Premier Counseling is dedicated to providing quality mental health services to those in the aging population. The bereavement groups led by Premier Counseling are aimed at restoration-oriented coping which includes the following:
- Distraction from grief
- Focus on new roles/identify/relationships
- Efforts to adapt to changes in life circumstances
While engaging in group sessions with emphasis on the learning of new skills to adjust to change; the bereaved are also given the opportunity to learn new roles and develop new relationships simply by participating in a group with others.
The Premier Counseling Bereavement Group is not a therapy group; although it can and will be therapeutic for the participants. It is distinct from a therapy group as in that it does not focus on the psychological growth of the individual members, as most therapy groups would.
Based upon research and our knowledge of the grief process the Premier Counseling Bereavement Groups will focus on the following:
- Helping individuals move understand and move forward in the grief process by:
- Facilitating their expression of thoughts and feelings
- Helping individuals identify or develop and utilize healthy coping strategies
- Helping individuals with problem-solving around adjustment issues by:
- Providing guidance about decision making
- Addressing social and spiritual concerns
- Assisting individuals to adapt to an environment without the deceased while experiencing a transformed relationship with the deceased
Benefits of the Premier Counseling Bereavement Group include:
- Cost effectiveness
- A safe environment to speak about your loved one and share their story
- A safe place in which to not only express emotion, try out new ideas or ways of behaving
- An opportunity to establish new relationships with peers
- An opportunity to relax and learn that not all grieving has to be painful and sad
Premier Counseling Bereavement Group facilitators are:
- Social workers licensed at the master’s and clinical level
- Knowledgeable of the grief process
- Knowledgeable of the impact of various types of losses on the grief process especially traumatic (homicide, suicide, accident) or grief that is disenfranchised (not acknowledged by society)
- Knowledgeable of group dynamics and how to respond to and manage situations that arise in groups of individuals over time.
- Skilled at listening, communicating, and teaching
- Demonstrate compassion, empathy, respect, and authenticity
- Comfortable with silene and conflict in the group environment
- Knowledgeable of community resources
The Premier Counseling Bereavement Group will have no fewer than 5 participants and no more than 12. The Premier Counseling Bereavement Group is a closed group allowing for more bonding amongst participants. This increases the likelihood of participants building trust and sharing more.
The guidelines of the Premier Counseling Bereavement Group share with each participant include:
- Each person’s grief is unique. While you may share some commonalities in your experiences, no two of you are exactly alike.
Consequently, respect and accept both what you have in common with others and what is unique to each of you.
- Grief is not a disease, and no “quick-fix” exists for what you are feeling. Don’t set a specific timetable for how long it should take you or others to heal.
- Feel free to talk about your grief. If, however, someone in the group decides to listen without sharing, please respect his or her preference.
- There is a difference between actively listening to what another person is saying and expressing your own grief. Make every effort not to interrupt when someone else is speaking.
- Thoughts, feelings and experiences shared in this group will stay in this group. Respect others’ right to confidentiality. Do not use names of fellow participants in discussions outside the group.
- Allow each person equal time to express himself or herself so a few people don’t monopolize the group’s time.
- Attend each group meeting and be on time. If you decide to leave the group before this series is complete, be willing to discuss your decision with the group.
- Avoid “advice giving” unless it is specifically requested by a group member. If advice is not solicited, don’t give it. If a group member poses a question, share ideas that helped you if you experienced a similar situation. Remember that this group is for support, not therapy.
- Recognize that thoughts and feelings are neither right nor wrong. Enter into the thoughts and feelings of other group members without trying to change them.
- Create an atmosphere of willing, invited sharing. If you feel pressured to talk but don’t want to, say so. Your right to quiet contemplation will be respected by the group.
The Bereavement Group is a total of 8 weeks with 1 group meeting per week. The structure is subject to change based on group dynamics.
The Premier Counseling Bereavement Group is open to adults 55 years of age and older.