Psychological Counselling of Bereaved Children and Victims of Insurgency in the 21st Century

Dr Joshua Y. Rotshak & Nanret John


When a parent, friend or spouse dies, individuals must cope with the bereavement or the painful loss of loved one. The death of a significant other typically brings forth the painful and complex emotions of grief. Cultural and religious rituals are designed to help survivors adjust to and cope with their loss. These formal practices of an individual and a community in response to death are termed mourning. In an event of death of a significant other, the child is forced to make emotional and behavioural changes to adjust to a new way of live as an orphan. This adjustment comes about through the process of grieving. It is observed that children occasionally experience difficulty with the changes forced upon them in paternal or maternal bereavement which require the assistance of a counsellor. This article discusses how bereaved children and victims of insurgency could be helped through counselling to adjust to a new way of life in the 21st century. The paper concludes among other things that at the death of a parent or a sibling, adults should always watch the child for warning signs of depression and anxiety beyond normal grief reaction and act appropriately.

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