Loss, Trauma and Resilience
Breyer State University
COURSE OVERVIEW: Welcome to GRD 1204, Loss, Trauma and Resilience. This course is part of the Accelerated Doctoral program in Counseling at Breyer State University. It is a 6-hour semester course that must be completed within 6 weeks. The aim of this course is to further understand the psychological experience of loss, explore the dynamics of ambiguous loss, understand resilience and how to strengthen it therapeutically, and gain further knowledge on attachment and its relationship to grief work.
Please bear in mind that this is an accelerated program, so you will find the course to be fast-paced and the workload a bit more intense than what is typical in a regular program.
TIME FRAME: GRD 1204 is a 6 hour semester course that must be completed within a 6 week period. You must complete all course requirements successfully within that time period. Week one will begin when you register for the course or, alternatively, the day you notify me via e-mail that you have received the textbook and are ready to begin. Extensions are granted in certain circumstances. You must obtain written approval from the instructor and/or department for extensions.
Boss, P. (2006) Loss, Trauma and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss. Norton & Norton: New York.
ISBN-10: 0393704491 ISBN-13: 978-0393704495
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS: After completing your required reading for each module as instructed, you will complete your assignment. I will provide feedback and then you will be able to move on to the following module. The written papers/examinations should be approached after you feel you have mastered the material so that you are capable of elaborating on it and applying it as needed instead of merely repeating it. You should try to integrate suggestions and corrections into subsequent work you submit. Remember, do not hesitate to contact me with questions about the course, the material or my feedback.
Module 1: Loss and ambiguity overview; the “psychological family” and its therapeutic implications; the role of trauma and stress; understanding resilience and health.
Read: Introduction and Chapters 1, 2 and 3 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 1
Module 2: Therapeutic goals for treating ambiguous loss: finding meaning, tempering mastery, reconstructing identity.
Read: Chapters 4, 5 and 6 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 2
Module 3: More therapeutic goals for treating ambiguous loss: normalizing ambivalence, revising attachment, discovering hope. The therapist’s preparation, including increasing his/her own comfort with issues surrounding ambiguity and loss.
Read: Chapters 7, 8, 9 in the textbook and the Epilogue.
Complete Assignment 3
Module 4: Final Project (Apply coursework material to case vignettes, demonstrating both a theoretical and practical understanding of the material).
Several factors will be taken into account when I review your work:
1. Content is comprehensive, accurate and all requested information is properly addressed
2. Major points are stated clearly, and are supported by specific references from the literature, details, examples, and/or analysis.
3.Research is adequate for the topic
4.Any concept that is not strictly your own MUST be appropriately referenced using APA style. The correct format for indirect referencing is (Author’s last name, year) at the END of a sentence and (Author, year, p. #) for direct quotes.
5.You are able to show that you are not merely memorizing information but rather are processing it and are capable of applying it to real-life scenarios with clients whenever possible.
1. The introduction provides sufficient background on the topic and previews major points.
2. The structure of the paper is clear and easy to follow.
3. The paper follows a logical structure and concepts are illustrated with examples wherever possible.
4. The conclusion reviews the major points.
1. Sentences are complete, clear, and concise.
2. The tone is appropriate to the content and assignment and qualifies as higher level academic writing.
90-100% will correspond to an A
80-89 = B
Below 70 will be a failing grade.
1. Further understand the psychological dynamics of loss and ambiguity
2. Further understand the role of attachment in the grief process and how it can be addressed therapeutically to facilitate healing
3. Understand the dynamics of “ambiguous loss” and its consequences for clients
4. Apply the theoretical understanding of the material to case vignettes, gaining a working understanding of how to counsel clients presenting with this type of grief.
5. Learn specific issues typically addressed in therapy, including the search for meaning and identity reconstruction.
6. Understand the roots of resilience and how to foster it in clients during therapy
7. Address your own comfort with ambiguity and loss as a therapist and learn how to prepare for this type of therapeutic work.