GRM 5103: Grief Counseling
Breyer State University
COURSE OVERVIEW: Welcome to GRM 5103, Grief Counseling. This course is part of the Accelerated Masters in Counseling program 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 introduce students to the theory and practice of grief counseling. The coursework topics include: the nature of the experience of grief, attachment/loss, the major factors that mediate the mourning process, “uncomplicated” vs. “complicated” grief processes and how they can be facilitated by the counselor, special types of loss (such as through suicide), grief in the family system, preparing to deal with loss/grief as a counselor.
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: GRM 5103 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.
COURSE MATERIALS: Worden, William J. (2009). Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy: A Handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner. Routledge: New York
ISBN-10: 0415559995 ISBN-13: 978-0415559997
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 : Attachment, loss and the experience of grief; understanding the mourning process, factors mediating mourning (and how to build a complete picture of a client’s grief experience)
Read: Introduction and Chapters 1, 2, and 3 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 1
Module 2: Grief Counseling: facilitating “uncomplicated” grief processes vs “complicated” mourning
Read: Chapters 4, 5 and 6 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 2
Module 3: Special types of losses, grief in the family system, the counselor’s preparation for approaching grief counseling
Read: Chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 3
Module 4: Final Project (Apply coursework material to 2 of 4 case vignettes, showing your working understanding of grief and therapeutic approaches for facilitating the mourning process in clients).
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. Gain an understanding of the nature of grief/mourning
2. Understand how attachment plays a role in the experience of grief
3. Understand the major factors that mediate the grief experience
4. Apply the theoretical understanding of the material to case vignettes
5. Understand “uncomplicated” grief vs. “complicated” grief and how to facilitate them in counseling
6. Understand how grief can affect the family system
7. Learn how a counselor can prepare him/herself for working with issues of loss and grief
8. Gain skills to appropriately approach clients processing different types of grief/loss situations