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GC 585

Pet Loss Grief Support

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Course INformation

This course is the second core course in the curriculum in Pet Loss Grief and Bereavement Counseling. The course continues in the study of human emotions and students will study both human and professional responses to pet loss. This comprehensive study provides insights and theories regarding grief and pet loss. Also presented are issues related to burying a deceased pet and after emotions and the grief reaction. Other topics presented are euthanasia and human emotions, insensitivities to loss and memorialization of deceased pets. Religious beliefs regarding pet loss are examined as well as supportive tools available to assist in the grief and recovery phases. Students will have a much clearer understanding of the signs/symptoms related to pet loss and will begin learning effective strategies to support clients who have suffered pet loss. Course Code: GC 585. Contact hours of continuing education = 30.

This course is specifically designed for those who are studying to meet the education requirements for the Certification in Pet-Loss Grief Counseling.

Pre-requisites: to enroll in this course, you must have successfully completed the following courses offered by the American Academy of Grief Counseling: GC 400, GC 410 and GC 580.

Instructor/Course Author:

Jennifer Melvin, MSW,BSW, LCSW, CT

Link to resume                    

TIME FRAME:You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete all of the required courses in the Pet-Loss Grief Counseling program. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the course within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an "incomplete" will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the course after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

TEXTBOOKS: There is one required textbook for this course:

Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss. by Sid Korpi. Healy House Books; 1ST edition (August 24, 2009): ISBN-10: 161539981X ISBN-13: 978-1615399819

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 30 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 Florida Board of Nursing and the District of Columbia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975. Access information

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 30 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 30 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. Identify challenges of the grieving process
  2. Identify helpful ways to approach or deal with the grieving process
  3. List common feelings that predominate with the loss of a pet
  4. Identify non helpful ways of dealing with the feelings of the grieving process
  5. Define recovery from grief
  6. Identify ways to handle insensitive persons
  7. Identify common ways a pet’s death affects pet owner’s behaviors
  8. Discuss different experiences regarding communication with the afterlife
  9. Discuss different religious beliefs regarding the afterlife
  10. Identify the benefits of planning a pet’s funeral service or memorial
  11. Identify ways to honor and memorialize pets
  12. Discuss ways to prepare for a pet’s death
  13. Describe what a trust benefiting a pet is
  14. Discuss the negatives to animal shelters
  15. Understand the benefits of focusing on the present versus the anticipated death
  16. Discuss religious stands on holding pet memorial services
  17. Discuss the Eckankar perspective on animals and pet loss
  18. Define “moving forward” in regards to the healing process
  19. Define euthanasia
  20. Discuss ways to determine the right time to euthanize
  21. Discuss research findings on healthy attachment to pets
  22. Know how to create an All-Pet Memorial
  23. Discuss the feeling of relief
  24. Share stories of how others utilized supportive tools
  25. List supportive tools for grieving

Course Content:

The grieving process
Emotions of the grieving process
Preparing for a pet’s end of life
Insensitivity to pet loss
Impact of pet’s death on pet owners
Sudden pet death
Recovery from grief
Communication with afterlife
Philosophies & religious stands on afterlife communication
Memorializing and honoring pets
Anticipating and/or planning for a pet’s death
Pet loss – other than death of a pet
Trusts for pets
Animal shelters
Exotic and large animals
Religious beliefs regarding pet memorials
Animals in the afterlife
Tips to support self & move through the grieving process
Attachment to pets
Supportive tools for grieving pet loss


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