Center for Grief and Loss

grief-loss-banner

The Center for Grief and Loss is dedicated to providing free, accessible, and cultural responsive bereavement services and resources to children, adolescents, adults, and schools in our community. We strive to provide high quality services across the lifespan that are developmentally appropriate. Our counselors understand the various aspects of the grieving process and will support you in your healing journey.

Our Services

As part of the Community Counseling Training Center, our services are facilitated by advanced level master's and doctoral students who are supervised by licensed faculty members, as well as faculty members. Our counselors provide a variety of developmental lifespan services, including play therapy, individual counseling and group counseling. 

Everyone experiences grief and loss, even a child. As early as three years old, children can grieve and mourn a loss. While children do experience a similar grief response as adults, they have a more difficult time coping with and learning about these emotions and thoughts. Children may struggle to understand the concept of death, separation and their feelings about the loss. Nonetheless, children are unique, resilient and harness an amazing ability to learn and grow.

How We Can Help

To support the unique nature of each child, we utilize a play therapy approach. Since children are developing their language capabilities, they communicate through play. It is how they are able to express themselves. When a child grieves and mourns, play therapy can help them to cope through play. We offer play therapy through individual sessions as well as in small group settings.

When adolescents experience a loss, their grief response is influenced by their developing minds and bodies. Their new abstract thinking allows them to understand the nature of death, but they may struggle with making meaning from the loss. Adolescents also have a tendency to hide their thoughts and feelings from others. Their growing identities and desire to fit in amongst their peers can perpetuate this behavior. This tendency can make it difficult for adolescents to seek help, cope and express how they feel about the loss.

How We Can Help

To support adolescents and help them navigate through these changes, we utilize experiential and expressive arts groups. Peer interaction is crucial for adolescent development. As a result, they experience greater therapeutic benefits when they are in a group. Additionally, symbolic activities, like music, art and writing, can help adolescents to better express and feel comfortable with sharing their thoughts and feelings.

Grieving and mourning a loss is a normal part of life that everyone experiences in their own way. Within this grieving process, there are a wide range of feelings and behaviors that can accompany the loss. Some of these may include sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, helplessness, shock, and more. Thoughts of disbelief and confusion, as well as sleep difficulties, changes in appetite, and social withdrawal can be experienced.

How We Can Help

To support the grieving and mourning process of college students and adults, we utilize experiential and expressive arts groups and talk therapy. Our experiential and expressive arts groups offer individuals an opportunity to connect with others through their shared experiences. The groups may also include symbolic activities that can help with coping and self-expression. Individual counseling can also be provided through talk therapy.

Contact Us

The Community Counseling Training Center
Graham Hall 416
290 North Annie Glidden Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-9312
cahc_cctc@niu.edu

Request Our Services