Since death studies and death education are unusual subjects, we often get a lot of questions about what we do, what we teach, and if we do any counselling work. Here is where you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions of our CEDAR instructors, and if you would like to submit a question of your own please contact us with the subject line: FAQ. When we get a number of the same question coming up, we will answer it here. Unfortunately, we would not be able to answer all of the questions submitted, but we will do our best to inform you of upcoming classes that might help.
There is a world of difference between the two areas of study. Grief and bereavement counselling is approached through the lens of psychology, psychiatry, and counselling one-to-one. Bereavement counselling is therapeutic and is a confidential and private space where someone who has been bereaved can express emotions and talk through their thoughts and experiences of loss and understand about how grief may be affecting them and how to cope. It is provided by trained counsellors or volunteers who have received training from an organisation such as Cruse who provide support services specifically for bereavement.
Death Education is learning about different aspects of death, it may be taught in a group and classroom setting, its focus is on learning rather than therapeutic support. It looks at death in a more universal and general way. Although it may include information about grief it does not provide confidential one to one support in the way counselling will. Death education classes and courses are always taught in groups, with an interactive element that enhances the learning process. For information on what you might learn in a CEDAR course, please go to our Education section.
Children’s understanding of death can vary significantly depending on the support surrounding the child, the openness of the adults around the child to talk about death in healthy ways, any learning disabilities of the child, and the support a child may get in the educational system. However, reading stories to children of all ages is a great way to prepare a child and help them to understand and ask questions. On our Book Review pages we have a section specifically for children with age-appropriate stories.
All children are individual and grow and develop at different rates and in different ways. Children will generally understand about death at different development levels. The environment a child is in, and the people available to support them is important to consider, and the context of the bereavement.
It is important to be honest with children, in a compassionate way that is at their level of comprehension. A good guide to this can be found on the information sheet provided by Child Bereavement UK
This may be different according to the context you are in and the relationship you have with the person. To ask sensitively if they have any spiritual beliefs is OK, with a respect of whatever their answer and with regard that they may hold different views from your own. Some people may welcome the opportunity to talk about their beliefs, others may hold no spiritual beliefs and others feel their beliefs are private matters. So really it is about sensitivity and respect and being guided by what they wish to say.
New guidelines on End of Life Care now recommend asking a dying person about their spiritual beliefs. When done sensitively it can open the door to providing the best possible care for a person at end of life and addressing their needs appropriately.
CEDAR Education does not provide grief / bereavement counselling services – see our useful links under Resources if you would like more information on where to find a counselling service or visit the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to find a therapist.http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/therapists
Yes, the link takes you to the book on your Amazon pages so you buy as usual but Amazon makes a small donation to Cedar for the introduction to the book.