Details for Grief and Loss

This is a second-year core subject that builds on Skills for Counselling, introducing students into the specialist skills and knowledge that will enable them to support those who seek help in grief and loss contexts. This subject examines uncomplicated and complicated grief processes and provides diverse opportunities for insight and personal reflection into the theories of grief and loss.  Students will develop principles and practices for grief and loss counselling enabling them to support those who are suffering grief due to bereavement or other significant losses.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: SSC204
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Rebecca Loundar

Awards offering Grief and Loss

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content


  1. Explain the way our understanding of the dynamics of attachment grief and loss have changed over time; the different situations in which they may occur and the impact of culture on grief and its resolution;
  2. Identify your own emotions in relation to death and dying and your capacity to express them to develop a personal theology of life and death and a self care plan;
  3. Distinguish between uncomplicated and complicated grief processes and the behaviours individuals may use to resolve grief;
  4. Empathise with and appropriately support those who grieve within a framework of self-care.

Subject Content

  • Grief theories
  • Attachment theory and loss
  • The nature of phases and tasks of grief
  • Causes of grief reactions
  • The nature and meaning of death
  • The dimensions of the normal uncomplicated grief process and facilitating grieving
  • Counselling in relation to the grief process and its various consequences
  • The needs of the dying and of those experience grief from various losses
  • Complicated grief reactions and their appropriate management
  • Strategies to prevent counsellor over-involvement
  • Resilience, abuse and trauma

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to Face (onsite)
  • Distance/E-Learning (online)
  • Intensive (One week: 7 hours per day for 5 days = 35 class hours + approx 85 hours out of class time for research, writing, exam preparation and execution, ancillary activities associated with completion of assigned tasks.)
  • Extensive (5 days spread over the semester)

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis College.

Assessment Methods

  • Skill Demonstrations and Reflection (20%)
  • Critical Reflection (40%)
  • Research Essay (40%)

Prescribed Text

  • Worden, J. 2018.Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy: a handbook for the mental health practitioner (5th ed.). New York, NY: Springer

Please consult your instructor before purchasing any textbooks