Researching, identifying and choosing an appropriate grief center after the loss of a loved one can be a confusing and overwhelming process. Whether  searching for a grief center for yourself or for a loved one, there are numerous considerations to take into account, including location, the type of loss and age appropriateness. Searching through the abundance of resources and directories online without prior guidance or knowledge on grief and bereavement centers can be a difficult task.

Understanding Grief and Coping

Death is one of the most challenging subjects that anyone can encounter. When we lose a family member, a friend or a colleague, we enter into a world of grief and mourning. It is common and natural to struggle with grief after a loss and it is healthy to acknowledge emotions to begin the process towards healing.

Sitting shiva provides structure and routine to the life of the mourner and allows the mourner time to come to terms with his/her loss. While sitting shiva is a great comfort during the first week of mourning, it is important to recognize that grief may continue beyond shiva and beyond sheloshim. It is common for the grieving process to not reach completion until a full year after the death of a loved one; however, there is universal timeline for grieving.

Grief is a painful process, and coping with grief is an important step in moving beyond bereavement. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve. Everyone experiences and handles grief in his or her own individual way, but it is important to know that there are healthy ways to acknowledge and cope with that grief. At times assistance from a professional or a peer group may be necessary to cope.

What are Grief Centers?

Grief and bereavement centers provide needed resources for those who struggle with their grief after the death of a loved one. Whether someone is finding it difficult to get beyond grief or simply would like to have assistance during their grief cycle, grief and bereavement centers may be helpful for individuals and families during this difficult time. An experienced therapist can help people to manage intense emotions, to overcome any obstacles they may be facing. Grief therapy does not have to be a long-term commitment; many will enter a once a week program for a few simple weeks, while others may attend for months. It is up to the mourning individuals to decide what is best for them or their loved ones.

Choosing a Grief Center

How someone grieves depends on many different factors, and finding the right grief center can be a difficult process. Our team has developed a comprehensive guide to help mourning families search and find the most comfortable fit for them and/or their loved ones. Many grief centers can be specific to certain types of grief, such as the loss of a spouse or a child. Some may find it comforting to attend a grief center support group, where individuals may discuss their grief and be supported by those who have experienced similar losses.

With these approved directories, families can search by location and also narrow their search to centers that meet their individual belief set and comfort level. Search through these hand-selected Grief Center Directories to find a center that is most fitting and appropriate. 

A Few Considerations

There are numerous factors to take into consideration when searching for and selecting the right grief center after the death of a loved one. Below are six key considerations:

1. Geographic Location. The first key step when selecting a grief center is deciding the most convenient geographic location of the center. This helps to narrow the search. In many cases, individuals will want to visit a grief center near home, but it is not unusual to select a grief center that is out of the state or region in which they live. A more distant location may be an appropriate option if the grieving individual would like to handle his/her bereavement outside of the environment where the grief took place. For example, there are numerous grief camps for children located throughout the United States, and families may decide that sending a child to a safe and comforting environment specifically designed for grieving children is the right option.

2. Individual or Group Therapy. Many grief centers offer both individual counseling as well as peer group therapy. It is important to decide which option best fits the individual needs of the grieving. Some individuals benefit greatly from one-on-one counseling with a grief professional, while others may find more comfort in peer group therapy, where time will be spent with individuals who may have experienced similar types of loss.

3. Consider Age Appropriateness. When searching for a grief center for a child or teenager, it may be advisable to narrow the search to centers or camps that are specific to the respective age groups. In this instance, depending on the age of the child, it may be helpful to discuss the options with the child. It is healthy for children to feel some control during this difficult time. There can be a vast difference between how a young child is grieving and how a teenager grieves, so it is important to consider the griever's age. Most grief camps have strict age groupings, which should also be kept in mind when choosing a grief center.

4. Type of Loss. Once a decision has been reached on whether or not to attend group or individualized therapy, the bereaved will then be challenged to find the right grieving program to fit their particular type of loss. Programs will often be structured in a case specific way. For example, there are various programs that can be found that are centered around the loss of a spouse, or the loss of a sibling or the loss of a parent.

5. Consider Faith. If religiously observant or inclined, it is recommended to take faith into consideration when searching for a grief center. Depending on affiliation, contacting a local synagogue may be helpful; most will have available resources for mourners and some may even have grief and guidance programs.

6. Know the Level of Grief. It is not uncommon for grievers to avoid their painful emotions. Even when the bereaved do not see themselves as the people who need or seek therapy, it may still be beneficial to consider, especially if their grief is severe and they are entering into a persistent depression. They should not hesitate to seek help if they are feeling helpless and overwhelmed. is the premier resource helping people learn about grief and loss, plan for end of life, and send culturally-appropriate condolences to family members, friends, and colleagues.


The Foundation for Grieving Children is a national public charity that provides grants to organizations whose mission is to assist, counsel, comfort and educate children and families following the death of a loved one.

Judi's House is a grief support center and nonprofit organization located in Denver, Colorado. The center has created a listing of “Grief Centers around the Nation.” Centers are sorted by state and range from grief camps specifically for children to local hospice options for your loved one.

The Moyer Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has created the National Bereavement Resource Guide, a compilation of state and local resources for people experiencing loss. Focusing on grief counseling for children, the Moyer Foundation also provides resources for the entire family.