When thinking about New Years resolutions, people usually think about starting to exercise, or to stop spending so much money on coffee, maybe learn a new skill or hobby? What about allowing grief to be a part of your new year. It is known for some who are grieving to make their own resolution to not be sad about the past, to no longer feel the heaviness of grief. There isn’t a normal amount of time for grieving, every person is different. The more significant the loss, the more intense and harder it will be. Healing happens gradually, and an individual can’t be forced to stop grieving. Ignoring grief isn’t going to turn off the pain, grief is the internal response – focusing on thoughts and feelings on the inside.

The new year comes with the traditional new year’s resolutions, which typically is about bettering one’s self or improving quality of life. A thoughtful resolution for people working in hospice, palliative, and end of life care would be to expand the horizons in bereavement care, possibly through continuing education courses. “An important component of end-of-life education is to provide health professionals with content related to dying, loss, and grief,” (Developing a Blended Course on Dying, Loss, and Grief). There is always room for improvement when it comes to being educated and helping people deal with their own overwhelming grief. Some courses that could be useful to a professional’s practice could include the following:

  • Open Path has a course for Grief and Loss education with three different certificates for the practice. This online course includes learning about the common emotional symptoms of grief, the major stages of grief and how they manifest, and how to begin healing through simple practices and extensive self-care. Here is the ink: https://mentalhealth.openpathcollective.org/grief-loss/?gclid=CjwKCAiA3OzvBRBXEiwALNKDP6dgTIw2ruf_HuaPqdpZ1IlSMQ8lxJCcR6BytPksGQZ3xYrQQCuwqBoCfqsQAvD_BwE
  • American Institute of Health Care Professionals has four courses for continuing education on grief counseling. These courses include: “Death, Dying & Mourning” – this course provides an overview of studies, research and dynamics related to death and dying; “Grief Counseling for the Helping Professions” – this course provides students a continuation of the previous course, as well as more scientific inquiry into these processes; “Grief Therapy” – this course provides a comprehensive study of grief therapy used today in counseling modalities; and lastly “Working With Grieving Children” – this course focuses on working directly with children suffering from loss. Here is the link: https://aihcp.net/grief-counseling-ce-courses-program/

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Grief is not something to be ignored, but rather faced head on.  As a professional, you can help those who are dealing with their grief in a healthy and productive way. Become a member of The American Academy of Bereavement today to discover new resources and solutions.