Counseling the Terminally Ill Client
Breyer State University
COURSE OVERVIEW: Welcome to GRM 5205, Counseling the Terminally Ill Client. This course is part of the Accelerated Master’s 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 provide students with an overview of major concerns and issues relevant to working with terminally ill clients and clients dealing with debilitating illness or serious diagnoses. Topics will include working with clients who live with serious illness, counseling clients through a difficult diagnosis, and counseling clients who are approaching the terminal phase of their lives, and addressing terminal illness within the family system.
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 5205 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: Doka, K.J. (2008). Counseling Individuals with Life-Threatening Illness. Springer Publishing.
ISBN-10: 0826115411 | ISBN-13: 978-0826115416
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 : Introduction to counseling with terminally ill clients; historical perspectives on work with the ill and dying; major factors counselors should be sensitive to; counseling skills with different types of ill/dying clients.
Read: Chapters 1-4 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 1
Module 2: Common psychological responses to life-threatening illness; understanding the experience of serious illness for children, adolescents, adults and older adults; counseling ill clients before and during diagnosis.
Read: Chapters 5-8 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 2
Module 3: Counseling clients who live with difficult symptoms/chronic illness; special issues with clients in recovery; counseling issues with dying clients and helping clients prepare for death; overview of working with families with a terminally ill member.
Read: Chapters 9-12 in the textbook
Complete Assignment 3
Module 4: Final Project (Demonstrate your working understanding of major issues involved in counseling clients with chronic illness or who are terminally ill).
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 major issues faced by clients with chronic illness or debilitating symptoms
Understand how to help clients through a difficult diagnosis
Understand common psychological responses to life-threatening illness
Understand specific issues for sick/dying children, adolescents, adults and seniors
Learn about working with clients who are facing the end of their lives
Gain a basic understanding of how to work with sick/dying clients within the family system