Bereavement Course

The 12 Course Modules

1. Understanding death, bereavement and grief

  • Attitudes towards dying and death. Loss and grief in life.
  • People’s range of emotions following a death.
  • Symptoms of grief. Physical effects of grief.
  • Stages of grief. Kubler–Ross.
  • Other grief models.
  • The Loss Cycle
  • Anticipatory grief.
  • Grief resolution.
  • Unresolved grief.
  • How different cultures view grief. Common myths about grief and the grieving process.
  • Complicated feelings. Being conflicted.
  • From grief to depression: symptoms.
  • Emotions that emerge after death.
  • Delay in the grieving process caused by practical issues.

2. Parental grief

  • Dealing with the tragedy of child death
  • Who is involved.
  • Still birth.
  • Death of a neonate
  • Death of a child.

3. Child grief

  • Death of a parent. Grandparent. Pet death.
  • Changes in a child's behaviour. Bed wetting, thumb sucking, withdrawal and other behaviours. How and why children play up after bereavement.
  • Helping children deal with death. Talking to a child about death.
  • Pre-counselling Fully understanding the nature and issues concerning the child and the death before counselling.
  • Involving the child in the funeral.
  • Memory box.
  • Helping teens.
  • Useful books for children.

4. Bereaved by suicide

  • Who commits suicide and why.
  • Terminology. What the bereaved can say about the death.
  • Impact of a suicide note. Impact on the parent.
  • Impact on a child. Will the child copy the suicidal act?
  • Practical issues: the inquest. Post mortem. Who to notify. The Bereavement Register.
  • Joining a support group.

5. Death of an adult parent.

  • The widow and widower
  • Grief after terminal illness. The impact on the carer. Recognising the centre in family structure and new roles.
  • Widow and widower bereavement.
  • Widowed young, widowed in later life.The first few weeks.
  • The effect of death on the strong one, the breadwinner, on males.

6. Grief counselling strategies

  • Assessment strategies.
  • Setting realistic expectations for the client’s grief: duration, impact.
  • Helping the client move on. 
  • Help to understand the mourning process.
  • Grief counselling versus grief therapy.
  • Writing exercises
  • Journaling.
  • Writing a letter to the deceased
  • How the client can help themselves.
  • Words of grief
  • Strategies for coping.
  • Strategies for overcoming depression.

7. Practical issues. The funeral

  • Registering a death. The undertaker.
  • The funeral.
  • Adapting and personalising the service.
  • Public displays.
  • Wearing black. Party or wake.

8. After the funeral

  • Wakes
  • Rituals: public and private
  • The will. Probate.
  • House clearance. Inheritance tax. Selling the house.

9. Helping other professionals to cope

  • Teachers, medical professionals, social care staff, police and prison staff, work colleagues.
  • How professionals can be affected.
  • How they can help.
  • What to say. What not to say.

10. Setting up a private practice

  • Setting up a private bereavement counselling practice
  • location
  • Naming your company
  • How to advertise and promote your practice.
  • Business plan

11. How to charge, get paid and manage your money, and stay within the law

  • Charging
  • How to keep the books and manage your money
  • Staying within the law.
  • Insurance and business structure.
  • Book keeping
  • Accountants

12. Launching your practice and finding clients

  • Strategic marketing planning
  • Advertising and promotion
  • Personal selling
  • Tips for print media
  • Your potential market

Bonus: Guide to Counselling skills

  • The role and value of listening therapy.
  • Active listening
  • How to establish a relationship using counselling skills
  • Empathy. Non-judgmental interaction. On giving advice.
  • The role of silence
  • Body language.
  • Giving advice
  • Prompts
  • Terminating a session
  • The client: counsellor relationship. Ethical framework
  • Referring clients