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When a traumatic death occurs, such as the death of a child, not just any counselor, physician, nurse, clergy, or therapist will understand the complexities and challenges of grieving family members. It is critical to find a provider who specializes in traumatic grief. An effective provider will walk with you, help you connect with your feelings, and help you discover ways to cope with the overwhelming sense of loss.
Should I seek counseling or support?
Formal counseling isn’t always necessary but for some it can be helpful, particularly when the provider has been well-trained in traumatic grief. This training, however, is exceedingly rare. Organizations like the MISS Foundation, Parents of Murdered Children, CASPER, and Compassionate Friends can provide a support network for you and your family. Note that support groups, however, are not therapeutic groups. Traumatic grief can be so debilitating that supportive and loving counseling by trained providers may help change lives.
Many people seek counseling and therapy to help them balance their ongoing lives in the aftermath and chaos of traumatic grief. Social support through family, friends, and support groups (online or in person), exercise, sunshine, and contemplative practices (prayer or meditation) may be very effective in helping you and your family.
A provider who is Certified in Compassionate Bereavement Care®, however, may help at a much deeper level, addressing trauma specifically, interpersonal relationships, feelings of guilt, shame, or self-blame, and can even help with past events that negatively affect daily functioning and further add to the trauma of your Beloved’s death.
Many who are traumatically bereaved, over our two decades of existence, have come to us, asking for help in finding a safe, well-educated, and compassionate provider. Sadly, many providers were not getting sufficiently specialized training to prepare them for helping the traumatically bereaved. In an effort to correct this situation, the Center for Loss and Trauma, a partnership between the MISS and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundations, two leading organizations in bereavement support and education, now offer thorough training and certification to providers who work with those who are traumatically bereaved.