Grief Counselling for Harry Potter Readers and Fans?

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I have not read [tag]Harry Potter Book 7[/tag] ( [tag]Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows[/tag] ).

There are rumors suggesting that one or more main characters will die. A grief counsellor claims that these deaths could cause a serious impact on children.

a “certified grief counselor” is using the release of Harry Potter’s final book to pimp herself to the media, under the guise of helping parents and children deal with grief over the death of fictional characters. Because deaths are rumored to happen in Book 7, the press release states “This could have a serious impact on children, millions of whom have grown up reading, watching and profoundly enjoying the characters and storylines of the Harry Potter series.”

Source: via Harry Potter Grief Counseling?

and this bit of news from the UK

Meanwhile, parents in Britain have been told to prepare for grief counselling. The media is warning that for many young readers, Harry’s death could be as devastating as the death of a best friend, pet or even a relative. The Daily Telegraph reported last week that even child psychologists are getting into the act. It cited American child psychologist Michael Brody who has come up with a three-point bereavement plan to help parents comfort their mourning children.

Source: Will Harry Potter live or die?

Really now? I read the news out loud to M and she just laughed. “Mom, I cried when the mommy dinosaur died in The Land Before Time movie. I was way younger . I turned out fine.”

I can only roll my eyes at the obvious marketing ploy of some enterprising grief counsellors. Children are very resilient. Children who have gone as far as Book 7 know the characters are just make-believe. They can re-read the book over and over again to digest the loss of their favorite character .

The question is when does a child need a grief counsellor or any kind of professional help? or what are the signs that a parent need to watch over their child when they are faced with a loss of a favorite story character, a pet or a friend or family member?

Let’s assume the child is around 9 years old and above.

Ages 9 and up:

By now the child understands that death is final and irreversible. They not only know it could happen to someone else but also to themselves. They may exhibit a wide range of feelings including: shock, denial, anxiety and fear, anger, depression even withdrawal. Their reactions begin to be much more like an adult except they may act out their grief by behavioral changes at home or school.


Instead of parents preparing themselves for grief counselling , just watch out for any behavioral changes in your child such as:

1. Sleeping habits
2. Study habits
3. Changes in personality behavior which lasts for weeks- include withdrawal, open distress, tears, panic, aggression, anxiety, fear and other signs of stress.

Each child reacts differently to losses. There might be a 0.1% chance a child could be traumatized severely by the deaths in Harry Potter Book 7. Parents know their children enough to know when their child needs help.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1385 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • emi

    how dumb is that. Parents do know better and will know when to get help when needed

  • john

    How strange . So far so good. No hysterics among young readers

  • I think this grief councellor is taking things a bit far. While I commend her creativity in trying to capitalize on Harry Potter’s popularity, I think it’s unfair to parents and children to provoke possible panic.

    Death is a part of life. Most of the fans of Harry Potter books are a fair bit older now…since we’re on to book 7. Yes, there are still young kids reading book 7, but think about all the movies out there that deal with aspects of death, from Snow White, to Bambi, to Never-Ending Story to Lord of the Rings…and even to my novel Whale Song, which deals with the death of a mother.

    J.K. Rowling wrote her novel the way she was compelled to write it–the way the story was meant to be written. Only an author knows how a story is meant to end. As a responsible author as well, I have written my novel in such a way that death has closure, peace, acceptance…and is inevitable. I haven’t read the latest Potter book but perhaps Rowling has done the same, written it in such a way that younger readers will come to terms with death and feel some sense of peace.

    Such is life. We always miss those who pass, but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn to let go. And I think this was J.K. Rowlings way to let go of her characters, and to allow us to do the same.

    Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of The River, Divine Intervention and Whale Song (an bestseller)

  • oh well–just what commercialism can do, or is it because the book is so british, everything is so british, even the movies (non-british were not allowed in the cast) that the britons feel that much attachment?

    at least, i have not, so far, heard of any similar case in our country.

  • @Cheryl- thanks for your perspective. Well [email protected]

    @SexyMom- Just like cheryl said, deaths happen in children’s favorite fairy tales.

  • i can imagine kung ano ang itsura ni marielle while saying that 😀 i agree with her.

  • Wow ha, meron bang ganun? When my kids saw the ending of Flordeluna (ang baduy namin noh), they’re sad and they said the scriptwriter doesnt write well. After nun, play na sila uli. Di naman sila affected considering they’ve watched it from the start (night after night) til the ending. In fact, one scene pa was filmed in our home.he he

  • hi noemi… I’m done reading book7…nakakaiyak po siya talaga.

    I think the harry potter 7 help the readers to start shifting from growing up to growing old. but not in a bad way ah. 🙂

  • Bri

    I’m starting to think I need counseling….

  • Of all places I saw this here in a Pinas-blog
    Yes all this hype about HP counselling. Most people balk at the idea actually. Like your daughter said, most kids are resilient, they’re not as weak as some would believe.

    But then, I think the organisation just wanted publicity. UK has a lot of child helpline already whether it be drugs or abuse or even just a friendly ear. So adding HP-counselling to their list I guess is just saying no one will laugh at anyone’s predicament no matter how small.

  • Ami

    My friend (my age) who has been a fan since book 1 said she needs a counselor. She’s not grieving, it’s more for her Harry Potter withdrawal syndrome 🙂