Lisa and I just returned from the annual meeting of ADEC, the Association for Death Education and Counseling. This was our first time, and we were enormously impressed. ADEC is an international, professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence and recognizing diversity in death education, care of the dying, grief counseling and research in thanatology. Based on quality research, theory and practice, the association provides information, support and resources to its international, multicultural, multidisciplinary membership and to the public.
Most of the presentations we sat in on were done by doctoral-degreed academics from leading universities around the world. The information they presented was empirical, quantitative, and usually published or pending publication in peer-reviewed journals. The attendees broke down into two broad categories; some counseled the dying; others counseled the bereaved. Lisa and I spoke to many of them, and found them to be intelligent, compassionate, and incisive. Many have been certified by ADEC in Thanatology, the scientific study of death and the practices associated with it, including the study of the needs of the terminally ill and their families.
The ADEC thanatologists were happy to welcome us. When we explained AfterTalk, they were intrigued, since many of them suggest therapeutic writing to deceased loved ones in their practice. AfterTalk allows you to share what you have written with only those you select through our Family & Friends utility. This is a great advantage for grief therapists since it allows you to write your communication, then share it directly and privately with your therapist.
In a day-long seminar on Continuing Bonds, which I have discussed in an recent post [click here], it was suggested that in the early stages of what is called ‘complicated grief,’ meaning a level of grieving that is interfering with your daily functioning or causing overwhelming emotional distress, one should try therapeutic writing three times a week at least. That’s where AfterTalk comes in. Remember, it is a free service, and completely private.
I wrote an earlier post on finding professional grief counseling. If you want to find a counselor in your area who is affiliated with ADEC, copy and paste this link into your browser:
If this didn’t work, go to their homepage, www.adec.org, In the left panel click on “For the Public,” then “Find a Specialist.”