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GC 500


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Course Information

This online course covers a comprehensive overview and review of normal grief reactions and the grieving process. It then explores in depth the issues of complicated and abnormal grief reactions and processes. Students learn the signs/symptoms of complicated and abnormal grief as well as criteria for referrals and counseling interventions that support clients needing more intense and higher level therapies. Upon successful completion of this course, students earn 25 continuing education contact hours toward recertification. Course Code: GC 500

This course is particularly designed for those who are already or were recently certified by the American Academy of Grief Counseling, and are seeking continuing education to meet re-certification requirements.

Instructor/Course Author:  Dominick L. Flarey, Ph.D, MBA, RN,BC, GC-C
Link to Resume

TEXTBOOKS: There is one (1) required textbook for this course.

Grief: Normal, Complicated, Traumatic. by: Linda J. Schupp, Ph.D. PESI Health Care;Eau Claire, Wisconsin: 2004. ISBN# 0-9722147-2-0.

AIHCP Online Bookstore: AIHCP provides an online bookstore stocked with all of the required textbooks, and/or materials required for its CE courses. To purchase this book online, click the access store link, go to the table of categories, right upper hand corner, and click on Grief Counseling. Access AIHCP Store: click here

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete this course. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time.

BOARD 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. Access information

Online Classroom Resouces and Tools

* Message Boards: each specialty program has an area to "post" on the message board. Students may post messages at anytime. Posting allows students to converse with those in the same specialty practice and to discuss issues/course content etc. Instructions for posting are provided in the online classrooms.

* Chat Rooms: each specialty has it's own unique "chat room." Inside of the classroom there is a schedule for "chat time" with students in your specific specialty practice. Participating in "chats" is voluntary. The chat sessions are used as means for students to come together and discuss course content or anything related to the courses and/or certification specialty.

* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as "open book" tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

* Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page "Student Resource Center." The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor's online resume/biography, as well as your instructor's specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional "readings" and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.



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COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Understand and discuss the nature of grief
2. Identify and review various definitions related to the concept of grief
3. Define three types of grief and describe feelings associated with grief.
4. Discussed the concept of a model and how this applies to various models of grief.
5. Define and discuss the psychophysiological and immunological impact of grief.
6. Defining and discuss normal grief.
7. Define, understand and discuss types of complicated grief.
8. Discuss the concept of traumatic grief.
9. Identify major issues for assessment of clients who are experiencing grief and bereavement.
10. Define and discuss differential diagnosis between grief, depressive episodes, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
11. Identify at- risk populations for grief.
12. Understand and use principles and concepts to conduct an emergency grief interview.
13. Identify and discuss issues related to suicide, including interventions for prevention.
14. Define and discuss the "safe therapeutic relationship" in working with clients experiencing grief.
15. Identify and discuss physiological techniques that promote emotional healing for clients experiencing grief.
16. Discuss specific modalities for working with grief clients on a physical basis, including nutritional therapy and stress reduction therapies.
17. Identify and discuss psychological and therapeutic techniques that may be used in grief counseling sessions.
18. Define and discuss the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in working with greeting clients.
19. Define various non- verbal grief facilitation techniques.
20. Discuss the use of Jess called therapy in grief counseling.
21. Identify and discuss a common treatment plan for complicated grief.
22. Identify and discuss a common treatment plan for dramatic grief.
23. Discuss the concepts of memorials and how they may be used therapeutically in grief counseling.
24. Discuss the issues of false comforts and words that may actually wound clients in counseling sessions.
25. Define the use of animal therapy in its effectiveness and promises in grief counseling.
26. Define and discuss specific techniques for special populations of people who are experiencing grief and bereavement


1. The nature of grief
2. Definitions of grief
3. The functions of grief and the feelings of grief
4. Various types of grief
5. Models of grief in the grief journey for survivors
6. Psychophysiological and immunological impacts on grief
7. Normal grief, complicated grief, traumatic grief
8. Psychosocial assessment for clients experiencing grief
9. Differential diagnosis for grief, Major depressive episode, and post-traumatic stress disorder
10. At risk populations for grief/bereavement
11. The emergency grief interview
12. Support systems for those experiencing grief
13. Suicide ideation and prevention
14. Working with survivors of suicide
15. Making referrals for clients in grief counseling
16. The safe therapeutic relationship
17. Physiological techniques promoting emotional healing
18. Sleep in the cortisol surge
19. The use of medications in clients experiencing grief
20. The use of nutritional support, exercise and vitamin/mineral therapies
21. Using breath work, relaxation, massage and meditation in grief counseling
22. Psychological and therapeutic techniques for use in grief counseling
23. Cognitive behavioral therapy interventions in grief counseling.
24. Interventions of non--verbal grief facilitation.
25. Gestalt therapy, EMDR, Emotional Freedom Techniques,preferential Sensory Modes
26. Treatment modalities for complicated grief and dramatic grief
27. The use of memorials in grief counseling
28. Avoiding false comforters and words that wound
29. The use of animal therapy in grief counseling
30. Special interventions and techniques for special populations, including bereaved parents, survivor children, terminally ill, elderly, cultural groups and health care professionals.

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