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Bereavement Counselor

What They Do

Healthcare Social Workers Career Video

Insider Info

Bereavement counselors comfort and support peoples who are grieving the loss of a loved one. This could include people who have lost a spouse, child, parent or friend, or even people who are grieving the death of a favorite pet.

The need for bereavement counseling is growing, thanks to an aging population and the prevalence of diseases like AIDS. Insurance programs are increasingly reluctant to provide coverage for bereavement counseling, however.

In most cases, the individual is required to pay for these services personally. This can create a financial hardship for many, and consequently reduces the amount of work available for bereavement counselors.

There are many volunteer opportunities available in this field, says Alan B. Taplow, a bereavement counselor in Plainfield, Vermont. If you're considering a career in bereavement counseling, he advises that you do some volunteering first to gain experience and see how you like the work.

Although there is no "typical" day for a bereavement counselor, much of their time will be spent communicating with persons who are in pain due to the loss of a loved one. This might take the form of talking one-to-one in person or on the phone, working in groups with a number of people who are in various stages of grief, or using Internet technologies to communicate with clients electronically.

At a Glance

Comfort and support people who are grieving the loss of a loved one

  • It's a good idea to volunteer to see if this career really suits you
  • Most bereavement counselors do other types of counseling, too
  • Skill development workshops are available to those seeking specialized training


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


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