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Online Continuing Education Courses
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PASTORAL THANATOLOGY

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The following CE Courses have provider approvals: The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc. is a licensed Continuing Education Provider in the State of California, Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15595. 

1. COUNSELING INDIVIDUALS WITH LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS

This course provides a way to better understand the intricate issues and dynamics of various trajectories people might face amid life-threatening illness. Selective theoretical foundations are presented, along with brief anecdotal accounts of individuals facing serious diagnosis. Moreover, a phasic model is proffered depicting the pathways of life-threatening illness. The framework presented in the text can be described as holistic and family-inclusive. Counseling suggestions are offered for practitioners’ consideration when working with gravely sick persons and their families/supportive others. As Doka himself remarks, the goal of the book is “to make the struggle with life-threatening illness a little more understandable and perhaps less lonely and frightening” (2009, p. 11). Upon successful completion of this course, students are awarded 45 contact hours of continuing education credits by the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Course Code: GC 540. Course Cost: $125.00

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 2. When Bad Things Happen: The Existence of Evil. This course is a multi-disciplined course in that it covers theological, social, philosophical, and counseling related topics. This course is presented from a "christian perspective." Its primary importance, in relationship to counseling certifications, is to give the counselor an academic background in the problem of evil, or the theodicy. Bad things happen every day. Catastrophic earthquakes, sudden deaths, and the sadness that can accompany life are all facets of the human condition. While bad things may not be seen as pure evil, but the reality of life, one cannot deny that beyond misery there is an existence of evil that goes well beyond the mere counseling dilemmas that one may face. Upon successful completion of this course, 30 contact hours of education are awarded for recertification status. Cost: $ 75.00. Course Code: SC 405

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3. Current Topics in Death, Dying & Bereavement - This course is designed to provide the health care professional who deals directly with dying, death and bereavement an overview of the topics, trends, research and issues that are current in the field of thanatology today.  Through a series of selected articles, you will have the opportunity to explore and evaluate medical, ethical, emotional, spiritual and cultural topics that constitute ongoing issues in this field.  Topics are centered around new definitions of death; dying and death across the life cycle (children, teens, the elderly); the dying process; ongoing ethical questions connected with dying and death; contemporary trends in funerals and burials rites; and current concepts in the grieving process.  Students studying pastoral thanatology, grief counseling, and funeral services will especially benefit by this course.  The course presupposes that the student is practicing in one of these fields and would like to benefit from a summary and review of the current debates and issues of these fields. Upon successful completion of this course, 45 contact hours of education are awarded for recertification status. Course Cost: $125.00. Course Code: GC 570

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4. Pastoral Care for Complicated Grieving- This course provides the pastoral thanatologist with assessment and counseling strategies critical in the care of clients experiencing complicated and/or dysfunctional reactions to the loss of a loved one.  The course begins with a detailed review of the normal grief response, and then moves into a  comprehensive analysis of the kinds of complications found in each phase of grief.  It distinguishes between complicated grief and dysfunctional grief reactions and provides pastoral strategies to deal with each.  After this foundation is presented, the course provides an understanding of the spiritual aspects of grief and presents pastoral strategies for dealing with these grief issues.  It concentrates on such  pastoral tools like developing connectedness, remembering, a sense of self, relationship, memory building and meaning. Course Cost: $150.00 Course Code: GC 575. Contact hours of Education = 50.

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5. New Concepts in the Science of Bereavement- Old paradigms regarding attachment as pathological or stage theories as universal are quickly being swept under the rug as contemporary grief theorists are realizing the human condition of grief is more diverse than previously thought.  George Bonanno in his book, “The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss”  points out the many new theories regarding grief and grief recovery.  This course uses his text as a blue print to examine grief and older theories regarding it from a new 21st Century perspective that is sure to give any grief counselor new ideas and outlooks on grief recovery. Course Cost: $ 100.00. Course Code: GC 670.  Continuing Education hours =  30.

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6. Elisabeth Kubler Ross and Grief Theory-The teachings and research of Elisabeth Kubler Ross have left a great imprint upon the study of bereavement.  Her research led to the famous phases or steps of grieving for terminally ill patients, starting with denial and ending in acceptance.  However, her research and ideas are much deeper than the steps that developed from her dedicated visitation with the dying.  With it comes a philosophy of death as experienced and formulated by Kubler Ross.  From her writings we see not only a doctor and physician but a caring friend to the dying.  This course looks at three of her works, “On Death and Dying” where she lists her famous steps of grief, and also her two other works entitled “On Children and Death” and “Death: The Final Stage of Growth”.  I hope these texts help grief counselors find a deeper appreciation for one of the pioneers in the science of bereavement. Course Cost: $150.00. Course Code: GC 680. Continuing Education Hours = 50.

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