What Are the Different Types of Bereavement Support?

In some cases, bereavement and grief therapy is part of a broader treatment plan.
Bereavement after the death of a loved one can take a significant time to process.
Every individual grieves differently and for different lengths of time.
People who are coping with grief often have feelings of isolation and guilt that may be helped by a bereavement support group.
Religious leaders may provide bereavement counseling.
Friends can be a good source of bereavement support.
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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 March 2015
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There are many different types of bereavement support available, and some people may find certain types more effective than others. For example, religious bereavement support is usually most appropriate for members of a certain religion, and psychotherapy may be better for people who do not like support groups. In addition to types of help someone must travel to, there is also support in the form of books and other informational materials. Support may be targeted to different age groups or may focus on the relationship to the person lost, such as groups for mourning parents.

One of the most common types of bereavement support takes the form of a discussion group, sometimes called a support group, in which members attend meetings and talk about feelings related to grief as well as difficult events that have happened. Typically, this type of group is focused on a specific type of loss, but there are more general groups as well. In order for this type of support to be effective, a person must be willing to share feelings with strangers. People who are particularly shy or quiet may not find this type of support effective.


Therapy is another type of bereavement support, and this can be the best solution for people who require individual help dealing with grief. A therapist can provide advise about how to think about the situation and can help reorder thoughts in order to better cope with the problem. Sometimes this option is too expensive, but many people find that having a person to talk to who will listen unconditionally is worth any price.

Sources of help with grief can also be found from religious organizations. Many people seek out support from religious officials or may consult with a spiritual guide. In some cases, meditating on the reasons a person is grieving as well as on the individual who has been lost can provide relief. Most of the time, this type of bereavement support is more effective if the individual in question is already a practitioner of the faith providing the support.

One type of bereavement support commonly forgotten is that available from a person's friends and families. A group of people who are grieving together over the loss of a loved one can be the strongest type of support available, particularly if that group is closely related and shares a common understanding of death. Not all types of support are formal, and simply finding other people who are similarly bereaved can be the best way to feel less alone when coping with death.



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