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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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  • Work in the fascinating and rewarding field of psychology - earn your bachelor's or master's degree online with Grand Canyon University.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research, creativity, ethical formation and inquiry through critical, analytical and interdisciplinary study.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's in psychology degrees combine academic theory with practical application.
  • Gain a comprehensive study of human behavior within a Christian values-oriented environment designed to emphasize compassion and ethics.
  • Join a values-based community surrounded by compassion, ethics and research on human behavior.
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  • Accredited
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  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
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5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, ministry, and more.
  • The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
  • Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
South University , Virginia Beach
  • Available programs include a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health & Counseling.
  • Courses allow students to explore general psychology and behavioral health, as well as several experimental & research concentrations.
  • Psychology programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
Good for Working Adults
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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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  • Online Courses
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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
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
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  • 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
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, human services, ministry, and more.
  • The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
  • Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • 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

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