School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


D. Kristen Small


qualitative, grief, faith-based, support group, impact, meaning, GriefShare




The purpose of this phenomenological, qualitative study was to describe the impact of GriefShare, a faith-based, grief support initiative for the participants at Diamondhead, Mississippi and Gulfport, Mississippi. The theory guiding this study was Robert Neimeyer’s social constructionist theory as it explains the meaning found in GriefShare’s narrative processes. The study participants were nine females and one male who attended at least three GriefShare sessions. The researcher interviewed and audio-recorded all participants using Otter ai. live transcription. The researcher used the constant comparison method and member checking to analyze the data collected during the interviews. As participants described their lived experiences of GriefShare, five themes emerged: (1) spiritual connection with others, (2) relationship with God, (3) qualified leaders led by God, (4) meaning found in videos and workbooks, and (5) perceived role of social support. The emerging themes described the impact of GriefShare among all participants, and the analysis supported Robert Neimeyer’s social constructionist theory. Culturally sensitive mental health professionals can use these findings to incorporate faith-based, grief support groups like GriefShare into their grief interventions. Recommendations for future research include quantitatively expanding the participant group to GriefShare participants across the U.S. for increased empirical value.

Included in

Counseling Commons