One of the most common questions we get asked is "What is the difference between what you do and Cruse?" 
There are lots of points of difference, here and in the video Carole Henderson explains the top five key ways that the Grief Recovery Method and Certified Grief Recovery Specialists are different to Cruse and Cruse Bereavement Support Workers. 
 

1) Bereavement versus Bereavement & Any Other Loss 

Perhaps the most fundamental difference between Grief Recovery and Cruse is that Cruse offer a listener only when you have been bereaved -ie a human close to you has died. At Grief Recovery we know that in addition to bereavement there are over 40 life events that invoke grief. The truth is we grieve ALL loss.  
Every relationship is unique and all loss is unique so each grief is unique and experienced at different intensities. So while most people who come to Grief Recovery have suffered a significant death, others come because their relationship has died through divorce or seperation. Sometimes it is the relationship or lack of one with a parent or sibling that has broken their heart. We do not discriminate - if your heart is broken then we can help you. Many are surprised to find out that the Grief Recovery tools can also help with intangible losses such as loss of faith, loss of safety, loss of innocence, loss of childhood, loss of health and ANY other loss. 
 
steps image to depict grief & bereavement

2) Structure 

A session with a Cruse volunteer gives you a chance to talk about how you feel while they listen, this is usually for about an hour, typically you might have up to 3 sessions. (This can vary according to where you live/the availability of volunteers) The Grief Recovery Method is a step by step programme which is teaching you how to let go of your grief so there is a structure. So while you get to talk about what is happening with you the  
main objective of each session is to move you forward through the process. If you are working 1-1 with a Grief Recovery Specialist then the programme is 7 sessions 1 hour long, usually once a week. If you go along to a Grief Recovery Support Group then the programme is 8 sessions of 2 hours which gives everyone a chance to be heard. In Grief Recovery there is no analysing why we feel a certain way - we acknowledge the feelings and teach you how to let go of the painful ones. 

3) Funding 

Cruse is a national charity with funding so do not charge for sessions. Certified Grief Recovery Specialists are all independent and while some offer Grief Recovery Programmes in a charity or funded setting (for example a team are offering funded Grief Recovery Groups to victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster) most are in private practice. This means that there is a charge for their services. The good news is that because this is a structured programme they will give you a price for the course, unlike therapy where the number of sessions needed may be vague, so you know from the start exactly what the cost is. Many have concessionary rates too so it is always worth asking if money is a struggle. 

4)Timing 

If your heart is broken and you've realised you need help then you want it right now. In Grief Recovery we don't agree that there is any benefit in waiting to feel better so you can start work to help heal your heart as soon as you are ready. After all if it was your leg that was broken you wouldn't wait before calling the ambulance. Cruse will not see you until you have been bereaved for at least 6 months. Correction, I have heard from a Cruse volunteer that this isn't National Policy, however, we continually hear that people are being told this is the case so if you are told this please do challenge it. 
5) Waiting 
Even if you call Cruse more than 6 months after you were bereaved sadly you may still have to wait. On average (it varies by county) there is a 3 month waiting list to see a volunteer. Because Grief Recovery Specialists are independent they can usually see you almost immediately. 
hourglass depicitng waiting around for help
In summary Grief Recovery and Cruse offer very different services and only you can decide which is more appropriate for you. If you have any questions you can call the office for a no obligation chat or contact us for an email reply. You can also find out if there is a Grief Recovery Specialist near you. 
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