A bereavement counseling groups need to offer mutual aid. Due to the practical and unique characteristics of older adults, these groups need to act like the support system for the bereaved. Here the bereaved should be able to talk freely about their bereavement concerns and also share support around the same concerns. These groups should only be meant for those individuals who are comfortable talking about their experience as well as those who can manage listening to others narrate about their own loss experience (Walijarvi,et al.2012).

The Values of Bereavement Counseling Groups

Bereavement counseling groups are there to offer an environment that is safe and supportive for those people who are still mourning the passing on of a family member, relative or friend and is where they can give and find both encouragement and support (Corey,et al,2014). The following are the main values of the bereavement counseling groups:

  • Help in overcoming the pain of losing a loved one by being there for the bereaved. The bereaved are able to learn from people who have suffered the same losses and were able to overcome the pain.
  • These groups also provide the bereaved with social contact and this helps in countering the isolation tendency. These groups ensure that their members realize that they are together in the grief journey.
  • They create settings that are supportive and non-judgmental where progress is something that is personal. The mourners are educated using materials that help them understand grief better and practical ideas for assisting them.
  • Another important value is to provide a setting that is emotionally safe for expressing or processing feelings and thoughts. These groups support confidentiality as well as respect for self and others.

The comparison between my group and the support group program examined in Walijarvi, Weiss, and Weinman’s research

In my group, I resolved in using groups where the bereaved could come together and share with each other. This is accordance with the support group program that was examined in the research done by Walijarvi, Weiss and Weinman. Their research found out that the bereaved gained a lot of help from bereavement counseling groups since they were able to express and discuss their grief. Similar to their research, qualitative statements were also provided by the bereaved at the end of the program and many of them valued supporting each other in the group since it was possible for them to openly discuss their feelings and emotions.

Both my group and their research acknowledged the fact that the participants needed to be screened to establish if one was going to gain from the group. In the research, the participants were not screened basing on their level of grief pathology or symptoms. They mostly mainly considered the uniqueness of every grief experience. I my group, the time that had passed since the loss was a major factor in my screening process. Other things that I considered were psychological, emotional, etc. which could hinder the healing process.

Both my group and the research done both acknowledged that there are various ways of processing and dealing with grief, which I integrated into my bereaved counseling group. Basically, both our methodologies reflected on the fact that different people benefit from different things/elements in the program. We (my group and the research) noted that grief theories create models which can generalize grief experiences; personal grief experience is usually nonlinear and idiosyncratic.





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