Hope and Healing for Children and Teens
 
 Grief Care Counseling: Hope and Healing for Children and Teens
 

Grief Care Counseling believes that no child or teen should grieve alone.  

We are passionate and committed to bringing hope and healing to hurting hearts.


Every grieving heart matters.  

Grief has no age or time limits.  It is a lifelong process that affects each of us in unique ways. Grief changes over time and can look different for children and teens at various developmental stages and life's milestones.  Whether a child or teens' loved one died days, weeks, months or years ago we welcome them wherever they are on their journey.   

Grief is not a problem or an issue that can be fixed.  It is a process of transforming pain and suffering into strength, healing and hope.  

Grief Care Counseling cares about grieving hearts. 


Any child who is old enough to love, is old enough to grieve
— Dr. Alan Wolfet

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About Us

 

Through our focused work as grief counselors, we are committed to helping our clients find purpose and a sense of hope and healing in the midst of their grief journey.  

Both of us have a particular passion and expertise for working with children and teens in the days, months, and years after they have experienced the death of a family member or close friend.  We provide a non-judgmental and compassionate atmosphere in which our clients can safely explore personal and family system changes, cope with the physical, emotional and psychological grief reactions, as well as, talk about the memories of their loved one.

We believe that healing is a collaborative endeavor that requires our client’s unique perspective and experiences to be heard and honored.  We can work closely with parents, the family unit, school counselors and pediatricians to provide the optimum level of care and healing.


  Sarah Kroenke, LSW, FT

Sarah Kroenke, LSW, FT

About Sarah

For over the past 23 years, I have had the honor of working in the field of dying, death, grief and oncology as a  licensed social worker in hospice and a school grief counselor.  My career has been dedicated to providing support and counsel to children, teens, young adults and adults through individual counseling, grief support groups, and crisis and trauma work.  

My lifework has allowed me to participate in the development of school based grief support programs, function as the program coordinator and a grief counselor.  I have written age-appropriate grief support curriculums, as well as, other grief support booklets.  

I am fortunate to be the author of two published books.  Hope Heals:  A Journal of Love, Loss and Memories and Words to Live By.  Presenting, nationally, on the topic of grieving children, teens and families at the  National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, as well as at, schools, churches, hospice retreats and fund raising events is something I appreciate being able to do.  I have facilitated support groups for people living with cancer and their caregivers.  For many years, I  participated in planning and facilitating grief support groups for an annual family grief retreat.

Throughout my extensive career in grief work, I have been continuously reminded to appreciate what matters most in life and recognizing that just as grieving is a life long process and an extension of love, so is healing.  

Affiliations

  • Trained Field Traumatologist, American Green Cross

  • Member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children

  • Member of the Minneapolis Children’s Grief Consortium

  • Consultant for a non-profit grief center

  • Past member of the Minnesota Hospice Organization Education Board

  • Certified in Death Education

 
  Cara Mearns-Thompson, MSW, FT

Cara Mearns-Thompson, MSW, FT

About Cara

My work with grieving children and families began over 10 years ago while I was working as a hospice social worker.  I found great privilege in being trusted to provide intimate in-home emotional support to families while anticipating the death of their loved one.  On occasion, I facilitated in a local hospital setting, an adult grief support group, and a young widows grief support group.

Most of my working career has been spent supporting grieving children and teens in a school based grief support program.  Within this program I have been involved in crisis and trauma work in schools, in addition to the weekly grief support to students.  I love the energy and natural wisdom of children and teens! I have co-authored a published school based grief curriculum, and presented on the topic of children’s grief to schools, churches, and hospice annual retreat education sessions. I enthusiastically was a staff member for a number of years at the annual Family Grief retreat put on by multiple Minneapolis area hospitals.

 Affiliations

  • Trained Field Traumatologist, American Green Cross

  • Member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children

  • Member of the Minneapolis Children’s Grief Consortium

  • Consultant for a local non-profit grief center

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Masters Degree in Social Work, University of St. Thomas/ College of St. Catherine  license # 16948

  • Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

 


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Services

 

Individual Counseling

Our philosophy in working individually with clients is to understand, respect, and support them where they are on their journey.  We strive to help them understand and make sense of the multitude of changing emotions they may be experiencing.  Grief Care Counseling recognizes that children and teens grieve developmentally and, therefore, we utilize multiple modalities of grief interventions like art, play, and talk therapy.  


Family Counseling

 

The death of a family member or close loved one affects the balance of the family system.   Each person reacts, processes, and copes in their own unique way.  Our goal is for families to share, listen, learn, and heal.  We are committed to supporting the family members as they reorganize their roles and help them navigate the process of developing a new-normal.  


Parental Consultation

At times it may be beneficial for parent(s)/guardian(s) to meet with us, individually, to discuss educational information on the topic of developmental grief, talk about ways on how to support the child at home, as well as, guidance on working with schools being aware and sensitive to your child/teens needs.   These sessions can be scheduled in addition to or in place of counseling sessions.  


Counseling Process :  Grieving and healing is a process and a lifelong journey.  There are many documented benefits to grief counseling, such as a positive impact on relationships, developing a continued bond with the loved one who has died, reductions in distressing emotions, feeling validated and understood, and changed behaviors. Thinking about and discussing one’s personal grief experience can be challenging.  It is important to understand that processing all emotions, even the difficult ones, is an integral part in the process of healing and finding hope.

Grief can trigger a variety of emotional issues.  Grief Care Counseling works collaboratively with other professionals and can provide information on referrals in situations where a client may require additional resources for mental health situations beyond grief.

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Forms + Fees

 

Please complete the intake form prior to your first session.  

After completion of the form you may either email it to us at info@griefcarecounseling.com, or you may print out the completed online form and bring it with you to your session. 

Intake forms 

 
 

 

Grief is a normal and natural process and we do not use the medical model and treat grief as a mental illness with a diagnostic code.  Insurance companies require a mental health diagnosis from the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders) to pay for counseling services.  This diagnosis is required within the first few sessions of counseling and then becomes part of your permanent health record.  At times individuals have been denied life insurance and other benefits due to a mental health diagnosis. Based on this diagnosis the insurance companies determine the length of treatment for each client.  As each client is a unique case it is difficult to determine the length of treatment at the onset of counseling.  This may result in the insurance company dictating, or stopping payment for counseling services when a client is still in need of treatment. 

 

What are the reasons to self-pay instead of using insurance benefits?

Some people have high deductible insurance plans that they likely won't meet within the year.  As  fee-for-service providers we do not  give you a mental health diagnosis, therefore, it allows you and the counselor to determine the length of treatment and an individualized plan.  The insurance companies will not have access to any of your private health records unless you choose to release the records which assures that everything discussed in your counseling sessions is confidential.

 

Fees

50-minute session: $95

 

Cancellation Policy 

If you need to cancel a scheduled appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance. If you do not cancel a scheduled appointment with at least 24 hours notice, or if you fail to attend your scheduled appointment you will be expected to pay a $60 cancellation fee.  

 

Payments

Payment is due at the time of service.

Checks, cash, HSA cards/flex spending cards, and all major credit cards are accepted for payment.

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Contact Us

 

For more information on Grief Care Counseling please fill out the form below to email info@griefcarecounseling.com, leave a message on our general voicemail at 952-224-4859 ext 0 or you may individually contact Cara or Sarah.  

Location-Crosstown Corporate Center/6385 Old Shady Oak Road/Suite 250/Eden Prairie, MN

 

Sarah Kroenke

sarah@griefcarecounseling.com

Phone-952-224-4859 ext 2

Cara Mearns-Thompson

cara@griefcarecounseling.com

Phone-952-224-4859 ext 1

 

Name *
Name
 
Those who learned to know death, rather than fear or fight it, become our teachers about life.  There are thousands of children who know death far beyond the knowledge that adults have.  Adults may listen to children and shrug it off; they may think that children do not comprehend death; they may remember these teachings , even if it is only decades later when they face the ‘ultimate enemy’ themselves.  Then they will discover that those children were the wisest of teachers and they the novice pupils.
— Elisabeth Kubler Ross