Grief counseling is a mental health intervention for individuals, couples, or families who are exhibiting significant symptoms after the death or loss of someone or something that is important to them. These symptoms can be emotional, behavioral, physical, medical, spiritual, and relational. While the majority of people will never need or seek grief counseling after the loss of a loved one, those who do may find significant relief from symptoms and a quicker return to normal functioning. This entry first discusses theories of grief and grief counseling, the symptoms of grief, and the differences between normative and nonnormative grief. It then discusses the assessment of grief and interventions used in grief counseling.

Theories of Grief and Grief Counseling

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five-stage model of grief, outlined in ...

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