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GC 575

Pastoral Care for complicated Grieving

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course information

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.

Whether you are a pastoral thanatologist or grief counselor, the analysis of complicated and dysfunctional grief and the spiritual context of many of the strategies presented will help you know when to refer, and how to address grief with compassion and spiritual care. Course Code: GC 575. Contact hours of Education = 50.

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 for Grief Counseling and/or Pastoral Thanatology.

Instructor/Course Author:

Rosemary A. Castelli, Ed.D., FAAGC, PT-Csp, C-FSA

Certified Funeral Celebrant
Certified Grief Counselor

Link to resume                    

Email: lastingremembrances@gmail.com

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment to complete this course.

TEXTBOOKS: There is one required textbook for this course:

Bereavement Counseling: Pastoral Care For Complicated Grieving.  Junietta Baker McCall, Dmin.  New York: The Haworth Pastoral Press, 2004

Link to Purchase on Amazon.com: click here

GRADING: You must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 50 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by the American Academy of Grief Counseling and options for completing additional course work to achieve a passing score, will be presented.

BOARD APPROVALS: AIHCP is an approved provider of continuing education by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 50 Contact Hours.

This course, which is approved by the Florida State Board Of Nursing (CE Provider # 50-11975) also has the following Board of Nursing Approvals, for 50 contact hours of CE:

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Arkansas Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Georgia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Professional Registered Nurses. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.

Course Refund & AIHCP Policies: access here

Online Classroom Resouces and Tools

* 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.




Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

1.         Understand the relational/contextual view of love and how it relates to loss.
2.         Explore the relational/contextual aspects of attachment and loss.
3.         Identify and explain types of losses.
4.         Identify the types of losses considered most critical to grieving persons.
5.         Describe and analyze the universal and normal grief process.
6.         Interpret grief as both journey and process.
7.         Describe the elements of grief in the context of a loss/recovery model.
8.         Review the common characteristics of normal grief
9.         Explore grief trajectories and variations within the normal grief response.
10.       Explain how to assess a person’s current grief status.
11.       Describe the factors that complicate grief.
12.       Identify the root causes of grief complications.
13.       Interpret several stories of complicated grief.
14.       Discuss how grievers create meaning in grief.
15.       Learn how to identify complicated grief reactions.
16.       Identify phase specific grief complications.
17.       Identify the risk factors for complicated grief.
18.       Explain complicated grief trajectories.
19.       Understand the differences between complicated grief and dysfunctional grief.
20.       Develop techniques for the assessment of dysfunctional grieving.
21.       Identify strategies for dealing with dysfunctional grief behavior.
22.       Explain the spiritual side of grief and loss.
23.       Define spirituality and its impact on the grieving process.
24.       Distinguish religion from spirituality.
25.       Describe the spiritual components of grief work.
26.       Identify spiritually based grief complications.
27.       Identify spiritually based dysfunctional grief reactions.
28.       Identify and explain those spiritual practices that may increase the risk for            complicated and dysfunctional grief.
29.       Explain experience centered practices that increase complicated and            dysfunctional grief.
30.       Explain the stages of spiritual grief.
31.       Relate how perceptions, thoughts and beliefs influence pastoral care of the            bereaved.
32.       Explore how to use perceptions and beliefs to enhance pastoral care for the            grieving.
33.       Explain therapies used in caring for the grieving.
34.       Develop the elements of a pastorally based holistic approach to grieving.
35.       Express grief resolution strategies in a pastoral context.
36.       Recognize strategies for developing a sense of self and relationship in the            bereaved.
37.       Review strategies for helping a griever develop a sense of relationship.
38.       Review strategies for helping a griever develop a sense of meaning.
39.       Review strategies for helping a griever build memories.
40.       Explain strategies for helping a griever recognize continuity of being.
41.       Identify and explain pastoral strategies to help the grieving reorganize and             reclaim their lives after loss.
42.       Identify religious, spiritual and relational motivators to help grievers reclaim                 their lives.

Course Content:

A Brief Abstract of Course Content:

1. Universal Grief Processes and Responses:
Relational/Contextual View of Attachment and Loss
Types of Losses
The Universal Grieving Process
Assessment of Grief
Management of Normal Grief

2. When and How Grief Becomes Complicated:
Stage Specific Grief Complications
Risk Factors
Grief Trajectories

3. Dysfunctional Grieving:
Locus and Severity of Impairment
Dysfunctional Grief Criteria
Those at Risk and Risk Factors
Strategies for Dealing With Dysfunctional Behaviors

4. Spiritual Aspects of Grief and Loss:
Definitions of Spirituality
Religion and Spirituality
Spirituality and Wellness
Spiritual Component of Grief work
Grief Complications and dysfunctional grief complications with Spiritual Components
Stages of Spiritual Grief

5. The Role of Perceptions, Thoughts and Beliefs on Grief:
Recognizing the role of subjectivity in grief
Common Myths
Using Perceptions
Thoughts and Beliefs in Grief Counseling

6. Pastoral Approaches and Treatment Priorities:
Types of Treatments and Approaches
A Holistic Approach
General Grief Resolution Strategies
Strategies to Help Grievers Tell Their Story
Strategies to Help Grievers Develop a Sense of Self
Strategies to Help Grievers Develop a Sense of Relationship
Strategies to Help Grievers Develop a Sense of Meaning
Strategies to Help Grievers Build Memories
Strategies for Developing a Continuity of Being
Strategies for Turning Around Unhealthy Strategies

7. Reorganizing and Reclaiming One’s Life:
Understanding Change and Motivation
Challenges and Obstacles to Change
Reclaiming Life

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