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How to Become a Successful Grief Coach in 2023

Are you curious about how to become a grief coach and help others with their grief recovery? You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we’ll cover everything about grief coaching, including what it is and how to get started.

Let’s go!

What is grief coaching?

Grief coaching is a relatively new profession, so it’s normal to wonder what it is.

As grief experts, grief coaches specialize in helping people make sense of their grief. They offer support, guidance, and coping mechanisms through the mourning period.

A grief coach supports clients by helping them work through their feelings about the death of a loved one, illness, or any other significant loss, and prepare for a future of happiness. They offer emotional support, healing, and a way to deal with suffering and bereavement. 

Ultimately, a grief coach specializes in helping achieve personal growth after a death.

Grief coaching is a growing field. Overall, coaching is now a $2.85 billion global industry. Of those who have been coached, 99% say they’re “satisfied or very satisfied” with their experience. A majority (96%) would even repeat the process!

But what does a grief coach do? Let’s find out. 

What does a grief coach do? 

In grief recovery coaching, a coach’s goal is to help clients work through the pain of losing a loved one. They help find a way forward in life by offering strategies to handle emotions such as pain and bereavement and steps to find hope, meaning, and peace. 

Just like grief and death are different for everyone, how a grief coach works with each client varies. While some clients might need practical advice or a kind shoulder to cry on about a loved one, others might just need subtle guidance. 

Above all, a grief coach is there to help a client find a deeper understanding of grief and how it impacts their life. A client will receive help in dealing with their emotions by identifying healthy ways to grieve their loved one and useful coping mechanisms.

Grief coaches provide their clients with valuable resources for unresolved feelings that often arise during the grieving process. This could include activities such as journaling, connecting with others, relaxation techniques, or offering social support.

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How much do grief coaches make?

There’s no such thing as a typical grief coach salary, but 2020 data from the International Coaching Federation shows that the average American coach makes $62,500.

This is just the average. Coaches regularly make six figures and beyond – in fact, many of my students run six- and seven-figure businesses. 

But besides salary, there’s another question that new grief coaches often ask: 

Do you need specialized training? Let’s find out. 

Do you need a grief coaching certification? 

One of the most common beliefs around coaching is that you need to be certified to help people through their grieving process. 

But coaching isn’t the same thing as counseling or grief therapy, for which you do need a certification. With the right skills, anyone with the right experience can be an effective, successful grief coach. 

Have you worked as a therapist? Are you a mental health professional? Or gone through your own grieving process in life and developed tools that others could use? 

Hospice workers, ministers, nurses…there are plenty of work experience that trumps education when it comes to helping people with grief recovery.  

If so, you could become a grief coach. Let’s talk about what you need.

How do you become a grief coach without a degree?

Grief coaches don’t need a degree – but grief therapists will. That’s because coaching and counseling are two completely different things. 

Grief coaching

Unlike counseling, coaching is unregulated except for a few health and mental health areas. (Remember to always ensure that the coaching you want to provide isn’t one of these areas.)

Someone specializing in grief coaching acts as a mentor who gives advice through the grieving process. Their qualification is based on experience rather than education. 

Grief coaches help students cope by shifting their actions to help them grow through spiritual and emotional advice.

Grief counseling

On the other hand, grief counseling calls for a certified grief counselor. Grief counselors are mental health professionals whose qualification is based on education rather than experience.

Grief counseling allows grief counselors to shift a client’s feelings to help them find ways to cope with their loss, which helps with any unresolved feelings they may be experiencing. 

Another key difference is that grief therapy focuses on the past whereas a grief coach helps their client look toward the future. 

While a grief counselor would ask something like, “How did you feel during the loss?” a grief coach would ask, “How are you hoping to feel after your loss?”

But what if you want to get certified? That’s what we’ll look at next. 

How do you become a certified grief coach? 

If you still want to learn how to become a certified grief coach, you should earn certification from an established provider, such as the International Coaching Federation.  

Other certification providers include:

●      Certified Life Coach Institute 

●      Coach Training Alliance

●      The Institute for Life Coach Training

●      180 Coaching

●      Academy for Coaching Excellence

I haven’t gone through these programs. My recommendations for the best grief coach certification programs are based on reviews, accreditations, and how established the organization is. 

To find an ICF-accredited course, check out their Education Search Service database.

How long does it take to become a grief coach? 

The amount of time you’ll need to become a grief coach depends on you. 

Without a certification, you can start grief coaching as soon as today and gain experience and clients as you go.

On the other hand, if you choose to get a grief coaching certification, you’ll need to dedicate time and money. 

Grief coaching certification programs vary in cost from as little as $150 to $14,000 or more and can take as much time as an associate’s degree program.

That said, you still need to take steps to start your business. How? Here’s what you need to know. 

How do you become a grief coach? 

We’ve covered what grief counseling and coaching are and the qualifications necessary to work with grief recovery. Let’s explore how you can build a grief coaching business.

How do you get your first paying clients?

The first step is to find paying clients.

First of all, let’s address selling your services. After all, you’re selling to someone who has experienced significant loss. 

But what you have to realize is that you’re not being “scammy” or “salesy.” You’re providing value to people who are trying to cope with grief. If you sell by building relationships first, you’re doing it from a place of helping people. 

Now, the best place to find your clients is to tap into “low-hanging fruit.” 

What do I mean? 

Well, look for marketing opportunities that are relatively easy to implement but can generate big results. 

One such strategy is to tell your network about your services. Another is to pitch relevant podcasts and get on them as a guest. Build relationships on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram. 

Or partner with funeral homes to offer your services to people who are dealing with the death of a loved one.

Here are more places to find clients:

Those are a few strategies to get started. However, what should your offer look like? Let’s take a look. 

How do you create a grief coaching package? 

What should your coaching package look like in the beginning? 

Many new coaches think they have to add a lot of features to their package (calls, PDFs…). But it’s not about how much time you spend supporting or working with clients. It’s about the benefits and results they get from your grief coaching services.

The best starting point? 

A three-month coaching package, priced at $1,500 with bi-weekly or monthly calls and support in between. Three months is long enough to help students see results but short enough to not feel too long. If you offer a 6- or 12-month coaching package, a client might begin to feel stuck (and you might, too!).

Here’s more on coaching packages: 

How do you ensure your students get great results, though? That’s what we’ll look at now. 

How do you become a great grief coach? 

We’ve covered everything except for how to become a grief coach. Here’s what you need to know. 

How do you help your students get results?

You’ll help students move forward by becoming what I like to call a coach-sult

Clients with a coach-sult get better, longer-lasting results more quickly than they would with just a coach.

While a “traditional” coach guides someone to the result they want, it’s up to the client to find the answers. Coach-sults give them a few of the answers and use their own life experiences to help them reach their goals faster. 

That’s what coach-sulting is all about, and the speed with which you help your clients reach their goals will be why people want to work with you.

In this short video, I talk more about being a great coach: 

How do you hold a coaching call? 

Structuring your coaching calls is easy once you’ve gotten the hang of it. 

The most important thing to know is that every call should be goal-oriented. Your discussions should help your clients move toward that month’s sub-goal, which will help them move toward their overall goals.

Take a look at this short video for more steps to structure your session: 

Ultimately, your grief coach training happens as you go – you’ll learn to grief coach while you’re coaching. 

Look at it as coaching practice! You’ll change lives while learning how to become a grief coach. That’s why you’ll start with a relatively low rate of $1,500 for three months.

Win-win because your students get access to you at a lower rate!

And once you have a few testimonials from your first paying clients and have developed your coaching skills, you can move on to increase your rates and grow your business.

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Over to you!

There you have it! Now you know how to become a grief coach. What it comes down to is that you consistently take steps to start helping others through the death of a loved one. 

Now, I’d love to hear from you: 

Why do you want to be a grief coach? Let me know in the comments!

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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7 Responses

  1. I am a grief coach. I have been studying/observing grief for over 20 years. I have helped several people and I have five paying clients currently. What I have not been able to master is how to take this from a meaningful side job that I have a passion for to a full-time job where I can help dozens and create helpful content. I have a few books that I would love to create about grief, but working a full-time job, in a related field, and having two side jobs (I am also an interim pastor), leaves me no time for that. If I could focus on grief coaching all the time, then I could schedule time to create books, videos and a regular podcast. I do not have the time or freedom to do that yet and I don’t know how to get there.

  2. I lost my 17 year old son in a tragic car accident six months ago. Almost immediately I knew I was going to use this in my future to help other parents who have lost a child. I would love to become a grief coach. My healing process consists of sharing my grief with everyone and connecting with complete strangers who get it.

  3. I lost my daughter two years ago this month. I am a grief coach and have been doing this work for some time. I need some business guidance. I also have a non-profit in her honor. I am very business smart but there seems to be something that is not clicking for me when it comes to growth.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully this helps: Learning to grow a business is a completely different skillset. Especially an online business – it takes understanding lead gen (and there are many different options too), communication, and of course marketing and sales. It sounds like you’re simply in the process of building those skills – which can often feel like things aren’t “clicking.”

  4. I am a mom who has experienced deep grief and have been able to find joy in life again. I lost a 24 year old son and had 4 miscarriages. I have been facilitating GriefShare at my church plus when the program ends I add a few sessions of my own under the title Grief Ministry. I have already helped many people move their lives forward in a positive hopeful way.

    1. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. And have so much admiration for how you’ve refound your joy and turned your experience into a way for you to help so many others.

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