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Skip Navigation LinksCurriculum for Addiction Professionals > Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD > 5h. Counseling Strategies: Loss and Grieving

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Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD

Adults

Counseling Strategies, Continued

Sad woman
Loss and Grieving

All individuals with an FASD have experienced losses in their lives. The fact that they are not like their peers is a loss of the ability to be like everyone else. Some have the loss of the hopes and dreams of what they wanted to be. Others lose their family or a secure future. Some lose the opportunity for meaningful peer relationships and friendships. Other losses can include9:

  • Continuity in caregivers due to multiple home placements
  • Vocational and educational opportunities
  • A role in the family and in society
  • Joy and pleasure in life

These losses can affect people in many ways and need to be addressed. The counselor can9:


  • Use active listening strategies, such as repeating what the person has said
  • Be honest
  • Raise awareness of experiences of separation and loss
  • Acknowledge losses experienced
  • Validate losses experienced
  • Avoid “good parent/bad parent” issues
  • Support confronting losses in a positive manner
  • Encourage communication
  • Genuinely care
  • Be there for support
  • Acknowledge his or her own feelings about loss
  • Refer for further treatment (e.g., mental health) when necessary

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