North Texas Daily

Grief Support Group creates safe space for discussion and healing

Grief Support Group creates safe space for discussion and healing

Grief Support Group creates safe space for discussion and healing
February 17
23:10 2014

Olivia Sylvain // Intern Writer

The UNT Counseling and Testing Center hopes to create a safe place for students to discuss their grief and how to cope with it during its Grief Support Group.

Counselor Amanda Kenna and psychology doctoral student Kristina Rodriguez are co-leaders of the group, open to all students every Tuesday from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

“Grief is something that a lot of students struggle with but it’s not something that’s talked about,” Kenna said.

The meeting is designed for students who are grieving the death of someone in their life and are encouraged to attend an introductory meeting before joining to decide if the group is the right place for them.

Students interested in the Grief Support Group can call Counseling and Testing Services Monday through Friday to schedule an introductory meeting.

The group will explore the impacts of grief and different ways of coping through unstructured discussion. Each week, Kenna and Rodriguez will present a different topic to talk about to help members move forward in their grieving process. Some of the topics discussed will be physical, emotional, mental and spiritual reactions to grief.

“A lot of people are trying to get back to ‘normal’ but things are never going to be normal again,” Rodriguez said. “They have to find a new normal.”

Kenna and Rodriguez agreed grief is a process that differs among people, so there is no system that can determine someone’s progress.

“People really have to gauge internally,” Kenna said. “They have to learn to cope because there’s not a point where you wake up and you’re over it.”

Many people have misconceptions about grief and what it is like to go through it. Those struggling with grief may take a long time to finally seek help, Rodriguez said.

“People may think you go through the five stages in order, but most days you’ll be going back and forth,” Rodriguez said. “It doesn’t take a certain time. It differs, and it can be a very individual experience.”

Kenna and Rodriguez encourage all students struggling with any emotional or mental stress to seek help at the center.

“A lot of people have this idea that counseling is for ‘crazy’ people,” Rodriguez said. “But you don’t have to have something deeply wrong with you to come talk to someone.”

Counseling and Testing Services is a resource for all UNT students located in Chestnut Hall 311.

Feature photo: The Health and Wellness Center on Chestnut Street on UNT campus. Ntdaily file photo

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