With the upcoming publishing of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the book which guides mental health professionals in diagnosing mental illness, the universal emotional process known as grief has been put in the spotlight.
Controversy abounds on whether this experience is grounds for mental health diagnosis, or whether it should be defined as a natural occurring developmental process. Implications include how such a change in diagnostic criteria will affect stigma surrounding the grief process and the availability of insurance coverage for those who grieve.
Responding to this growing need to discuss the many issues surround grief, the Chi Sigma Iota and the NIU Counseling Association have announce their October speaker series, titled “Two Perspectives on Grief,” two presentations scheduled at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Graham Hall 423
Both events are free and open to the public.
The first speaker in the series is an encore presentation by Delinda Grindle, a licensed clinical professional counselor and grief specialist at KP Counseling in Rockford. Grindle spoke to Chi Sigma Iota in the spring of 2012, and her talk produced such a positive response that the membership requested that she come back.
Grindle’s presentation, titled “Grief Work with Children” will focus on the resources and techniques that can be used when working with children who grieve. It is appropriate for laypeople as well as mental health professionals, educators, and those in the medical profession.
The second speaker will be Kelly Farley, a counseling student in the NIU College of Education turned acclaimed author.
Like many men, Farley was caught up in the rat race of life when he suddenly lost his two children to genetic abnormalities over an 18-month period in 2004 and 2006. He looked for a book that addressed the needs of grieving dads.
Finding none, he began a journey to learn how other fathers experienced grief. The resulting book, “Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back” was published in the summer of 2012.
Farley’s NIU presentation, named after the title of his book, will share his experience with grief, how he came to write the book and what he learned about society’s discomfort with men who grieve. He will give free books to the first 10 people who attend the event and will have additional books available for sale.
Chi Sigma Iota and the NIU Counseling Association are student organizations based in the NIU Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education.
Chi Sigma Iota (Rho Alpha Kappa chapter) is the international honors society for professional counselors, counselor educators, and students. The NIU Counseling Association is a chapter of the Illinois Counseling Association and is devoted to counselor professional identity development for students in the northern Illinois region. Participation in either organization is open to any student interested in the counseling profession.
For information on either organization, contact Sarah Miller at [email protected].
NIU’s counseling program is committed to preparing multiculturally competent counseling professionals for school, community and higher education settings who can facilitate positive change in the development and interactions of diverse individuals throughout their life-spans.
The department offers master’s and doctoral programs that are nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.