But there is another problem with all this increasing of treatment for grieving people. A specialty is growing up of practitioners who say they specialize in “grief counseling.” The research has not been kind to some of those “Grief counselors.” Some grief counseling seems to do more harm than good.
Personally I am all for helping people who need help but the idea that we might evolve a sub specialty of counselors who are doing harm not good worries me. Complex grief is not the only area where we have a risk of doing more harm than good.
Some of the treatments for PTSD and other trauma counseling have the potential to make the victim relive the experience… rather than allowing them to heal. The repeated exposure to the trauma may retraumatize the client and (make) them worse.
Is complex different than normal grief?
Should it be a separate diagnosed mental illness or is it a normal human emotion?
This post came out over a year ago. We know now that this writer's prediction did not prevail. He had said, "My guess is that we will not add complex grief as a new disorder." To the contrary, this very month, May, 2013, the new DSM comes out, the "DSM V," and it does indeed add "Complicated Grief" as a "disorder."
Tommy and I, both trained in counseling psychology, and both grieving parents, are concerned with this added "diagnosis" as we know ~as child-loss parents- that what is being termed "Complicated Grief," and added as a diagnostic "disorder," is, in fact, the NORM for Child-Loss Grief and Trauma.
Life-long grief is to be expected and adapted to, and should therefore not be coined as a "disorder," adding to the further pathologizing of Child-Loss Grievers that this culture already tends to do when we are struggling with our very normal grief...
Pictures, thanks to ~The Compassionate Friends of Atlanta Siblings Group