How long will it take to become a Grief Counselor?
Mar 6, 2015 | 12:00 pm
To become a grief counselor is not difficult; you simply sit down and talk with a person going through a traumatic event. Let them feel comfortable crying and safe to let out the emotions flowing through them at incomprehensible speeds. Of course, this is not the same thing as a professional career choice, which takes a special kind of person. As a grief counselor, you will need to have the type of personality that allows you to open up and evoke respect and honesty from the grieving person. At the same time, keeping a distance that keeps you from becoming entangled in the pain being felt right in front of you is important.
What Kind of Education Do I Need?
To be a professional grief counselor would require a psychology degree, most likely with a focus on counseling. The first thing that you would need to do is learn about yourself in order to keep your issues out of the other person’s grief. You need to understand the process of grief and how long it lasts Showing patience and understanding how to get people to talk when the only thing they want to do is cry and, perhaps, curl into the full fetal position.
Is Certification Required?
After a standard bachelor’s degree, you need to prove your ability to deal with the trauma that has enveloped the other person without becoming entangled in that situation. A master’s degree is not normally required, but experience and supervised interaction is required Understanding that the person in the initial stages of grief is as much in shock as in grief. They are most likely confused and disoriented and the initial job is just to help the person stabilize in order to go through the grief process itself.
How Do I Become Certified?
One of the ways you climb the ladder is to first gain a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Then, you find a position, perhaps as a school counselor, or a counselor in a state organization. Your bachelor’s degree is often all that is necessary, though an internship with supervision experience may further prepare you for a career in grief counseling.
If you have the truly special talent that allows people to open up and feel very safe in your presence while staying removed enough to guide the person to a calmer reality, you may be right for grief counseling. Understanding numerous forms of counseling interactions is helpful, since it is seldom that all the people you become engaged with will respond to a single type of interaction.
Most of the time you will spend becoming a grief counselor will be in school obtaining your bachelor’s degree. After that, it will be working under supervision, perhaps an internship, and interactive debriefings. However, all of this learning and training will prepare you for a very particular skill and work setting that requires maturity and patience. It is unlike any other career path you could imagine. You will work through your own feelings as well as the other person’s. The length of time is not significant compared to the positive results you can give to people in need.