Choosing a Grief Center

Researching and selecting the right grief center after the loss of a loved one can be a difficult and frustrating process. There are many considerations to make when searching for a grief center, including location, the type of loss and age groups, among others. Searching through directories and resources online without a base knowledge on grief and bereavement centers can be a challenging task.

Understanding Grief and Coping

In many instances, grief tests the limits of our emotions, generating an incredible amount of stress. It is natural to struggle with grief and it is healthy to acknowledge these emotions to begin the process towards healing. The more that is understood about grief and its effects, the better equipped a person will be to cope with loss.

It is important to note that there are no timelines for the coping process. The intensity and length of the grief will depend upon the relationship to the deceased and the circumstances surrounding the loss.

There are no right or wrong ways to grieve; every grieving process will be unique to each individual. Although there is no one way to grieve, it is important to know that there are healthy ways to acknowledge and cope. At times, assistance from a professional or a peer group may be exactly what is needed to understand the grieving process and to move towards healing.

What are Grief Centers?

Grief and bereavement centers, as well as grief camps for children, provide helpful resources for those who may be struggling with the death of a loved one. Professional grief assistance can be beneficial for those who are experiencing great difficulty moving beyond their grief, as well as for those who are simply seeking small amounts of guidance.  An experienced therapist can help with intense emotions, helping individuals to overcome any obstacles they may be facing. Grief therapy can be either a long-term, or short-term commitment; the length of the commitment is dependent on the preferences of the person, as well as the intensity of their grief.

Choosing a Grief Center

Since the grieving process is unique to each individual, finding the right grief center can be a difficult process. It is possible to find grief centers and camps focused on a specific type of loss, such as the loss of a parent or a spouse. Group therapy and individualized counseling can both generally be found, with each having its own benefits depending on the preferences of the individual.

With the Grief Center Directory, families can search for qualified grief centers and camps by location. Search through these hand-selected grief centers to find one that is best fitted for specific needs.

A Few Considerations

Below you will find six key considerations to make when searching for and selecting the right grief center:

  1. Location. Generally, the first step when choosing a grief center is deciding what the most convenient location would be for the center. This will narrow the search. Many will choose to visit a grief center near home, but it is not uncommon to select a grief center that is out of the region. A distant location may be appropriate if the grieving individual would like to handle their bereavement outside of their current environment. For example, there are many grief camps for children located throughout the United States and it can be an appropriate option for families to decide that sending their child to a comforting environment specifically designed for grieving children is the right path for them.    
  3. Group or Individual Therapy. Many grief centers offer both one-on-one counseling, as well as group therapy. It is important to decide which of these two settings best fits the individual needs of the mourner. Some may benefit more from direct counseling with a grief professional, while others may find more comfort in attending therapy sessions with their peers, where they will spend time with individuals who may have experienced the same types of loss.    
  5. Age Appropriateness. While conducting a search for a grief center or camp for a child or teenager, it may be best to narrow the search to those that are specific to their respective age groups. Depending on the age of the child, it may also be helpful to discuss these options with them.  It can be healthy for children and teenagers to feel some control after a difficult loss, so consulting them before making a decision may be helpful. Teenagers and children may grieve in completely separate ways from each other, so it is important to consider the age. Many grief camps have strict age groupings, so it is key to look out for this information when conducting a search.    
  7. Type of Loss. Beyond deciding whether or not to attend group or individual therapy sessions, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right program specific to the type of loss.  Many programs may be structured to accommodate mourners suffering a specific type of loss. For example, programs can be found that are designed for the loss of a spouse, or the loss of a sibling or of a child.    
  9. Faith. If religion plays a big role in the life of the mourner, it is often recommended to take faith into consideration when searching for a grief center. Depending on affiliation and/or membership, contacting a local church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship may be helpful; many will have resources available for mourners and some may have their own grief and guidance programs.    
  11. Level of Grief. It is not uncommon for mourners to avoid facing painful emotions. Whether or not the bereaved sees themselves as someone who needs or seeks therapy, it may still be beneficial. This is true especially if the grief is severe and transitioning into a persistent depression. Mourners should consider seeking help if they are having constant feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.


Grief Center Directory

Finding the right grief or bereavement center, or a grief camp for your child, after the loss of a loved one can be a sensitive and overwhelming process. Visit our grief center directory to view qualified resources in your area.

View our Grief Center Directory