To whom are the services at The Amelia Center provided?

The Amelia Center specializes in serving children, teenagers and young adults (ages 19-21) grieving the death of a loved one, and parents or grandparents grieving the loss of a child.

 How do I know my child or I need grief counseling?

Each person's grief journey is unique.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there may be healthy ways of coping that will assist you in your grief journey.  Grief counseling may provide a safe place to express the intense emotions and allow you to tell your story in a safe place.  Many people seek grief counseling because of the intensity and duration of emotions and grief's effects.  If you are unable to function in a healthy way or would simply like a safe place to talk about your experience, grief counseling might be appropriate for you.

For children and teens, many times parents can see signs of distress through behavior changes at home or at school, drop in grades, and/or trouble sleeping.  Grief, many times, can have an effect on these areas of a child or teen's life.

 What does it cost to come to The Amelia Center?

Thanks to the generosity of community supporters, there is no charge for the counseling services provided at The Amelia Center. Although there is no charge, the cost of services is still significant and any contribution that can be made is greatly appreciated.

The Amelia Center is a department of Children's of Alabama, which provides a portion of the yearly budgetary needs. However, The Amelia Center relies upon the generosity of individuals and organizations in the community to cover its remaining expenses.

 What are the credentials of The Amelia Center counselors?

The counselors at The Amelia Center are master's level clinicians. The Amelia Center also utilizes interns currently in master's programs from local universities which are closely supervised by the Clinical Supervisor.

 How long can I expect to come to grief counseling?

There is no set number of sessions or span of time required for grief counseling. Just as each person grieves in a unique way, each person's need for additional support is also unique. Typically, individuals will begin meeting weekly or bi-weekly with a counselor. During the course of therapy, each person will decide with his or her counselor when to reduce or end counseling.

 What can I expect on my first visit?

During the first visit, you can expect to complete intake information forms, meet with a counselor, and have a chance to voice your concerns for yourself and/or your child. Typically the counselor will explain what you can expect during the counseling experience and will introduce himself or herself to your child and take you on a tour of the center. This experience generally reduces much of the anxiety of coming to counseling for the first time.

Children are welcome to come on the first visit; however, much of the time is spent with parents and guardians during the initial session. It is encouraged that an additional person comes with you to supervise your child while the counselor meets with the parent or guardian during the first visit. If no one is available to stay with your child, it is encouraged to wait and bring children the second visit.

 How do I tell my child he or she will be coming to counseling?

We encourage open and honest communication with your child. It is very appropriate to explain that The Amelia Center is a safe place where children, teenagers, and families have the chance to talk about special people who have died in their life.

 What if I'm not comfortable with my counselor?

The Amelia Center wants to provide a place of comfort for you and your family in this stressful time. We encourage you to be honest if you would feel more comfortable with another counselor. We will make every effort to connect you with someone you find helpful.

 Do you see clients for any reason other than grief due to death?

No. The Amelia Center is specifically focused on providing grief counseling to children and families who have experienced the death of someone they love. If your purpose for seeking counseling falls outside of our scope of services, we will be happy to refer you to an appropriate counseling center.

 Can anyone attend a group at The Amelia Center?

Before attending a group at The Amelia Center, an individual must meet with one of the counselors. During the initial meeting, your counselor will make a recommendation to a group if you are interested.

 How can I support The Amelia Center?

Visit the Donate Now/How You Can Help page to find out how you can support The Amelia Center.

 Can I become a volunteer of The Amelia Center?

The Friends of The Amelia Center is a group of community-minded volunteers who meet to raise awareness and funds to support our programs. If you are interested in participating in this group, please call us at 205-638-7481.

 Do you provide training to other organizations?

Yes. The Amelia Center provides training to schools and other organizations in the area of grief, setting up grief support services, and crisis response planning. Find out more about our training program here.

 Do you send counselors to schools after the death of a student or faculty member?

In the past, The Amelia Center would send counselors for crisis intervention when a school had a student or faculty member die.  We have found, however, that taking a more proactive role in training schools in a crisis intervention plan is more beneficial to those involved.  Through setting up a crisis intervention plan, school officials are equipped to deal with the death of a student or faculty member and usually can assess those individuals that may need additional grief support services.  If your school is interested in receiving crisis intervention training, please contact Matthew Bunt, Education and Events Coordinator, at 205-638-7490.