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Grief Support Resources

These resources were compiled by ​​The Social Justice in Counseling Psychology Class at the University of Memphis Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program: Gabe Alfaro, Kaylee Cook, Mary Dillon, Jade Horton, Andrew Milowsky, Justine Piontek, and Dr. Madeline Brodt

 

What is grief?

Grief is a natural, unavoidable part of life. In other words, everyone will experience grief several times throughout their life. Grief occurs when something, or someone, is not with you anymore. Common subjects of grief include loss of a loved one, loss of a pet, life-stage changes (e.g., becoming an empty nester).

 

There is no right way to grieve. However, there are common experiences with grief, including:

  • Sadness

  • Tearfulness

  • Agitation

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Loss of appetite

  • Decreased enjoyment with things/activities one used to enjoy

  • Decreased motivation

 

It is natural to feel sad and miss something, or someone, that used to be in your life but is not anymore, so these experiences are normal. However, sometimes it is more difficult to overcome that loss and you may experience grief for a longer time than usual and/or intense grief that interferes with your daily life. These are signs that it might be time to reach out for help related to grief.

What is grief counseling?

When we experience grief and loss, sometimes we can process it on our own or with the support of loved ones. Other times, however, it may be challenging to fully work with our grief without the support of professionals. Prolonged grief may make it difficult to live life as fully as possible.

 

Grief counseling exists to provide a space to sort out one’s thoughts and feelings about their grief. Therapists will typically explore what you feel most stuck on, then work with you using one or more of several therapeutic strategies.

These may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, where you work together to identify and challenge negative thought patterns, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, where your values and being present in each moment are prioritized.

 

More abstract therapies may include existentialist work, or exploring what death, life, and uncertainty means to you in the wake of loss.

 

Because everyone reacts to grief and loss in different ways, it is important to choose a therapist and style of therapy that matches you.

 

How do I start counseling?

One of the broadest places to start would be online, especially sites like Psychology Today, to find a therapist in your area. www.psychologytoday.com. Grief counseling is a specialty some will list in their profiles.

 

You can do grief counseling in individual counseling or in a group format. Grief group counseling can also be found on the Psychology Today website. They may be virtual or in person. For a list of grief groups in Memphis, look here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/groups/tn/memphis?category=grief
 

Nationally, several organizations exist that could help find care. Two have hotlines you can contact for help with referrals.

 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://www.nami.org/help

 

Identity or situation-specific hotlines are also available:

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: https://www.rainn.org

 

The Trevor Project, focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth: https://www.thetrevorproject.org

 

Hospitals or other local healthcare agencies may have dedicated grief groups in their local branches. One such agency in Memphis is The Baptist Memorial Health Centers for Good Grief: https://baptistgriefcenters.org

 

Friends and family may have suggestions as well, or local faith leaders may know more.


 

LOCAL GRIEF COUNSELING SUPPORT

 

GriefShare Support Groups

Many Christian churches host GriefShare, a support group for those in the grieving process. Groups cost anywhere from a waived fee to $20. Find a location for a GriefShare group near you at https://www.griefshare.org. Some active groups are listed below.

 

Longview Community Holiness Church

1905 S. Lauderdale St, Memphis

Meets: Tuesdays, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, in-person and Zoom

Contact: LaQuinda Shotwell, 901-859-8971

Fee: $20

 

Breath of Life Christian Center

3795 Frayser-Raleigh Rd., Memphis, TN

Meets: Saturdays, 11:00am – 1:00pm, in-person

Contact: Reginald Harris, 901-496-7653

Fee: Scholarships available

 

Getwell Church

7875 Getwell Rd., Southaven, MS

Meets: Tuesdays, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, in-person

Contact: Dianne Williamson, 662-349-3680

Fee: $20

 

Baptist Memorial Health Centers for Good Grief

https://baptistgriefcenters.org

Contact: 901-861-5656

baptistgoodgrief@bmhcc.org

 

Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief & Dorothy’s Cottage are on the campus of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Collierville. Services include Individual grief counseling for children, teens and adults, support groups, Camp Good Grief for children 6-12, Teen Camp Good Grief teens 13-17 and grief workshops.

1520 W. Poplar Ave., Collierville, TN

 

Mila’s House & Elle’s Garden is located on the campus of the Junior League of Memphis in Midtown. Services include Individual grief counseling for children, teens and adults, support groups, Camp Good Grief for children 6-12, Teen Camp Good Grief teens 13-17 and grief workshops.

326 Ellsworth, Memphis, TN

 

NEA Baptist Center for Good Grief is located in Jonesboro, Arkansas and is an expansion of the Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief. 

1717 Executive Square, Jonesboro, AR

Contact: 870-936-7719

centerforgoodgrief@neabc.com

 

The Compassionate Friends is for those recovering from the death of a child.

The Compassionate Friends of Memphis conducts its monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at Hope Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road in Memphis

Park near Entrance One and enter glass doors. Proceed up the stairs to the right to Room 224 in the inner hallway.

Contact: Gwen (901) 315-1526 or Betsy (901) 826-8750 info@compassionatefriendsmemphis.org

http://www.compassionatefriendsmemphis.org

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