a lisenced individual by the state to prepare dead human remains other than embalming for intermit or other means of disposition the person who conducts funeral service and counsils with survivors
one engaged in one of the learned professions & conforming to the techincal or epical standards of the profession or vocation
one who takes care of or is concerend about someone or something
funeral director buys and sells merchandise and maintain facilities for the use of clients he or she must make a profit to remain with business
treating your clients as you wish to be treated (golden rule)
the ability to protect yourself into the same situation as your clients. The capacity to understand the subjective world of the client, enter into & sharing the feelings of others sensitivity to others emotions
recognize their right to choose alternatives & makes decisions
warmth & caring
ability to be considerate and friendly in verbal & non verbal behaviors
the ability to present one's self sincere
- a. not high, then low, happy then sad
- b. he/she does not be angy easily
- c. one not marked by excessive sensitivity and impulsiveness, mood swings, not high strung, excitable or unpredictable
not two faced; believe in what you say honesty of the mind & freedom from hipocrisy
dress, demeanor and manner of conversation. the way you prsent yourself. stat of being worthy, honored or estemed
tell the truth, free from deception, marked by integrity
- a keen sense of knowing what to say in order to maintain good relations with others and avoid offense
- 1. questions concerning embalming
- 2. what did deceased die from?
- 3. was deaceaed with another woman?
whole man total funeral concept
after reciving the death call, one licensee, the funeral director who may be the owner or manager or one his/her staff would hav the responsiblity to follow though with all the service details with the family
owner-manager technician concept
after reciving the death call, the same license would not be involved in all facets of the funeral details. rather there will be one or more persons with specialized knowledge or skill who will perform their tasks.
definitions of counseling:
- 1. advice that is given as a result of consultation (webster)
- 2. anytime someone helps someone else with a problem (edgar jackson)
- 3. good communication within & between men good (free) communication within or between men is always therapeutic (carl rogers)
- 4. counseling is helping relationship in which one party seeks to facilitate the development of informed choices and meaninful ations at a critical time withing the contest of another's life (freahling)
- 5. couseling is a theraputic experience for reasonably healthy persons. do not cofuse this with psychotherepy which is a treatment for emotionally disturbed persons, who are referred for assistance with pathological problems. a couselor's clients are encouraged to seek assistance before they develop serious neurotic, psychotic or characterological disorders (oshlsen)
study of human behavior
Funeral service psychology
study of human behavior as it relates to funeral services
the experience of the last emotion grief
a process (adjustment) takes place over a period of time; helps in reorganization of life
an emotion due to loss (death, relationships, marriage, job)
study of death
fear of death
direction of funeral director's professional responsibilities
- 1. clients (family)
- 2. community of public
- 3. professional associates
Purpose & values of the funeral rites
- 2. to show respect for the family, friends and the deceased
- 5. to gain emotional support through sharing. "joy expressed is joy increased, grief shared is grief diminished."
- 6. meets the needs theologically, psychologically and socially of those who mourn
- 8. providing a dramatic presentation of the fact that a life has been lived by reflecting upon memories of the deceased
types of couseling
styles of couseling
- non-directive/client centered/rogerian (carl rogers)-
- a. enhance the person's capacity for social functioning.
- 1. alter the person's feelings through increased self-awareness
- 2. be sensitive, listen and observe
- b. establish rapport with client
- c. assist the person to gain new perspectives
- d. appraise the client's problem
- e. perceive the client's situation in serveral ways and communicate these to the client
- f. encourage realistic appraisal by client
- g. encourage conversational flow by avoiding questions that can be answered by yes or no
- h. accept the client's first statement to be either true or complete
- i. do not assume the client's first statement to be either true or complete
- j. judge the ability of the client to verbalize
- k. reflect the client's feelings back to him
- l. allow the client to summarize the interview
- m. respect the confidential nauture of the the subject matter
- n. write comprehensive notes upon conclusion of the interview
- pre-need or informational counseling-the counseling before the death occurs, designed to create a more meaningful & personal funeral service
- at-need counseling-death has occured; counseling with family as they select services & merchandise for funeral
- post-funeral or post-need counseling-counselin after the funeral
- grief counseling-this aspect of counseling inovolves helping people with uncomplicated grief to a healthy completion of the grieving within a reasonable length of time.
- grief therapy-specialized techniques which are used to help people with complicated grief reactions
Goals of Grief Counseling- William Worden
- 1. to increase the reality of the loss
- 2. to help the counselee deal with both expressed and talent affect
- 3. to help the counselee overcome various interferences to readjust after the loss
- 4. to encourage the counselee to make a healthy emotional withdrawal from the deceased & to feel comfortable re-inventing that emotion in another relationship
- * overall goal is to help survivors complete any unfinished business w/ the deceased & to be able to say a final goodbye
- * grief therepy has to do w/ those specialized techniques used to help w/ abnormal or complicated grief.
Counseling principles & procedures
- 1. help the survivor actualize the loss
- 2. help survivor to identify & express feelings
- 3. assist living without the deceased
- 4. facilitate emotional withdrawal
- 5. provide time to grieve
- 6. recognize "normal" behavior
- 7. allow for individual differences
- 8. provide continuing support
- 9. examine defense mechanisms and coping styles
Funeral Directors facilitate grief by
- *fulfilling their responsiblity in counseling during the entire service
- * following up with "post funeral" counseling
- * providing contacts for the family with other support groups
- * providing a service in teaching people about grief & healthy grieving by sponsoring & presenting educational programs in the community
The Effective Counselor
- *counselors must be skilled, knowledgeable & understanding of the special field as well as in the use of techniques & procedures in counseling. they must also be commited to continue improvement in any of these areas.
- * counselors should inspire feelings of trust, credibility & confidence from the people they are trying to help
- * effective counselors communicate caring respect for those persons they are trying to help
- * effective counselors are able to "reach out" to their families. They do a lot of thinking about their actions, feelings, values, commitments & motiviations.
- * effective counselors attempt to understand the behavior of the people they are trying to help without imposing value judgements
- *effective counselors are authentic, real, sincere, & honest. They listen with understanding of details & feelings
- *effective counselors are capable of putting themselves into the other person's situation without allowing their personal feelings about the situation influence the counsel.
- * Effective counselors like & respect themselves & do not use the people they are trying to help to satisfy their own needs
- * Effective counselors are "alive" & are commited to living life rather than settling for a mere existence
Barriers to Effective Communication- wolfelt
- A critical component of enhancing funeral director helping skills is an increased awareness of potential destructive communication patterns.
- A. Funeral Director Dominance
- B. Bombarding with questions
- C. Inappropriate self-disclosure
- D. Offering platitudes or false reassurance
- E. Discouraging the expression of emotions & tears
- F. Emotional Distancing
funeral director dominance (wolfelt)
dominating interaction between another person can be described as; general sense of impatience changing the subject, attempting to persuede or coerce & lecturing & preaching
bombarding with questions
- this communicates that the funeral director is intereseted in facts only, not feelings.
- There are times when you must ask a series of questions. ask open ended questions & allow person to speak freely.
focusing too much on self
- a sense of personal aloofness & distance
- avoiding discussion of painful issues
"what you should do is", dictorial impressions conveyed to counselee
"did you?" "why did he?"
"there is no reason to be upset"
example emotional distance
failure to establish empathy
example of inappropriate self-disclosure
failure to give full attention to statements of counselee
Understanding the helping process (Wolfelt)
- The relationship begins with the inital contact.
- *major goals is an open & trusting relationship between the helping funeral director & client be developed.
- *development begins with initial contact w/ the bereaved family. As soon as communication is established, the relationship can develop.
- *people in crisis are open to a helping relationship with persons who have the knowledge and ability to help them.
Phases in the helping relationship:
- 1. entering into the helping relationship. family phones funeral home & informs you of death. ask for assistance
- 2. building a helping relationship; you respond by showing a willingness to assist the family offer counsel on what needs to be done now. Respond with concern
- 3. exploration & assistance in helping the family understand their alternatives. you listen & explore with family the variety of alternatives avalible to them in regards to the funeral. Gather facts, explore feelings & see mutual readings.
- 4. Consolidation & planning. Assit family in coming to a decision about the funeral that best meets their needs. Develop a specific action plan desgined to meet their emotional needs at the time.
- 5. Implementaion & action. conduct funeral that follows the planning model developed with the family.
- 6. conclusion of the funeral process. assist family w/ a sense of closure upon completion of funeral. for ex, join in fellowship that often occurs followingg the funeral service.
- 7. post funeral service follow-up. have a structure program to offer additional assistance to family
Developing Interpersonal Skills for Successful Funeral Service Practice
- it is important to learn what it means to transcend the skill & develop the "art of helping"
- helping is a demanding interpersonal experience that requires energy, focus, & a desire to understand, not only other people, but oneself.
phases of accuring new interpersonal skills:
- 1. initial learning
- 2. uncomfortable use
- 3. consciously skilled
- 4. naturally skilled
- involves learning that some skills are avaliable to you that you may have known about. this may result in combination of excitement about learning something new & some fear about the acqusition process.
- * with appropriate training & practice you can acquire the ability to communicate even more effectively.
in this phase you have increased your awarness of some new ways of communication but probably experience some difficulty in using the new skills. you may feel mechanical & like this really isn't you speaking or listening. you dont feel spontaneous because you have to think very carefully as you attempt to use any new skills.
in this phase you begin to use the skill more effectively; however, you continue to be self-conscious as you use them. you are getting better at using the skills, but they still feel somewhat mechanical. you begin to use language that is natural to who you are.
this phase occures only after you have completed the training & practiced the skills extensively. you must use the skills on a daily basis over an extended period of the time to get to this level of skill.
Essentials Skills for the Successful Funeral Director
- Attending or Listening
- Perception Checking
- Reflecting Feelings
Attending or listening
giving undivided attention y means f verbal/nonverbal behavior
expressing a thought or idea in an alternative & sometimes shortened form
process of bringing vague content into clearer focus or understanding
asks for feedback about accuracy of your listening
anticipating where the person is going and responding with an appropriately encouraging remark, think ahead of the person
method of gaining information & increasing understanding
funeal director expresses the essential feelings that have been expressed by the person
sharing of facts possed by the funeral director. providing information that will allow the person to make an inform decision.
mehod of tying together several ideas and feelings at the end of a period of discussion or arrangement conference. A brief review of points covered in a portion of the counseling session or summary at the close of the session.
Funeral Director's Own Grief-Worden
- grief counseling presents a special challenge to the funeral director. most of us go into the profession in order to benefit the people who come to us for help, but something about the experience of grief that affect the ability to help.
- loss of a loved person is one of the most intensely painful experiences any human being can suffer, no only is it painful to experience but to witness, because your in a state of helplessness. the experience of grief makes it difficult for us to be or feel helpful to the person experiencing bereavement, the counselor can feel frustration & anger. It's a challenge to be helpful, the experience of bereavement in others also touches the counselor personally.
(Funeral director's Own Grief (Worden)
the counselors personal ways of dealing
- working with the bereaved makes funeral director aware of their own losses.
- *Particularly true if the loss experienced by the bereaved is similar to losses that we have sustained in our lives. If the loss is not adequately resolved in the counselor's life, it can be an impediment to a meaningful & helpful intervention. However, if the counselor has moved through his or her own bereavement & found resolution at the other side of the loss, this can be useful & helpful in the counseling intervention.
(Funeral director's Own Grief (Worden)
the counselors personal ways of dealing #2
- Working with the bereaved makes funeral director aware of their own feared loss.
- *all of us who work in this area have sustained various losses in our lifetimes, but we also come to the counseling situation with apprehension over pending losses-for example, our parents, our children, our partners. Usually this apprehension is at a low level of awareness. If the loss is our client is experiencing is similar to the one we most fear, our apprehension can get in the way of an effective counseling relationship.
(Funeral director's Own Grief (Worden)
the counselors personal ways of dealing #3
- working with bereaved makes funeral director aware of their own anxiety & personal death awarness
- *Especially difficult when the person who's being grieved is similar to the counselor in terms of age, sex, or professional status, all of which can greatly increase the anxiety of the counselor. All of us are anxious to one degree or another about our own mortality, but it is possible to come to terms with this reality & not have it as closet issue, making us uncomfortable & hindering our effectiveness.
(Funeral director's Own Grief (Worden)
the counselors personal ways of dealing #4
- funeral directors are encouraged to explore their on history of losses
- *reinforces funeral director's understanding of mourning process
- *exploring personal history losses provides funeral director wih an awareness of resources available t the bereaved
- *counselor can identify any irresolution that is still present from prior lossses
- * lookking at one's own grief can help funeral director to be aware of his or her limitations in working with different kinds of clients & grief situations
Occupations by the type of service they provide, and their stressors:
- human services
Characteristics of stress & burnout
- 1. Exhaustion & loss of energy
- 2. Irritability & Impatience
- 3. Cynicism & detachment
- 4. Physical Complaints & depression
- 5. Disorientation & confusion
- 6. (omnipotnece)- you think you can do better & feelings indispensable
- 7. Minimization & denial of feelings
(Characteristics of Stress & Burnout)
Guiedlines for caring for the Caregiver/Solutions to burnout:
- 1. recognize that you are working in an area of care where the risk of burnout is high
- 2. create periods of rest & renewal
- 3. be compassionate with yourself about not being perfect
- 4. practice setting limits and alleviate stresses you can't do anything about
- 5. Learn effective time-mangement skills
- 6. Work to cultivate a personal support system
- 7. Express the personal you in both work & play
- 8. Work to understand your motivation to work in funeral service.
- 9. Develop healthy eating, sleeping & exercise patterns
- 10. Strive to identify the unique ways in which your body informs you that you are stressed
Qualities and characteristics of a crisis:
- a period of heightened psychological accessibility; a highly emotional state in which an individual's feelings or anxiety, grief, confusion or pain impair his/her
- is usually stimulated by an outside precipitator or emotionally hazardous situation.
Crisis Intervention Counseling
- Crisis is crucial time a turning point in the course of anything-Webster
- the term for an individual's internal reaction to an external hazard. involving temporary loss of coping abilities, implied assumption being that the emotional dysfunction is reversivle-Howard Stone
potential crisis defined
While every death creates a crisis for the survivors, some circumstances may heighten the need for crisis intervention counseling.
Potential Crises examples:
- A.I.D.S- Acquired Immune Dificiency Syndrome
- S.I.D.S.-Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Crib Death- the sudden & unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, which remains unexplained after a complete autopsy & review of the circumstances around the death
Grieving challenges that must be considered for each of the potential crises:
- 1. Cause
- 2. Investigation & Interrogation
- 3. Severity of Loss
- 4. Relational problems (family, marriage, siblings, & significant others)
The ABC Method of Crisis Intervention (Stone)
- B. Boiling down the problem to its essentials
- C. coping with the problem
ABC Method of Crisis Interventions (Stone)
- 1. Achieving contract or establishing a counseling relationship with the person in crisis; establish rapport
- 2. a relationship of trust & empathy is no less important in crisis intervention than in an other form of counseling.
- *Attending behavior
- * listening
- *Important to be non-judgmental in the early stages of developing a relationship
ABC Method of Crisis Interventions (Stone)
boiling down the problem to its essentials
- 1. Responding is one of the basic dimensions of all human interchange; communication, verbal or non-verbal is not complete until there is a response
- 2. once youve determined how a person really feels, if its important to communicate your understanding of the feelings.
- 3. Focusing- centering a client's thinking on cause of the problem.
- a. filtering out irrelevant data
- b. if th crisis can be defined clearly and the nature of the threat to the person clarified, the solution can be created or may emerge spontaneously out of the individual's own thinking
- * counselor must be aware of the precipitating event for the crisis
- * the threat to (possibly loss of) a relationship of soical role preceived by the person as significant
- *must know the individual's coping methods & resources
- * counselor must learn any new factors or conditions which may invalidate his or her traditional methods of coping
- 4. Once the situation is accurately assessed, the counselor must portray this assessment to the person as simply & directly as possible,communicating the essence of the problem
- *focusing on the problem's components helps direct the person toward a solution; helps the person pull out of the tailspin
ABC Method of Crisis Interventions (Stone)
Coping with the problem
1. Establishment of goals
- 2. inventory of resources
- 3. formulation of alternatives
- 4. review & refinement
- 5. action
- * follow-up of the counseling process
- * re-affirms your caring
- * provides opportunity to deal with residue from the crisis
- *phone contact
- * personal contact- home visits
- *letter/cards-bereavement program
- * literature (pamphlets, books, audio-visuals)
- *community educational programs
- * professional after-care programs
- *referrals to support groups or professional therapist (e.g. life after loss-American Cancer Society)
At Need Counseling
A death has occured & the funeral director is counseling with the family as they select the services & items of merchandise in completing arrangements for the funeral service of their choice.