Human Services Guide

Education Requirements for Grief Counseling

The Grief Counselor provides an invaluable service for those who have recently lost a loved one in order to help them cope with the intense emotional agony one experiences when losing someone close to them. This job requires a thorough understanding of human behavior and emotions, a strong ability to create rapport, excellent communication skills and a well-developed sense of compassion. These are all skills that can be honed during the process of earning advanced degrees in behavioral sciences.

It is highly recommended that you begin your education by earning a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following Behavioral Sciences:

  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Human Services
  • Divinity

Once you have developed a baseline understanding of human behavior it is important to continue to add depth to your understanding by earning your Master’s degree in Psychology, Social Work (With a Clinical Social Work concentration), Counseling or Divinity. For many people, having a spiritual understanding as provided by someone who holds a Master’s of Divinity can be extremely comforting when one has recently experience loss. For others, they do not have a spiritual outlook and will prefer a more scientific background such as provided by Psychology. In the end it will be up to you to decide which discipline resonates with you. You will need a Master’s degree in order to gain licensure as a counselor and then will have to undergo a period of supervised clinical experience which will vary from on state to another. It is important that you study your state’s licensure laws to ensure you are able to become licensed and begin practicing as a Grief Counselor.