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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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  • 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.
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  • Want to explore human action and interaction? A psychology degree from GCU may be for you!
  • Bachelor's and master's degrees offered conveniently online and on campus to fit your needs.
  • Choose from a variety of program focuses at the bachelor's or master's level.
  • Examine how personality and cognitive thinking is formed, developed and influenced.
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  • Earn your Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - 100% online
  • South University brings over 115 years of tradition and achievement to a supportive online classroom
  • Topics covered include psychological disorders, personality development, social perception, and more
  • Concentrations include Behavioral Health, General Psychology, and Experimental/Research
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4 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.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
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1 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
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  • Interested in Changing the Lives of Patients and People with Each New Discussion? Get Educated in the Psychology Field.
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  • Psychology, Human Services, Social Work Degree Programs and More From Top Colleges that Fit Your Needs.
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