Skip to comments.What is the Context of Grief Counseling?
Posted on 03/09/2008 9:08:21 AM PDT by yetidog
Is grief counseling a somewhat new phenomenon?
Grief counseling is the premeditated targeting and taking advantage of people in vulnerable states, so as to better drum their heads full of social worker type nonsense. Think vultures comforting their meals.
The nanny state has to be everything to everyone. Grief counseling is not new. But in the no blame society we are in conflict with, I think counseling is only another justification that people can’t cope without government approval.
Plus it employs a hell of a lot of government sector employees like social workers.
Another member of the government school priesthood.
There’s always been grief counseling- but it was given by friends, family and clergy- and no one called it anything. It sounds like another pre-packaged attempt at dealing with life’s sorrows and inconsistencies and unfairness.
The first time I heard it called grief counseling was after Columbine.
While the rest of us work and pay the bills every day an unknown but large population of these counselors seem to be kept in a holding pen waiting until the next tragedy when they are set loose on an unsuspecting student body who would probably heal faster and grow closer to each other without the 'professionals' sailing in for their rather distasteful form of help.
Like 'severe weather is on the way' and 'police are asking for the public's help' the phrase 'grief counselors will be at the school this week' is now part of the Media Cliche' Manual (TM) and can be heard with regularity on your local TV
car dealer commercial - er, news.
All I can say is thank God this particular brand of compassion-for-rent wasn't around during my youth. We lost our share of friends and relatives as we grew up but - and this part may amaze and stun the grief industry - we were each other's support network, not some self-aggrandizing stranger.
Grief counselling is just another way of reinforcing the view held by too many of today's kids that every tragedy, death or disaster is all about THEM and that's why they're getting all this special attention as the hordes of "counsellers" descend upon a school.
It also reinforces to the kids that when something bad happens they need government busybodies or social worker touchy-feelies to make them all feel better.
I'm glad I grew up in a time when if a relative died, the family mourned but the young kids were left alone.
In my opinion, "grief counselling" doesn't relieve emotional problems, it just highlights and exagerrates them.
Next we'll have grief therapy for kids when their pets die.
I've noticed throughout my life, especially in my political career where I had to attend countless wakes and funerals that adults and children without any solid religious background and education are the ones who handle death and disaster most poorly.
If something unfortunate happens, some quiet time of prayers, apropos bible passages and some warm expressions of love and security within the family circle will do more if a child is really upset than all the "grief" careerists in the world.
Not new, but the secular society and spiritual rootlessness in which it thrives is.
The form of counseling varies quite a bit, depending upon the person doing the counseling. Christians still call upon their faith when counseling. When CISD started in the emergency services, it was facilitated by trained counselors, and was pretty much a failure. Emergency services went to the military model, in which only people who had been in combat did the counseling. It, in turn, depended, IMHO, on the AA model, in which a person who had struggled with alcohol was considered the best resource for a person who was having trouble with alcohol.
Usually, there are a variety of resources for grief counseling, depending upon the needs of the individuals. In a properly done grief counseling program, for example, there would be available a Catholic priest, a Protestant, a secular counselor, a Rabbi, and whoever else was needed to meet the needs of the individual experiencing the loss.
I think grief counseling has become more common in the US over the last thirty or forty years because as a society, we have increasingly become insulated from death. I was born in 1954. My father's father died in 1947, when my father was still a teenager. My father, the only son still at home, went to town and picked up his body in their horse-drawn wagon. He bought the casket, brought the body home, and it was kept in the house until the funeral. Dealing with death used to be part of life. Today, most people never see a dead body outside of a casket.
Grief counseling is also a way to help identify people who are having exceptional difficulties dealing with a situation. Survivor's guilt is very common, and some people attempt suicide because of it. Grief counseling attempts to identify people who are having extreme problems dealing with the tragedy, and encourage them to seek additional help. The form of the additional help depends upon the beliefs of the individual. The Protestant will still seek help from their church, the Catholic from their priest, the Jew from their Rabbi, and quite a few of various faith from psychologists.
One thing that is difficult in working with people shortly after the event is that they tend to still be in shock. Frequently the problems don't really begin to show up until weeks or even months later.
Hope this helped.
Excellent post, Richard!
That has always been my take on it.
Very informative and helpful in terms of the questions that I have.
I agree; death used to be treated as part of life and now we avoid dealing with it. We used to care for our elderly in the home, they died in the home surrounded by family. Now we tuck the elderly away in nursing homes- out of sight out of mind- we don't see the entire process first hand so we don't think of it as a normal process.
I do agree with another poster that any time a person dies suddenly- or is young it is tougher on everyone. That is when we used to turn to our religion for guidance and many of us still do. There is no substitute for religion, family, and friends in a tragedy, but some people think there is- especially the government.
I think grief counseling is great- if it is done by peers or those close to us, but to have an outside "professional" come in, I can't see how that can help.
I agree completely but I'd like to draw a distinction between what was previously informal, personal grief counseling and the impersonal, formalized variety that goes on today.
At least as late as the mid-1960's, when a good friend of mine was killed in high school, there wasn't any flock of professional 'grief counselors' that descended on our school. Each of us talked individually to our families, our ministers/priests/rabbis, or one of our teachers to work our own way through our loss. While there's probably no 'perfect' way to deal with any particular situation, it seemed to work well at the time.
It is not new. Check out the location closest to you!
For more detailed information concerning the loss of a loved one through death, divorce or separation you can FReepmail me.
Honest Injun I wrote my post before I read this but an interesting link anyway:
Even Pravda on the Hudson said so:
When I volunteered for a EMS service, there were times that after a bad call, they asked anyone if they needed CISD. One time was a SIDS baby that my crew worked on one Sunday morning. When we got back, they asked us if we were OK or did we need to talk with someone. When we all said we were ok, they looked at us like we were cold hearted.
We did a little CISD thing later. on my buddies boat. where we talked about it while having some beer and mellowing out.
On Saturday night, after a rough shift, we would have “ Choir Practice” named after the Joe Wambaugh book.