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Grief Counselling

Course CodeBPS209
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study grief counselling by distance learning.

Understand the grieving process and how to support adults, children and teenagers through their grief or loss.

Everyone experiences a bereavement or loss at sometime in their lives.

This course helps you to understand the grieving process, types of grief and loss and how to support people who are grieving.

  • This course provides a sound basis for understanding and working with people who are experiencing grief.
  • Develop your understanding of appropriate practices and procedures for Grief Counselling.
  • Study the Nature and Scope of Grief
  • Stages of Grief
  • The experience of grief for adults, children and adolescents
  • Adjustment to Bereavement
  • Abnormal Grief and complications in the grieving process
  • Preparing for Bereavement
  • Long-term Grief
  • Mourning
  • Depression

Who should study this course?

If you work or support people dealing with loss this course should benefit you.

  • Supporting people through their grief can be an important part of your job.
  • You may have suffered grief in the past yourself.
  • Gain confidence in supporting people with bereavement.
  • Save yourself time and money by distance education.
  • Learn about different responses to grief for different ages, stages and cultures.
  • The Grief Counselling course looks at many different areas, including suicide.

    Lesson Structure

    There are 8 lessons in this course:

    1. Nature and Scope of Grief and Bereavement
      • Understanding loss
      • Society's views on loss
      • Coping with loss
      • Knowing what to expect
      • Mourning
      • Living with grief
      • Terminology
      • Types of grief
    2. Stages of Grief
      • Common stages
      • Duration of grief
      • Denial
      • Anger
      • Bargaining
      • Depression
      • Acceptance
      • Tasks of mourning
      • Criticism
      • Mourning process in Judaism (case study)
      • Response to loss and grieving
      • Not coping
    3. Grief and Children
      • Grief for children up to three years old
      • Greif for 3 to 6 year old
      • Grief for 7 - 8 year old
      • Greif for children 9 years and older
      • Preparing a child for death
      • Sudden death
      • After a death
      • Funerals
      • Typical child responses to grief
      • Case studies
      • Feelings about suicide
      • Supporting a grieving child
      • Help from family and friends
      • Guidelines for letting children know what is and is not acceptable
      • Children with serious problems with loss and grief
    4. Grief and Adolescents
      • Grief as a unique adolescent experience
      • Adolescent responses: remoteness, anger, abuse, tears, egocentrism, sense of universality, etc
      • Helping the grieving adolescent
      • Difference between adolecent and adult grief experience
    5. Adjustment to Bereavement
      • What is grief
      • Accept the loss
      • Feel the pain
      • Adjust, Adapt, etc
      • Grief counselling
      • Counsellors response and intervention
    6. Abnormal Grief
      • Complicated grief reactions
      • Worden's categories of complicated grief reactions
      • Causes of abnormal grief
      • Post traumatic stress disorder
      • Symptoms and treatment of PTSD
      • Loss of children in pregnancy: ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage
      • Supporting people with complicated grief
      • Managing grief after a disaster
      • The course of bereavement
      • Complications of bereavement
      • Traumatic grief
      • Risk factors for complications of bereavement
      • Treating bereaved individuals
      • Role of the professional in early stages of disaster bereavement
    7. Preparing for Grief and Bereavement
      • Socio cultural influences on the grief process
      • Grief and terminal illness
      • Preparing for an approaching death
      • Practical preparations
      • Emotional responses of the dying
      • Responses of family and friends
    8. Future Outlook and Long-Term Grief
      • Psychological aspects of long term grief
      • Cronic illness and grief case study
      • Disabled child case study
      • Strategies for handling long term grief: guided mourning, support groups, medication, etc

    Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


    • Describe the nature and scope of grief and bereavement counselling and individuals’ attitudes to grief.
    • To identify through continuing exploration, the meaning and responses of a wide range of loss situations, taking cultural variations into account.
    • To describe the different ways that children may respond to grief and to develop appropriate strategies for helping them to cope.
    • Determine the different ways that adolescents may respond to grief and to examine how these perspectives have translated into counselling practice
    • Describe the different means through which individuals are able to adjust to loss and to consider other options available to them.
    • Describe when an individual’s response to grief may be considered abnormal and to discuss methods of assisting such individuals.
    • Define the different ways of preparing for grief and bereavement and to consider social, cultural and psychological perspectives.
    • Describe separation, loneliness, the effects of long-term grief and long-term counselling support strategies.

    What You Will Do

    • List euphemisms for dying.
    • Consider factors that can help set the conditions for the good death
    • Discuss the ways that a wake or funeral service can be of help to mourners.
    • Discuss contemporary attitudes toward death in society and how they affect the treatment of dying.
    • Describe the stages of grief.
    • Explain why people pass through different stages at different times and not in a particular order.
    • List mechanisms available to help a counsellor support someone who is grieving.
    • Describe ways in which children might respond to grief.
    • Explain why different children respond to grief in different ways.
    • Describe counselling strategies for supporting the grieving child.
    • Research how adolescents respond to grief.
    • Outline counselling strategies for supporting the grieving adolescent.
    • List suicide prevention strategies.
    • Explain in general how we adjust to loss.
    • List some dangers of loss.
    • Describe some alternatives for loss recovery.
    • Research how bereavement affects survivors.
    • Describe some abnormal responses to grief, and how they are determined to be abnormal.
    • Describe some treatment methods for assisting a person suffering from abnormal grief.
    • Briefly describe symptoms of PTSD
    • Discuss socio-cultural perspectives in preparing for grief and bereavement.
    • Research physiological and psychological effects of separation and loneliness in the aged.
    • Describe some effects of long term grief.
    • Outline some long term counselling support strategies.
    • Compare effective and ineffective support for people going through grief and loss.

    No one can Avoid the Impact of Grief

    Sooner or later; everyone has to face grief in their lives. If you deal with grief in a healthy and appropriate way, the physical and mental repercussions are minimised.

    People who say they are unaffected by grief are the ones who are likely to be affected most. Avoidance is no coping mechanism.

    Grief may be hidden from others, but when it is internalised it will manifest in physical and/or psychological changes.

    Physical Impacts can include:

    • Gastric ulcers
    • A weakened Immune System
    • Heart problems
    • Strokes
    • Cancer
    • Digestive Ulcers
    • Diabetes
    • Infertility
    • Obesity - due to comfort eating

    As well as possible problems related to physical health, there are many different ways that negative events and chronic stress can impact upon an individual's psychological well-being. Those under stress have been observed to show heightened irritability and more negative thinking patterns which can also maintain stress. Some of the long term psychological implications of ongoing stress, grief or trauma may include:

    • Learned helplessness
    • Memory problems
    • Concentration problems
    • Poor judgment
    • Negative attitudes
    • Constant worrying
    • Moodiness
    • Irritability
    • Feeling Agitated
    • Feelings of being overwhelmed
    • Feelings loneliness
    • Eating more or less
    • Sleep disturbance – sleeping too much or disturbed sleep patterns
    • Alcohol, cigarette, or drug use
    • Nervous habits such as nail biting
    • Reduced sex drive

    Long-term stress may also act as a trigger to mental health disorders such as:

    • Mood disorders e.g. chronic depression, bipolar disorders  
    • Anxiety disorders e.g. post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder, panic disorders, phobias
    • Substance abuse disorders

    What do our students think about the course?

    "Being able to apply myself to distance education for the topic that interests me has been invaluable. Living in a remote area has a number of disadvantages. The lack of access to continuing education is one of great importance. Successfully completing the Grief Counselling course has enabled me to think ahead and possibly attempt future studies on this much needed issue". Mary Ann Cohen, Grief Counselling

    Why Should YOU study this course?

    If you would like to learn more about grief and loss, the theories of grief and loss and helping to support people through difficult periods of their life, then this course will be an excellent start point.

    As well as improving your job and career prospects, it will enable you to provide excellent and compassionate support to people who are hurting.

    Learn more about grief counselling with this excellent course! Why not enrol now?

    If you have any questions, our specialist Psychology and Counselling tutors will be happy to help - get in touch using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

    Meet some of our academics

    Lyn QuirkM.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
    Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

    Check out our eBooks

    Helping People Deal with Grief or CrisisThe 'Helping people cope with Grief or Crisis- Getting through difficult times’ ebook provides a fascinating insight into grief and traumatic events and also provides the reader with a solid understanding of how to support others who are having a difficult time. This ebook is an ideal reference for counsellors or anybody who would like to assist someone in a difficult situation.
    Counselling HandbookFull of interesting case studies, this ebook is a wonderful introduction to the complex world of the human psyche. Chapters include: Using Counselling, Seeing Behind the Mask, Emotions and Attitudes, Communicating Better, Theory vs Practice, Diffusing Difficult Situations and Golden Rules for Counselors. 43 pages
    How Children ThinkLearn more about child psychology and how children think. Have you ever tried to make a child clean up their mess, stop throwing mud or stop drawing on the walls? Then you will know that children think differently to adults. This book is for parents or students of psychology. Seven chapters cover: developmental stages, the influence of nature and nurture, creating balance, changing behaviours, problems and solutions, and staying up to date. 73 pages 40 colour photos
    How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.