Kayce Hodos is a licensed professional counselor who works in a private practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. She specializes in grief and loss counseling for both adolescents and adults. Recently, Hodos spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley at the annual Association of Death Education and Counseling Conference about what it means to serve this demographic. “It’s a tough group,” says Hodos. “Naturally, they feel very alone and seeking to belong, so it’s very important that they know there are people out there they can talk to and that they can trust.” Adolescence is a tough enough journey in itself, but add a loss into the mix and it can be a traumatizing experience if not handled well. That’s where Hodos steps in.

Parents also need to understand that it can be a long process “simply” for an adolescent to seek out counseling and help with the grieving process. “If you let them know that this is confidential,” says Hodos, “that’s the main thing.” Adolescents in particular may seek out experts and unbiased third parties who are trustworthy and who they know “won’t tell” their parents or anyone else about the sessions.

The Angst Years

Dr. Horsley points out that many times, parents and adolescents seeing a counselor separately is a wise move. This keeps the confidentiality and trust intact, but also helps parents understand the process for themselves and/or for their children. This can be particularly helpful if the loss is “solely” for the teen, such as when a friend passes away who the parent didn’t particularly know. Of course, a shared loss also presents unique problems.

“I see some families,” says Hodos, and considers that mixing in group counseling can be beneficial. Hodos also says that self-care is paramount—grief is everywhere, and it’s important to understand “you’re not crazy” and that grief is normal.






Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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