“I Could Hardly Breathe”: Teachers’ Lived Experiences of Bereavement After the Violent Death of a Student

Authors

  • Aleigha M. Arksey University of Lethbridge
  • Elaine J. Greidanus University of Lethbridge

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v56i1.68946

Abstract

Teachers’ bereavement experiences after the violent death of a student consist of an area that warrants more study, given the increased risk of experiencing persistent complex bereavement due to the traumatic nature of violent deaths. A phenomenological methodology was adopted to explore teachers’ experiences after the violent death of one or more of their students. Interviewing five participants revealed that such experiences are both personal and professional. Students and teachers can form strong, long-lasting bonds that act as the foundation for understanding the bereavement experienced when students die. Participants identified several barriers that can arise when seeking help. Collegial support was reported to be important for teachers’ journeys of healing. In regards to counselling, teachers’ needs immediately following such a loss may differ from ongoing counselling needs. Follow-up counselling support (utilizing a trauma and bereavement lens), targeted 1 or more years after the loss, may be more important than previously considered.

Author Biographies

Aleigha M. Arksey, University of Lethbridge

Aleigha M. Arksey is currently working as a registered provisional psychologist in the province of Alberta.

Elaine J. Greidanus, University of Lethbridge

Elaine J. Greidanus is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, where she teaches counselling psychology. She has a Ph.D. in counselling psychology and is also a registered psychologist in the province of Alberta.

Published

2022-06-14

How to Cite

Arksey, A. M., & Greidanus, E. J. (2022). “I Could Hardly Breathe”: Teachers’ Lived Experiences of Bereavement After the Violent Death of a Student. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 56(1), 47–69. https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v56i1.68946

Issue

Section

Articles/ Articles