GRM 5201: Advanced Grief Counseling: Working with Complicated Grief
Breyer State University
Welcome to GRM 5201, Advanced Grief Counseling: Working with Complicated Grief. 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 provide students with a working understanding of the dynamics of “complicated” grief and how to facilitate this process through counseling. Clients with complicated grief may feel that the bereavement process has taken over their lives, gone on unaltered for a long time, and/or led them to feel “stuck in time”. Conversely, complicated grief may present as muted, absent or “blank” reactions to loss actually underlie problematic emotional dynamics of denial and displacement that can in turn facilitate a host of issues (from depression to addictions). This course will provide you with an understanding of these topics and skills needed to approach them therapeutically within the context of counseling.
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 5201 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.
Stroebe, M., Schut, H. and Van Den Bout, J. (Eds.) (2013). Complicated Grief: Scientific Foundations for Health Care Professionals. Routledge: New York.
ISBN-10: 041562505X ISBN-13: 978-0415625050
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: The nature of complicated grief through different conceptual approaches; diagnostic categorization of grief and the debate surrounding this practice; complicated grief in clients with diagnosed psychological disorders.
Read: Parts I, II and III of the textbook (chapters 1- 10)
Complete Assignment 1
Module 2: Contemporary understanding of risk factors, processes and mechanisms of complicated grief; rumination; attachment and complicated grief; neurobiology of complicated grief.
Read: Part IV of the textbook (chapters 11-15)
Complete Assignment 2
Module 3: The treatment of complicated grief: counseling approaches including cognitive-behavioral techniques, family therapy, brief group therapy; interventions with special populations (such as with clients who suffered loss through violent death).
Read: Parts V and VI in the textbook (Chapters 16-21)
Complete Assignment 3
Module 4: Final Project (Apply coursework material to 2 of 3 case vignettes, demonstrating both a theoretical and practical understanding of counseling clients with complicated grief).
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.
Understand what is meant by “complicated grief” and how it can present in a client
Gain an understanding of the controversial issue of diagnosing complicated grief/viewing it as disordered
Understand the basic relevant theoretical background and research on this topic
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.
Learn specific counseling approaches and be able to discern which approaches/techniques are best suited to different clients/situations
Understand different counseling interventions with people suffering from prolonged, muted, or complex bereavement processes.