It's easy to enrol...

Select a payment plan: (Fee Code: S3

Select a learning method (What is this?): 
Click here to email details of this course to a friendCourses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!
Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Grief and Bereavement Counselling course

Find out more about supporting people who are grieving. 

  • Understand bereavement and loss 
  • Learn more about the grieving process, supporting children, adolescents and adults through the grieving process, abnormal grief and much more.
  • An essential course for anyone who works/supports people who are grieving, or would like to.
  • Study this course at your own pace and in your own home with support from our excellent tutors.
  • The course has eight lessons and requires 100 hours of study.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Grief and Bereavement
    • Understanding loss
    • Society's views on loss
    • Coping with loss
    • Knowing what to expect
    • Mourning
    • Living with grief
    • Terminology
    • Types of grief
  2. Stages of Grief
    • Common stages
    • Duration of grief
    • Denial
    • Anger
    • Bargaining
    • Depression
    • Acceptance
    • Tasks of mourning
    • Criticism
    • Mourning process in Judaism (case study)
    • Response to loss and grieving
    • Not coping
  3. Grief and Children
    • Grief for children up to three years old
    • Grief for 3 to 6 year old
    • Grief for 7 - 8 year old
    • Grief for children 9 years and older
    • Preparing a child for death
    • Sudden death
    • After a death
    • Funerals
    • Typical child responses to grief
    • Case studies
    • Feelings about suicide
    • Supporting a grieving child
    • Help from family and friends
    • Guidelines for letting children know what is and is not acceptable
    • Children with serious problems with loss and grief
  4. Grief and Adolescents
    • Grief as a unique adolescent experience
    • Adolescent responses: remoteness, anger, abuse, tears, egocentrism, sense of universality, etc
    • Helping the grieving adolescent
    • Difference between adolescent and adult grief experience
  5. Adjustment to Bereavement
    • What is grief
    • Accept the loss
    • Feel the pain
    • Adjust, Adapt, etc
    • Grief counselling
    • Counsellor's response and intervention
  6. Abnormal Grief
    • Complicated grief reactions
    • Worden's categories of complicated grief reactions
    • Causes of abnormal grief
    • Post traumatic stress disorder
    • Symptoms and treatment of PTSD
    • Loss of children in pregnancy: ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage
    • Supporting people with complicated grief
    • Managing grief after a disaster
    • The course of bereavement
    • Complications of bereavement
    • Traumatic grief
    • Risk factors for complications of bereavement
    • Treating bereaved individuals
    • Role of the professional in early stages of disaster bereavement
  7. Preparing for Grief and Bereavement
    • Sociocultural influences on the grief process
    • Grief and terminal illness
    • Preparing for an approaching death
    • Practical preparations
    • Emotional responses of the dying
    • Responses of family and friends
  8. Future Outlook and Long-Term Grief
    • Psychological aspects of long term grief
    • Chronic illness and grief case study
    • Disabled child case study
    • Strategies for handling long term grief: guided mourning, support groups, medication, etc

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe the nature and scope of grief and bereavement counselling and individual's attitudes to grief.
  • To identify through continuing exploration, the meaning and responses of a wide range of loss situations, taking cultural variations into account.
  • To describe the different ways that children may respond to grief and to develop appropriate strategies for helping them to cope.
  • Determine the different ways that adolescents may respond to grief and to examine how these perspectives have translated into counselling practice
  • To describe the different means through which individuals are able to adjust to loss and to consider other options available to them.
  • To describe when an individual’s response to grief may be considered abnormal and to discuss methods of assisting such individuals.
  • Define the different ways of preparing for grief and bereavement and to consider social, cultural and psychological perspectives.
  • Describe separation, loneliness, the effects of long-term grief and long-term counselling support strategies.

Confront and master questions such as:

  • List euphemisms for dying.
  • Consider factors that can help set the conditions for the good death
  • Discuss the ways that a wake or funeral service can be of help to mourners.
  • Discuss  attitudes toward death in society and how they affect the treatment of dying.
  • Compare effective and ineffective support for people going through
  • Explain why people pass through different stages at different times
  • List mechanisms available to help a counsellor support someone who is grieving.
  • Describe ways in which children might respond to grief.
  • Explain why different children respond to grief in different ways.
  • Describe counselling strategies for supporting the grieving child. 
  • Research how adolescents respond to grief.
  • Outline counselling strategies for supporting the grieving adolescent. 
  • List suicide prevention strategies.
  • Explain in general how  we adjust to loss.
  • List some dangers of loss.
  • Describe some alternatives for loss recovery. 
  • Research how bereavement affects survivors.
  • Describe some abnormal responses to grief, and how to determine they are abnormal.
  • Describe some treatment methods for assisting a person suffering from abnormal grief.  
  • Briefly describe symptoms of PTSD
  • Discuss socio-cultural perspectives in preparing for grief and bereavement.          
  • Research physiological and psychological effects of  loneliness in the aged.
  • Describe some effects of long term grief.
  • Outline some long term counselling support strategies.

ACS student comment: Being able to apply myself to distance education for the topic that interests me has been invaluable. Living in a remote area has a number of disadvantages. The lack of access to continuing education is one of great importance. Successfully completing the Grief Counselling course has enabled me to think ahead and possibly attempt future studies on this much needed issue. Mary Ann Cohen, Grief Counselling
Would you like to be able to help people who are grieving more effectively?
Would you like to understand the grieving process and understood more about helping people through this difficult stage in their lives?
Would you like to understand why sometimes grieving can require more intense support?
Then find out now by enrolling on our Grief Counselling course.



Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


Get Advice –  Email us at  OR

Use our FREE COUNSELLING SERVICE to contact a tutor



Study Grief Counselling

An essential course for anyone supporting the grieving

Understand the stages of grief by studying grief counselling in your own home and at your own pace.


Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Miriam ter BorgPsychologist, Youth Worker, Teacher, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.Massage, Cert Ourdoor Rec.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Gavin Cole B.Sc.,M.Psych.Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Gavin joined ACS in 2001.

Check out our eBooks

Grief and Crisis CounsellingA guide to understanding and helping people through difficult times
Psychology DictionaryThis book provides explanations for common terms used in Psychology.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How Children ThinkAnyone who has ever tried to make a child do anything (clean up their mess, desist from throwing mud, stop drawing on the walls) knows that children think differently to adults. This book attempts to provide the skills and knowledge to develop a greater understanding of children.