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How to Become a Grief Counselor

Career News August 28, 2013

Grief is one of the strongest human emotions, and one that can be the hardest to move on from. Loss is usually the starting point of grief, be it a loved one’s death, or even the loss of a relationship or beloved pet. Thankfully, there are those that have chosen to pursue the noble path of grief counseling. If you are wondering how to become a grief counselor then read on for the required steps.

Before embarking on this path, you must make sure that you have an understanding of what the job entails. Your listening skills must be one of your strongest abilities, as most counseling will consist of active listening sessions. You must also be highly empathetic, and be able to handle people when they are often at their lowest ebb. Schools will help you prepare, but these basics skills are things that often come naturally if one wishes to be proficient at this type of job.

Training for Grief Psychology

A grief counselor or therapist must undergo a lot of training in order to enter this special field of work. There are both licensed and unlicensed counselors, but the first step for either is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. A degree in psychology, counseling, or other human services degree is where you begin. If you are looking for jobs in a higher income bracket then your goal should be to go after the master degree program in psychology.

Average pay in this career field is $40,000 annually, although higher education and the location of the job can truly make that number vary with the top ten percent earning upwards of $80,000. The outlook for this career is excellent, with a much higher than average growth rate, which means plenty of employment opportunities. This occupation is set to grow at forty percent until 2020.

Once you have the proper training, it is time to seek out the best job. Grief counselors are utilized in most areas such as hospitals, hospice locations, mental health facilities, and more. You can also choose to focus on one area of loss, such as helping those who have lost loved ones in the military, or those that have lost loved ones to a terminal illness.

Prepare for the Real World with Practical Experience

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Acceptance is often the stage people have a hard time reaching on their own. A kind guide to help give them the tools to move on, or even just allow them to voice all their sorrows, can truly help them accept their grief and learn to move on. This is an extremely challenging career, but helping someone live a happier life, there are only a few such noble jobs in the world.

There are many schools that can help you prepare for this career. Colleges and universities usually provide this program both online and on-campus. Check out our following schools to help set you on the right path to being a grief counselor.

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  • Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!
  • GCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in either General Psychology or Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education, blending the study of traditional humanities in a modern context.
  • GCU offers a variety of learning options, including: traditional degree programs offered at our main campus, online degrees, or evening classes meeting once a week at various locations.
  • Founded in 1949, GCU is a regionally accredited, private Christian university and is recognized as offering some of the best online education programs in the nation.
  • Request information and learn more about our program offerings, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
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  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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