A grief counseling and support organization based in Washington, DC, the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing trains individuals in effective grief counseling techniques. Here is a quick look at three types of training and education provided by the Wendt Center.
Professional training: With an experienced team of grief counseling professionals, the Wendt Center delivers on-site training for prospective grief counselors. Individuals in the professional training program learn skill-building techniques in play therapy, gain insight into traumatic bereavement, and receive direct feedback from longtime grief counselors.
Internships: Over the years, the Wendt Center has remained dedicated to nurturing the growth of aspiring mental health professionals. The organization frequently trains interns pursuing graduate degrees in various mental health disciplines.
Community education: The Wendt Center frequently provides educational presentations to civic groups, senior centers, religious institutions, and employee assistance programs. Topics covered in community education sessions include children and loss, handling grief during the holidays, and supporting grieving employees.
Founded nearly 40 years ago as the St. Francis Burial and Counseling Society, the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing offers a broad range of support services for people coping with feelings of grief. Here is a brief overview of three prominent support services at the Wendt Center:
Adult counseling—Designed to support people in times of illness, loss, and death, adult programming includes one-on-one counseling, family therapy, and support groups.
Crisis response—Counselors at the Wendt Center work hard to support adults, children, and families during national and local crises. Throughout the years, the Wendt Center has provided counseling in the aftermath of September 11, workplace and school crises, and neighborhood violence.
Domestic violence—The Wendt Center employs a licensed therapist with many years of experience in domestic violence treatment. Working out of the domestic violence intake center in Washington, DC, the domestic violence therapist provides short-term counseling services and serves as a liaison for long-term counseling at the Wendt Center.
For four decades, the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing has assisted Washington, D.C., communities in coping with loss, violence, and other emotionally challenging experiences. To this end, the nonprofit organization facilitates candlelight vigils during which friends and family members can commemorate their loved ones, acknowledging their grief in a healthy manner while honoring the lives of those they have lost.
The Lights of Hope program creates collective community experiences where individuals can join together in remembrance. Gathering just after sunset, attendees may choose to recite poems or prayers, sing, or invite public or religious officials to offer words of guidance and comfort. The program, which is available to all residents of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, provides attendees with candles, drip guards, and event programs. Lights of Hope also supplies informative materials that offer guidance on coping with traumatic loss, as well as commemorative programs and cleanup materials.
When planning their Lights of Hope vigils, individuals and families work with volunteer coordinators to develop an event outline and assign a facilitator to organize the gathering. The Wendt Center’s trained crisis-response volunteers may also provide vigil leadership and support, and when deemed necessary for the safety of participants, program volunteers can arrange for the presence of local police officers.