Counseling Bereaved Children
Breyer State University
COURSE OVERVIEW: Welcome to GRM 5202: Counseling Bereaved Children . This course is part of the Accelerated Master’s program in Grief 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 gain a working understanding of grief in childhood and the major therapeutic concerns in work with these clients. Moreover, GRM 5201 will give you a working understanding of how to engage bereaved children and help them process their loss. It will also provide specific, practical techniques you can use with young clients who have suffered loss.
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 5202 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.
#1. Pearlman, M. Y.; D’Angelo Schwalbe, K.; Cloitre, M. (2010). Grief in Childhood: Fundamentals of Treatment in Clinical Practice. Amer Psychological Association.
ISBN-10: 1433807521 ISBN-13: 978-1433807527
#2. Lowenstein, L. (2006). Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children. Champion Press: Toronto.
ISBN-10: 096851992X ISBN-13: 978-0968519929
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: Brief theoretical overview; Foundations of therapy with bereaved children; IGTC (Integrated Grief Therapy for Children), understanding risk/protective factors; guidelines for practitioners; meeting with caregivers to facilitate therapeutic process of child clients.
Read: Textbook # 1 (Grief in Childhood) Read Part I (Chapters 1, 2 and 3)
Textbook # 2 (Creative Interventions) Read Sections 1, 2 and 3
Complete Assignment 1
Module 2: Interventions for assessment and engagement of bereaved children; addressing common problems in grieving children including depression, anxiety, PTSD and behavioral issues, interventions to help children understand death; processing grief reactions.
Read: Textbook # 1 (Grief in Childhood) Read Part II (Chapters 4,5,6, and 7)
Textbook # 2 (Creative Interventions) Read Sections 4, 5 and 6
Complete Assignment 2
Module 3: Addressing grief and building resilience; commemorating the deceased; facilitating coping and enhancing self-esteem; group and family interventions; fostering resilience; helping children integrate past and present; considerations for specific issues (children bereaved through murder, suicide, cancer); terminating therapy.
Read: Textbook # 1 (Grief in Childhood) Read Part III (Chapters 8,9,10 and 11)
Textbook # 2 (Creative Interventions) Read Sections 7,8,9,10,11
Complete Assignment 3
Module 4: Final Project (This will require you to demonstrate a theoretical and practical working knowledge of major therapeutic issues in grief work with children and apply course material to case vignettes).
Several factors will be taken into account when I review your work:
Content is comprehensive, accurate and all requested information is properly addressed
Major points are stated clearly, and are supported by specific references from the literature, details, examples, and/or analysis.
Research is adequate for the topic
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.
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.
The introduction provides sufficient background on the topic and previews major points.
The structure of the paper is clear and easy to follow.
The paper follows a logical structure and concepts are illustrated with examples wherever possible.
The conclusion reviews the major points.
Sentences are complete, clear, and concise.
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.
Gain an understanding of the bereaved child and major therapeutic issues you are likely to encounter with bereaved children including anxiety and behavioral problems
Understand how to assess grieving children and engage in IGTC (Integrated Grief Therapy for Children)
Gain knowledge on how to help children understand death
Understand how to facilitate coping, build resilience and address self-esteem in the context of grief
Learn how to help bereaved children cope with difficult emotions/memories and integrate past and present
Learn a variety of creative, practical interventions that are effective tools for therapy with bereaved children
Learn some important techniques for collaborating with the bereaved child’s caregivers and engaging bereaved children in a group or family therapy setting.