Ministry Training and Consulting Services - Lew Cox

Training the Clergy to help people
navigate their journey with traumatic grief

Bridging the Gap…


Traumatic Grief Five Core Training

  • Traumatic Grief and the Church

The objective of this program is to enhance the skills of church clergy, counselors, and elders to provide better care for individuals in their congregation who are coping with traumatic grief. The program primarily focuses on dealing with the sudden loss of loved ones, caused by various reasons such as sudden death, suicide, murder, automobile accidents, SIDS, drug overdoses, and more.

  • How To Help Grieving People

When a person passes away, their family and friends can provide invaluable support to the grieving family. However, after the funeral, many people may start to feel isolated and unsure about how to cope with their loss. During this time, compassionate clergy members and empathetic individuals can play a crucial role in helping church members navigate the grieving process and move toward healing. This is particularly important as the reality of the loss sets in, and the grief continues for an extended period.

  • Traumatic Grief and Children

Explaining death to young children can be a challenging task, particularly when they have older siblings who can understand the concept better. Children may display behavioral changes, both in the short and long term, as they try to reconcile their loss. The impact of death on children can be substantial and may have long-lasting effects that are difficult to predict.                      

  • Traumatic Grief and Anger

Anger is a natural and common emotion that can manifest as mild irritation or intense rage. It can arise suddenly or persist over a prolonged period. The management of anger varies from person to person and can involve a range of techniques. Coping with the sudden loss of a loved one can be a difficult experience that may require the bereaved to confront complex emotional issues.

  • Physiological Effects of Trauma on the Violence

The nervous system learns and adapts from experiences in its environment, while its regulation of thoughts, emotions, and physiology is affected by physiological arousal. Symptoms indicate changes in the nervous system.


Key Points in Addressing the Traumatic Grief Process

The ministry has developed a series of lectures to assist church leaders in comprehending the effects of traumatic grief on the body of Christ. Acknowledging the rising prevalence of violence in our communities, we understand that the church is also affected. By providing the ministry with essential knowledge and skills to aid those undergoing traumatic grief, we can facilitate more profound healing and bolster their spiritual resilience.

Traumatic grief can stem from events such as the violent passing of a loved one or the loss of a child. It may also arise when one's support network is suddenly removed. The abrupt and shocking nature of such a loss can be deeply traumatizing, often resulting in persistent intrusive thoughts and overwhelming emotions.

Different from Expected Grief:
Traumatic grief is distinct from the grief that accompanies anticipated losses. Although all types of grief present challenges, traumatic grief is often more intense and can potentially lead to prolonged grief disorder. This condition is marked by a continuous yearning for the deceased and a disruption of daily activities.

Intense Feelings:
The emotions linked to traumatic grief are exceptionally intense. The abrupt loss activates distorted survival responses in addition to the grieving process. Those undergoing traumatic grief may also face a heightened risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Traumatic grief may manifest as nightmares, persistent thoughts, emotional volatility, and profound shock and disbelief. A comprehensive approach is necessary to address traumatic grief, integrating spiritual support, practical tools, and deliberate actions.  

Traumatic Grief Five Core Training Topics

 Traumatic Grief and the Church
This program aims to improve the abilities of church clergy, counselors, and elders in offering enhanced care to congregation members grappling with traumatic grief. It concentrates on addressing the abrupt loss of loved ones due to a range of causes, including unexpected deaths, suicides, homicides, car accidents, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, (SIDS), rape, drug overdoses, childhood abuse, unresolved grief, domestic violence, among others.

Traumatic Grief and Anger:

Anger is a natural emotion that varies from slight irritation to intense rage. It can arise suddenly or persist for a long time. Anger management varies from person to person and can include diverse techniques. Coping with the sudden loss of a loved one is difficult, often requiring one to navigate complex emotional responses.

Traumatic Grief and Children

Talking about death with young children is a delicate matter, particularly when they have older siblings who understand the concept more fully. Children may show changes in behavior both immediately and over time as they come to terms with their loss. The impact of death on children can be significant, with lasting effects that may be difficult to foresee.

How To Help Grieving People
The support from family and friends is a crucial comfort to those grieving a loss. However, after the funeral, many people often feel isolated and unsure about how to cope with their grief. During these times, the compassionate presence of clergy and empathetic community members becomes essential. They play a key role in helping church members navigate their grief and move toward healing, especially as they face the ongoing impact of their loss.

Physiological Effects of Trauma on Violence
The nervous system is adaptive, learning from environmental stimuli, and it regulates thoughts, emotions, and physiological responses through physiological arousal. Symptoms are indicative of changes in the nervous system's operations.
Keep in mind that grief is a unique experience for everyone, and there is no correct or incorrect way to process it.
The training program focuses on the impact of traumatic grief on individuals. Its goal is to inform participants about the five fundamental aspects of traumatic grief, which include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
Please Contact us to explore which training courses would best suit your requirements.


Lew Cox founded and previously directed Violent Crime Victim Services in Tacoma, Washington. For thirty years, the organization provided direct services to those affected by homicide. As a Certified Trauma Service Specialist and Certified Victim Advocate Specialist, Mr. Cox has extensive experience in advocating for homicide victims, offering peer court support, and leading support groups. He is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and is a chaplain for the Des Moines, Washington Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to World Trade Center ground zero during Christmas Week. That year, he also experienced the line-of-duty homicide of a Des Moines Police officer. Mr. Cox, who lost his daughter Carmon to murder in 1987, co-authored "Coping with Traumatic Grief: Homicide" with Dr. Robert Baugher, Ph.D.