How Conflicts Arises at a Funeral Home—and How to Handle It

May 30, 2020 12:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s no secret that handling death is extremely difficult for most people. Funerals and the deaths that have preceded them are some of the most stressful parts of the entire human experience. Planning a funeral is a new experience for many of the people who are entrusted with handling it, so it’s no surprise that emotions can run high among family members and loved ones who have different visions for what a loved one’s last wishes would have looked like.

Conflict in a funeral home in Lake City, FL can be managed, however, especially with guidance from a therapist. Below, the team at ICS Cremation & Funeral Home has outlined some of the ways in which conflicts arise, and what to do about them.

Defense mechanism #1: Denial and repression

Denial can be a powerful emotion that many people do not believe will manifest in them until it actually happens. It’s important to help family members navigate the “this is not real” sensations by guiding them through the process. Using matter-of-fact language is a good first step, as it helps them start to traffic in facts. It should also be encouraged for family members to view the body, as this will help them accept the concrete reality of the situation.

Defense mechanism #2: Displacement reactions

This is the part that can most affect a funeral home’s staff. Conflict over funeral arrangements in Lake City, FL can really originate at this stage, where loved ones might start to direct their grief and resulting anger towards people who are not really involved in the process. This can include funeral home employees, so it’s important that they’re ready for this contingency. Empathizing with their situation can go a long way, as can mentally preparing for the situation and understanding that this outcome can be inevitable in many instances.

Defense mechanism #3: Projection

Projection can also affect the employees of funeral homes. Conflict in a funeral home in Lake City, FL can come in the form of family members who are angry about the financial side of things, and they can then project this anger onto employees. They might make accusations of profiteering, of emotional distance or of employees not liking them. It’s important to remember that these might be projected emotions that are manifestations of things that they are themselves feeling.

Defense mechanism #4: Reaction formation

Sometimes, people planning a funeral are going to make irrational decisions as a result of their grief and/or their feelings about the deceased. They might spend more money than they had intended in order to “prove” their love for the departed. They can then regret these decisions later and blame your staff, so manage conflict in a funeral home in Lake City, FL by making sure that decisions are not made in a clearly traumatized emotional state.

These are some of the principles that we work with at our funeral home, where our two decades of success shows that these strategies can really work. Families look to funeral home employees for guidance during these times as well as emotional support, so it’s vital that staff be well equipped. To learn more, reach out to ICS Cremation & Funeral Home today.

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