This is a discussion responding to two different students
The response to death varies between culture, current attitudes, and personal beliefs (Wong et al., 2015). The commonality results in that grievance of demise and death itself is inevitable. Faith and spirituality provide a belief in a higher power and life after decease. The utilization of faith and spirituality as a therapeutic approach during the process of dying furnishes the perception of personal significance and satisfaction in existence (Wong et al., 2015). Bereavement counseling is a type of therapy that helps individuals cope with grief. A popular approach that can be used within clinical setting for helping a person going through the grief cycle is Kübler-Ross model. The five stages of grief include: denial, anger, bargaining with a higher power, depression, and finally acceptance (Wong et al., 2015). The stages may occur following tragic news of a love one or oneself. These stages will continue until a person comes to terms with the end of life.
Grief counselors have a responsibility to not only those that they are serving but others as well. According to the Association for Death Education and Counseling (2010), one of two responsibilities is that the client and/or legal guardian is notified both verbally and also in writing during the initial interview of the limitations for confidentiality. These are required by law, regulations, and/or establishment processes. It is an obligation for clients to be provided guidelines on personal information being shared and the grounds for breaching confidentiality. Providing the client with written copies of limitations on confidentiality and during the initial intake is vital for the counselor because it verifies notification that the client is aware and protects the therapist. Another responsibility listed with the Association for Death Education and Counseling (2010), is that counselors retain records and additional information pertaining to the client for at least a certain amount of years. The amount of years is determined by the state, province, or county of the therapist’s practice. Each state provides different regulations. Ignorance to a rule or responsibility is not acceptable (Association for Death Education and Counseling, 2010). Documentation is essential. It is important to note that if information is not documented, it did not happen. Though included in this discussion are only two responsibilities out of ten that a grief counselor is to uphold when serving this population. Grief counselors also have responsibility to others. These responsibilities include: No solicitation of clients to others, ensuring to collaborate with other previous professionals as it relates to the client, and using expertise when engaging in the community or take part in the interdisciplinary group work involving hospitals and school environments in the counselor’s surround location. Being placed in a position of authority requires responsibility. Knowing the appropriate actions which are to be taken as a grief counselor is significant. (463 Words)
Association for Death Education and Counseling. (2010). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from
Wong, D. W., Hall, K. R., Justice, C. A., & Hernandez, L. W. (2015). Counseling Individuals
Through the Lifespan. Sage Publications.
From the beginning we are aware that we will experience end of life at some point in our life. Grief is inevitable and we have no idea at what point in our lives we’ll experience it. There is no set tone for grief and everyone reacts differently when faced with this tough time. I’ve experienced grief a few times in my life, but at 22 years old I experienced a feeling that I’ve never felt when my doctor told me that she could save me but not my baby. In the beginning, I was angry, frustrated, and couldn’t understand why God would take my blessing from me. I questioned my faith a few times, but tried to stay happy. I was more so trying to stay happy and okay for the people around me, but really I was angry, hurt, and devasted. Through those dark times I actually found God, myself, and experienced a closer relationship with him. During that time the Holy Spirit revealed to me why things had to go the way they did, and from that day to this day I am forever grateful for this experience. Growing in my Faith taught me to draw near to God during tough times and trust that everything is a part of the process and plan.
End of life planning has been increasing through the years. According to Wong, Hernandez, Justice, and Hall (2015), it is important for a counselor to understand thier clients religious or spiritual practices that give them a personal meaning of fulfillment. Religion and the end of life experience is important because it represents the passing from the physical world to beyond (Choudry, 2018). Religious and spiritual beliefs want to make the transition as smooth as possible because 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 states that “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” This scripture to me is letting you know that it’s okay to get to the end of life because there’s victory on the other side. End of life pivots around two main points: (1) upholding the sanctity of life and (2) being fearless of death because of the hope of communion with God (Choudry, 2018). The Christian faith teaches that God provides us an earthly life journey which ends in death, but the promise after death is eteranl life free of all suffering in Heaven (Choudry, 2018). Properly trained and competent professionals can play a vital role in the life of the people who are dying and their families by educating themselves because they can provide a sense of end of life peace.
The Code of Ethics for Death Education and Counseling (2010), states that “good education and counseling are based upon an understanding of, and a respect for, the student’s or client’s cultural background, developmental status, perceptions, and other individual differences and needs”. In order to fully serve someone as a counselor it is important to educate yourself on their circumstances. This will allow you to get a full understanding, and provide the tools needed to meet your client where they are so that you can help them progress to the next level. This will also eliminate client-counselor disagreements, or unintentional disrespect. A counselor has to also be careful to keep their personal beliefs limited and focus primarily on the client’s needs. Another responsibility listed by The Code of Ethics for Death Education and Counseling (2010), “Recognizing that conflict may arise within the family and community, and discussion of confidentiality and primary responsibility is to the individual”. End of life can cause many emotions to arise for everyone closely involved. There can be arguments about care, finances, or just anger from losing the person you love. The counselor can act as a mediator for these family members to help assist them through the process, but the counselor has to keep in mind that each individual may be at a different stage in the grief process and emotions are at an all time high. Counseling professionals will operate successfully with proper awareness of the transitional process (Wong, Hernandez, Justice, and Hall, 2015).
Adec.org. 2010. Code Of Ethics – Association For Death Education And Counseling. [online] Available at: <https://www.adec.org/page/Code_of_Ethics#GC1>.
Choudry, M., 2018. An overview of the spiritual importances of end-of-life care among the five major faiths of the United Kingdom. Clinical Medicine, [online] 18(1), pp.23-31. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330909/>.
Wong, D., Hall, K. and Wong Hernandez, L., 2015. Counseling Individuals Through The Lifespan. Los Angeles: Sage, pp.296-300.