It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method


£1,220.00 Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!
Please note that if you choose the 'e-learning' (course on USB) method, be aware that due to current covid-19 restrictions there are some countries we can not send USB sticks to.

We recommend you choose the online learning method as all online courses provide access to download course notes to access offline or print. If you do require your course to be supplied on USB stick then please contact us first to check availability for your country.

Qualification - Certificate in Grief, Loss and Crisis

Course CodeVPS030
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours
Grief, Loss and Crisis can have a serious impact on a person's psychological and physical state.  This 600 hour certificate has two core modules of Crisis Counselling and Grief Counselling. You then choose four modules to suit your particular interests in relation to grief, loss and crisis. 
Study with highly experienced tutors at your own pace and in your own time.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Grief, Loss and Crisis.
 Grief Counselling BPS209
 Crisis Counselling BPS304
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 4 of the following 9 modules.
 Anger Management BPS111
 Child Psychology BPS104
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Counselling Skills II BPS110
 Stress Management VPS100
 Aged Care Counselling BPS212
 Conflict Management BPS201
 Developmental Psychology BPS210
 Family Counselling BPS213

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Grief, Loss and Crisis is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

This course comprises of the following nine lessons:
  1. Understanding methods of crisis intervention
    What constitutes a crisis and methods of crisis intervention?
  2. Ethical, professional and legal issues
    Current ethical, professional and legal implications of crisis intervention.
  3. Dangers of crises and effective intervention
    Dangers posed by crisis to the individual, the counsellor, and those around them. Determining effective modes of intervention.
  4. Developmental Crises
    Recognising and comprehending crises from a developmental perspective.
  5. Post-traumatic stress disorder
    Symptoms, treatment options and possible outcomes of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  6. Violence and sexual assault
    Effects of violence and sexual assault on the individual, and possible modes of intervention.
  7. Crisis and drug addiction
    Determining the relationship between crises and drug dependence.
  8. Family crises
    Major issues raises in family crises and appropriate methods of intervention.
  9. Crises and cultural issues
    Cultural influences on crisis situations.

Some of the activities that you will undertake as part of this course are:

  • Role play a critical incident debriefing session
  • Familiarise yourself  with Codes of Conduct
  • Interview a counsellor from a community mental health service in your area
  • View films, read or listen to stories (where possible) about personal or family crises
  • Discuss post-traumatic stress disorder with a community mental health worker
  • Explore physical, emotional, cognitive and social responses to sexual assault or violence
  • Examine the relationship between trauma and drugs
  • Interview or observe people from other cultures to identify cultural and sub-cultural responses to crises
  • Explore how sub-cultural groups may require different counselling approaches
  • Consider various methods of crisis intervention.


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
        Living with grief
        Types of grief
2. Stages of Grief
        Common stages
        Duration of grief
        Tasks of mourning
        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
        Grief for 3 to 6 year old
        Grief for 7 - 8 year old
        Grief for children 9 years and older
        Preparing a child for death
        Sudden death
        After a death
        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 adolescent and adult grief experience
5. Adjustment to Bereavement
        What is grief
        Accept the loss
        Feel the pain
        Adjust, Adapt, etc
        Grief counselling
        Counsellor's 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
        Sociocultural 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
        Chronic 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 individual's 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
  • To describe the different means through which individuals are able to adjust to loss and to consider other options available to them.
  • To 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.

Confront and master questions such as:

  • 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  attitudes toward death in society and how they affect the treatment of dying.
  • Compare effective and ineffective support for people going through
  • Explain why people pass through different stages at different times
  • 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 to determine they are 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  loneliness in the aged.
  • Describe some effects of long term grief.
  • Outline some long term counselling support strategies.



Some losses are especially poignant for children because they are more pertinent to their lifestyles and stage of development.

Changing school - this can be quite traumatic for children, especially if they have also moved house to a new town where they have no friends.

Friendship breakdown - this is probably a greater source of distress for older children who have a greater interest in the opinions of their friends than younger children whose parents are still their most influential role models, although it can still adversely affect younger children.

Parental divorce - children often experience heightened levels of anxiety if their parents get divorced. They might also suffer from problems with their self-esteem. Sometimes they feel guilty. Children who are more internally orientated might become more reclusive or engage in self-harm. Those of a more external orientation might act out through aggressive outbursts, or experimenting with drugs, alcohol or sex.    

Loss of a sibling – as already stated, children do not expect their parents to die when they are young. The loss of a brother or sister can be particularly difficult. Often, children do not expect other children to die. They tend to think that “old people” die, not young people.  The sibling may have been there as a playmate. They may have been there through all of the child’s life and suddenly they are gone.  The loss does not always have to be a death, it could be that the child lived in a blended family and when the family broke up, the children went to live with their respective parents.  Along with the grief they feel, the child will also be aware of the grief that their parent(s) and family are feeling.
Loss of a pet - pets can be very important for children (and adults of course), but the loss of a pet can help a child to prepare for the loss of important people in their lives. Grieving a pet can help them experience the grieving process and learn mechanisms with which to cope with loss later in their lives.


There are various theories that suggest how children generally respond to grief. As with adults, all children are different.

From birth to three years of age, children will tend to see a death or loss as abandonment, loss or separation. They may not find this as distressing as an older child, because they do not fully understand what is happening. The main element to a child of this age is the impact it has on their routine and security AND how adults around them behave. If there is little impact on their routine, then they will eventually come to terms with the situation.

Three to six years – the child will see things as temporary or changeable. They may believe that if they think hard enough or want something enough, that they can cause things to happen, like their parent coming back. This is known as “magical thinking”.  But this can cause problems for the child as they may start to believe they haven’t been good enough or wanted something hard enough.  They may have nightmares or become confused. Some children may regress to an earlier stage of development, whilst others may appear unaffected by the death.

From seven to eight years a child will come to understand that death is final. They will understand perhaps from other losses, such as the loss of a pet. They may be very interested in the details of a death, what happens to the body, where does a person go when they die and so on.  The child will often watch others and how they react to know how they should be responding.  

From nine and upwards, a child will know that death is final.  They will also understand that they could also die. They may show the same behaviours as a grieving adult, but may also “act out” their grief with behavioural changes at home and at school.  

Some children and adolescents may “act out” in response to a loss.  How they think and feel can also be affected.  After a death or loss, a child obviously experiences a situation where someone they are used to is gone. But there may also be situations where other family members are unavailable.  If a parent dies or leaves, the other parent will also be grieving and may not be as responsive and available to the child as he or she was previously.  They may not be able to cope with normal child care because of how they feel.  

Children tend to assume the world is a nice place, but when negative situations happen, they may start to act out or show self-destructive or inappropriate behaviours.  Adults should be aware that it is normal for a child to feel grief and loss after a death, but that some behaviours and thoughts are not appropriate and then a child may need professional help to help them come to terms with their loss.

View sample notes from our Conflict Management and Anger Management courses here. 
Enrol on the course today or if you have any questions, please click here.  

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

Life CoachingExplore careers and business opportunities as a life coach. Build on your existing career and life experiences. Life coaching is all about helping people with their problems, whether financial, career, health or something else. Six chapters cover: what a life coach is, how to help people change, sorting through your own issues, determining what people need, managing risk and how to become a life coach. 67pages
Grief and Crisis CounsellingUnderstand Grief and Crisis situations; and how to better cope.
Psychological ProfilingPsychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someone’s personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.
Psychology DictionaryWritten by professional psychologists, this “dictionary of psychology” contains descriptions for common terms used in Psychology. There are many terms used in the area of Psychology alone, that are explained throughout this text. Other terms have been taken from everyday language and used in a different context to describe psychological phenomena. 66 pages