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GRF 600

Breyer State University


COURSE OVERVIEW: Grief Counseling involves helping people facilitate uncomplicated grief. 

The goal of grief counseling is to help the survivor complete any unfinished business with the deceased and to be able to say good-bye to what once was. (Worden, 2010)

APPROVAL: This course is approved by the American Academy of Grief Counseling for 75 hours of continuing education toward Fellowship Status and/or recertification.

TIME FRAME: This is a four-semester hour course. This course is allotted 15 weeks of time. Students must complete all of the requirements for the course successfully by the end of the 15-week period. The first day of week one will begin the day that you register for the course, or the day which you notify me that your text book(s) have arrived and you are ready to begin your studies. Please be cognizant of the time frame. It is rare that extensions of time are permitted, unless the student has good justification. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be awarded 4 semester hours of credit.

TEXTBOOKS: There is one (1) required textbook for this course.

Book 1: Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy, J. William Worden., Fourth Edition (2009). ISBN# 978-0826 10120-4.

For links to the university bookstore and other services, please go to the "Links" section at the top of your classroom.

You may also purchase the text directly from Springer Publishing Company at 536 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3955. Telephone # (212) 431-4370.

EXAMINATIONS: There are no examinations for this course.

GRADING: The grading scale for this course is as follows:

90-100%    = A
80-89%      = B
70-79%      = C
Below 70% = Fail


RESEARCH PAPER                       -20%
EIGHTEEN VIGNETTES                  -45%
2 CRITIQUE/SUMMARY                   -10%
JOURNAL                                           -10%
SELF EVALUATION                            -5%
TOTAL                                                -100%

COMMUNICATION: You are encouraged to communicate with me. I am available as a teacher, coach, and mentor to assist you in meeting your goals for this course. Primarily, communication is through email. However, I am also available for conversation by telephone if you would like. Our classroom for this course has a "chat" room. I am also very willing to meet with you one-on-one in the chat room at your request. From time to time, depending on how many students are enrolled in this course at a particular time, we will have some scheduled group chats. You will receive more detailed information at the time such chat sessions are scheduled. Please keep my email address handy so that you can contact me whenever necessary. Upon registration, you will receive my email address. If at any time during this course you change your email address, please be sure to notify me right away.

GOALS: The goal of grief counseling is to help the survivor complete any unfinished business with the deceased and to be able to say good-bye to what once was. (Worden, 2002)

There are specific goals which correspond to Worden's four tasks of mourning:
1). To increase the reality of the loss.
2). To help the counselee deal with both expressed and latent affect.
3). To help the counselee overcome various impediments to readjustment after the loss.
4). To help the counselee find a way to remember the deceased while feeling comfortable reinvesting in life.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1). Understand the complex phenomenon of bereavement in order to help those who mourn resolve their grieving in a healthy manner.
2). Understand that grief often surfaces as the underlying cause of various physical and mental aberrations.
3). Understand unresolved grief.
4). Understand the Attachment Theory.
5). Understand Normal Grief.
6). Understand the manifestations of Normal Grief.
7). Understand Grief and Depression.
8). Comprehend Worden's tasks of Mourning.
9). Understand when to do grief counseling.
10). Understand the effectiveness of Grief Counseling.
11). Understand complicated mourning.
12). Understand special types of losses.
13). Understand different intervention approaches used in counseling.
14). Understand the counselor's own grief, stress and burnout.
15). Know the factors that contribute to the intensity of grief reactions.
16). Understand the family versus individual needs during grief.
17). Understand family dynamics.
18). Understand exercises and vignettes that will help you be an effective grief counselor.


1). Introduction.
2). Attachment, Loss and the Experience of Grief.
3). Understanding the Mourning Process.
4). Grief Counseling: Facilitating Uncomplicated Grief.
5). Abnormal Grief Reactions: Complicated Mourning.
6). Grief Therapy: Resolving Complicated Mourning.
7). Grieving Special Types of Losses.
8). Grief and Family Systems.
9). The Counselor's Own Grief.
10). Training for Grief Counseling.

INFORMATION: If you have any questions regarding this program, you may contact the instructor at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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