Grief and Loss Resources

Grief is a natural reaction to loss or change.

Grief is most commonly discussed in relation to the death of a loved one, however grief can be experienced following any major change. 

ACA offers the following resources for counselors and the public to aid in the processing of grief and loss.

Practice Briefs & Other Resources

Practice Briefs

The ACA Center for Counseling Practice, Policy and Research offers Practice Briefs for ACA members. Practice Briefs, written by scholars in the counseling profession, are research-based summaries of best practices, evidence-based practices and research-based approaches covering a wide variety of client-presenting issues and counseling topics. Each Practice Brief is several pages in length, includes references and has been peer-reviewed by two co-editors before being accepted for publication. The Practice Briefs, which are available to ACA members only, include: 

Online Courses

Complicated Grief: An Evolving Theoretical Landscape
Speakers: Laurie A. Burke, A. Elizabeth Crunk MS, E. H. Mike Robinson III

Identifying and Addressing Grief and Loss Issues in a Person with Aphasia: A Single Case Study
Speakers: Elizabeth A. Dougherty Horn PhD, Judith A. Crews, Beth Guryan, Bessie M. Katsilometes

When Grief Becomes Complicated
Speaker: Antonietta Corvasce

Thinking Differently About Loss and Grief in the 21st Century
Speaker: Keren Humphrey

Other ACA Resources 

Good Grief (10 card sets available) by Bradley Erford
Most children go through difficult times at some point in their lives such as the divorce of their parents, association with trouble-making friends or adjusting to changes at school or home. This innovative counseling-based board game developed by Dr. Bradley Erford helps children understand and cope with a wide range of life issues through play therapy. By purchasing different card sets, the same board can be used to create a variety of games. 

"Grow, Connect, Empower!" Toolkit
This online learning toolkit was developed in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. With content developed by experienced counseling professionals who are members of ACA (including seven past presidents of ACA), these podcasts and tip sheets provide credible guidance and support on many timely topics, including grief and loss. 


Counseling Strategies for Loss and Grief

by Keren M. Humphrey
This practice-oriented book describes a range of effective counseling strategies appropriate for the treatment of diverse loss and grief issues commonly presented in individual, family and group psychotherapy settings. Based on contemporary understanding of the nature of personal and interpersonal loss and the ways in which people integrate loss and grief into their lives, this innovative book focuses on tailoring interventions to the uniqueness of the griever’s experience.

Grief and Loss Journal Articles


The American Counseling Association offers these links as a resource. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement from ACA for the agencies or the services they provide.

For General Information on Grief

  • AARP’s Grief and Loss
    Offers articles, discussions, resources and tools for coping with grief and the loss of a loved one.
  • OptionB
    An online community that collects and shares stories of adversity to help people build resiliency and find joy.

For Death from AIDS

  • CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's primary reference, referral and publications distribution service for HIV and AIDS information. The services are aimed primarily at professionals.

For Death of Armed Forces or Law Enforcement Personnel

  • COPS—Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc.
    Nationwide nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing resources to assist in rebuilding the lives of the survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, as determined by federal government criteria.

For Death of a Child/Children

For Homicide Survivors

  • POMC (Parents of Murdered Children)
    POMC’s vision is to provide support and assistance to all survivors of homicide victims while working to create a world free of murder.

For Life-Challenging Illness

  • American Cancer Society
    Information on cancer, including coping with a long-term illness and dealing with grief and loss after death from cancer.
  • Candelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
    A national nonprofit membership organization with a mission is to educate, support, serve and advocate for families of children with cancer, survivors of childhood cancer and the professionals who care for them.
  • Cancer Care
    National nonprofit organization providing free professional help to people with all cancers.
  • National Cancer Institute
    This patient summary on loss, grief and bereavement is adapted from the summary written for health professionals by cancer experts.

For Youth

  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network
    Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to raise the standard of care and improve the access to services to children, families and communities.
  • Coalition to Support Grieving Students
    The Coalition to Support Grieving Students is a collaboration of the leading professional organizations that have come together with a common conviction: grieving students need the support and care of the school community.
  • The Dougy Center
    The Dougy Center provides a safe place for those—children, teens, young adults and their families—who are grieving a death to share their experiences. We do this through peer support groups, education and training.
  • National Alliance for Grieving Children
    NAGC is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them.

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