all kinds of things that only make their emotional pain more intense. They are told “get over it,” which is impossible. You never get over that pain, but with the proper tools you can learn to thrive and survive in spite of it. They are told to “be strong,” which is a polite way of telling them not to verbally express their feelings. Worse yet, they are told, “grief just takes time”. The passage of time only makes the emotional pain of loss a permanent part of a griever’s life, but does nothing to effectively process it.
Step Two in certification training
Once those who are being certified as Grief Recovery Specialists have dealt with a personal loss, they are then given the tools to help others. A part of these processes is teaching them effective communication skills to use when working with grievers. This involve making sure that they never minimize another’s loss, but rather learn to listen without analysis, criticism or judgment. They are then educated on how to use the lesson plans that are provided as part of this training.
There are currently four main types of lesson plans that these certified people receive as part of the training. Each is designed for different programs that they can then offer in their community.
- Helping grievers in group situations over a period of eight meetings.
- Helping grievers in one-on-one situations over a series of seven meetings.
- Helping parents and care givers support children in processing their emotional losses, over a series of six meetings. (Using the book, "When Children Grieve")
- Helping people who have lost pets move through their emotional pain, through a six meeting format. (Using "The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss")
These lesson plans, which also include “homework sheets,” are so complete that trained Grief Recovery Specialists could actually stand in front of a group, read them out loud and be successful. Presenting them in a way that will be most effective for each griever is part of that training process as well.
Certified Specialists also receive ongoing support from the Grief Recovery Institute, as part of their license and service agreement. This includes not only telephone and email support, but also access to a website filled with additional marketing information and continuing education materials. That support agreement stays in effect for 10 years, renewable for two more five-year periods, all without additional expense to the certified personnel.
Common Results you get using The Grief Recovery Method
Who is qualified to take this training?
In Russell Friedman’s’ own words, “The very first and most important credential you must have is a genuine desire to help grieving people, and if you have that you qualify.”
Many of our Certified Specialists come from the therapeutic community. They have found this approach in dealing with the emotional pain of grief a powerful and positive addition to their practices. It should be noted, however, that after almost 40 years of offering this educational program, we have found the greatest qualification for success does not involve a degree in counseling. Some of our most effective Specialists are lay people who have personally experienced the overwhelming pain of emotional loss, found this technique to have worked for them, and now want to help others. This approach is all about helping people deal with their broken hearts, which means that those who have moved through and beyond this experience offer the best example and support to others.
If you really want to make a positive and lasting difference for grievers, this certification process is the best choice available. This program has proven successful cross-culturally around the world. The only continent where we don’t currently have support programs is in Antarctica. We have Certification Educators based in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Australia, who are here to train you in helping grievers.
Please contact us for more information in working to help those with broken hearts. Our goal has never been to support people in their pain, but rather to help them find the ability to share their fond memories, without that ongoing pain.
Image Credit: 123RF Stock Image, Maksym Vemelyanov - Ukraine