Grief Counselling Training Course - understand bereavement and loss to help support others

What is grief, why is it usually healthy and normal, and how can you help someone suffering grief?

Everyone suffers grief at some stage; and for some helping others deal with grief can be a significant part of their job.

Grief is either uncomplicated – “normal” grief or complicated. This is the reaction of a loved one to loss. Some grieving individuals may display symptoms that are characteristic of a Major Depressive Episode eg. Sadness, insomnia, poor appetite, weight loss. The bereaved person may think the depressed mood is “normal”, but others may seek professional help for the attendant symptoms, such as insomnia. The duration and expression of “normal” bereavement varies among different cultural groups.

  • This course provides a sound basis for understanding and working with grief, as a counsellor or in any other capacity where such an understanding is required.

Grief Counselling Training Course

Would you like to support people who are suffering from a bereavement or loss?

This in-depth course looks at grief, the stages of grief, and the techniques to support people who are grieving.

  • Help people cope with grief.

  • Expand your knowledge and skills in counselling and human behaviour.


This course is suitable for:

  • Counsellors

  • Support Workers

  • Parents

  • Carers

  • Foster Carers

  • Teachers

  • Social Workers

  • And anyone working with people who may have experienced grief or loss.


Course Structure and Contents

The course comprises eight lessons as follows:

1. Nature and Scope of Grief and Bereavement
  • Understanding loss
  • Society's views on loss
  • Coping with loss
  • Knowing what to expect
  • Mourning
  • Living with grief
  • Terminology
  • Types of grief
2. Stages of Grief
  • Common stages
  • Duration of grief
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
  • Tasks of mourning
  • Criticism
  • Mourning process in Judaism (case study)
  • Response to loss and grieving
  • Not coping
3. Grief and Children
  • Grief for children up to three years old
  • Grief for 3 to 6 year old
  • Grief for 7 - 8 year old
  • Grief for children 9 years and older
  • Preparing a child for death
  • Sudden death
  • After a death
  • Funerals
  • Typical child responses to grief
  • Case studies
  • Feelings about suicide
  • Supporting a grieving child
  • Help from family and friends
  • Guidelines for letting children know what is and is not acceptable
  • Children with serious problems with loss and grief
4. Grief and Adolescents
  • Grief as a unique adolescent experience
  • Adolescent responses: remoteness, anger, abuse, tears, egocentrism, sense of universality, etc.
  • Helping the grieving adolescent
  • Difference between adolescent and adult grief experience
5. Adjustment to Bereavement
  • What is grief
  • Accept the loss
  • Feel the pain
  • Adjust, Adapt, etc.
  • Grief counselling
  • Counsellors response and intervention
6. Abnormal Grief
  • Complicated grief reactions
  • Worden's categories of complicated grief reactions
  • Causes of abnormal grief
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Symptoms and treatment of PTSD
  • Loss of children in pregnancy: ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage
  • Supporting people with complicated grief
  • Managing grief after a disaster
  • The course of bereavement
  • Complications of bereavement
  • Traumatic grief
  • Risk factors for complications of bereavement
  • Treating bereaved individuals
  • Role of the professional in early stages of disaster bereavement
7. Preparing for Grief and Bereavement
  • Socio-cultural influences on the grief process
  • Grief and terminal illness
  • Preparing for an approaching death
  • Practical preparations
  • Emotional responses of the dying
  • Responses of family and friends
8. Future Outlook and Long-Term Grief
  • Psychological aspects of long term grief
  • Chronic illness and grief case study
  • Disabled child case study
  • Strategies for handling long term grief: guided mourning, support groups, medication, etc

Course Duration
- 100 hours 


Course Aims

  • Describe the nature and scope of grief and bereavement counselling and individuals' attitudes to grief.

  • To identify through continuing exploration, the meaning and responses of a wide range of loss situations, taking cultural variations into account.

  • To describe the different ways that children may respond to grief and to develop appropriate strategies for helping them to cope.

  • Determine the different ways that adolescents may respond to grief and to examine how these perspectives have translated into counselling practice

  • To describe the different means through which individuals are able to adjust to loss and to consider other options available to them.

  • To describe when an individual's response to grief may be considered abnormal and to discuss methods of assisting such individuals.

  • Define the different ways of preparing for grief and bereavement and to consider social, cultural and psychological perspectives.

  • Describe separation, loneliness, the effects of long-term grief and long-term counselling support strategies.

  • Confront and master questions such as:

    • List euphemisms for dying.
    • Consider factors that can help set the conditions for the good death
    • Discuss the ways that a wake or funeral service can be of help to mourners.
    • Discuss attitudes toward death in society and how they affect the treatment of dying.
    • Compare effective and ineffective support for people going through
    • Explain why people pass through different stages at different times
    • List mechanisms available to help a counsellor support someone who is grieving.
    • Describe ways in which children might respond to grief.
    • Explain why different children respond to grief in different ways.
    • Describe counselling strategies for supporting the grieving child.
    • Research how adolescents respond to grief.
    • Outline counselling strategies for supporting the grieving adolescent.
    • List suicide prevention strategies.
    • Explain in general how we adjust to loss.
    • List some dangers of loss.
    • Describe some alternatives for loss recovery.
    • Research how bereavement affects survivors.
    • Describe some abnormal responses to grief, and how to determine they are abnormal.
    • Describe some treatment methods for assisting a person suffering from abnormal grief.
    • Briefly describe symptoms of PTSD
    • Discuss socio-cultural perspectives in preparing for grief and bereavement.
    • Research physiological and psychological effects of loneliness in the aged.
    • Describe some effects of long term grief.
    • Outline some long term counselling support strategies.


How Do People Cope With Grief?


Bereavement literally means being deprived by death. If someone close to us dies, we go through a process of mourning. Bereavement can have many physical and emotional effects on us, which will be covered later in the course.


To experience loss, we need attachment. There are many theories about why humans and some animals make emotional attachments to others. Survival could be one reason. Some theorists argue that it is purely biological, whilst others argue that attachments form due to the need for safety and security. John Bowlby (1980) supported the latter view.

We learn attachment behaviour from the time we are born and this affects our relationships throughout our lives. If we learn to trust and have steady, dependable care, we are able to grow up with high self-esteem and independence. We are also able to love and be loved. The greater the attachment, there is obviously the greater potential for loss. We may experience many losses throughout our lives, the loss of a loved one, a pet, a job, financial security, but we may also experience the loss of potential, that is, what might have been - the job we might have had, the parent we never knew and so on. This course covers grief counselling, supporting clients through the difficult process of coming to terms with their loss.


Scope of this Course

All sorts of things can cause grief, Things that have no impact on one person can have a life shattering impact on others. The grieving process has common threads no matter what you might be grieving over. This course can be relevant to any situation where a person is grieving; including:

  •  Moving home

  •  Disasters

  •  Alcoholism

  •  Disability – own, family member, friend

  •  Stillbirth

  •  Assault

  •  Kidnapping/Abduction

  •  Murder

  •  Life transitions

  •  Being dismissed from your job

  •  Status

  •  Relationships breaking up/divorce/growing up

  •  Abortion

  •  Miscarriage

  •  Promotion

  •  Marriage

  •  Emigration/immigration

  •  Going to hospital

  •  Loss of friends

  •  Loss of culture

  •  Loss of native language

  •  Not being able to have a baby/having a baby

  •  Prison

  •  Major incidents eg. shooting, fire

  •  Job move

  •  Drug abuse

  •  Suicide

  •  Alzheimer ’s disease

  •  Parkinson ’s disease

  •  Execution

  •  Body image e.g. mastectomy, amputation

  •  Blindness

  •  Deafness

  •  Assassination

  •  Rape

  •  Redundancy

  •  Pets

  •  Retirement

  •  Burglary

This course will help you to provide support to people who are grieving, those who are sad and experiencing difficulties due to bereavement or loss.

You Can Enrol Today!


You can get started and enrol now

If you have any questions or want to know more about the course, please ask. Our counselling tutors are more than happy to help with any questions. You can contact us now by 

Phone (International) +61 7 5562 1088 or (in Australia) 07 5562 1088, or

Email us at [email protected], or use our