ERIC Number: EJ789438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 26
Designing and Conducting Grief Workshops for College Students
Vickio, Craig J.
New Directions for Student Services, n121 p41-50 Spr 2008
If colleges and universities are truly committed to promoting the well-being of their students and fostering their academic success, they must attend to the needs of grieving students. One way to do this is to invite students to use the university's counseling services following the death of a loved one. However, although grief counseling can be of benefit to bereaved students, many students might not perceive their grief as a mental health issue and might therefore be disinclined to seek counseling. As an alternative to counseling, some bereaved students might benefit from participating in structured grief support groups. Such groups can, however, require a substantial commitment of time from group leaders as well as members; furthermore, some students might feel stigmatized by participating in a support group. The purpose of this article is to propose a third alternative for assisting bereaved college students: psychoeducational workshops. Psychoeducational workshops are relatively unlikely to evoke student concerns regarding stigmatization, since workshops are offered in college settings so frequently. Whereas traditional mental health interventions are aimed at providing therapeutic treatment, psychoeducational workshops tend to be more didactic in their focus. This article furnishes campus professionals with practical guidelines for conducting grief workshops. After addressing how to plan a grief workshop, the author presents an overview of potential risks associated with conducting grief workshops and cites key recommendations for mitigating such risks and enhancing a workshop's utility. The article concludes with a discussion of content areas that might be covered in a grief workshop.
Descriptors: Counseling Services, College Students, Social Support Groups, Grief, Mental Health, Death, Workshops, Guidelines, Program Design, Program Development, Student Needs, School Counseling, Counseling Techniques, Group Counseling, Psychoeducational Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A