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Bereavement and Grief Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course


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Bereavement and Grief Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BPS209
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Bereavement and Grief Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course

Bereavement Counselling course online. Learn to help and understand people suffering with grief. For those suffering the challenges of grief can be a very difficult and challenging time. Observing someone suffering from grief and being unable to help them can be equally distressing.  

This level 3 accredited course will be a great addition to your portfolio of specialised areas of expertise, if you work in, or are interested in pursuing a career in one of the following::

  • Counselling
  • Bereavement counsellingACCPH accredited course logo
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Health professions
  • Caring roles ADL course accreditation logo

Grief is a term used to describe all the thoughts, behaviour and feelings that occur after someone goes through a bereavement. A bereavement is any event that includes a loss. We may experience loss through the death of someone close to us, or a relationship breakdown, divorce, theft, a disability, illness, miscarriage and so on.

There is no “right” way to respond to a death, people will cope with a death in their own way. The way they respond will be affected by their relationship with the person who has died, their own upbringing, their previous reactions to losses, their other relationships, and so forth.

There are many different responses to grief, which are totally normal, and doctors, counsellors and psychiatrists may be reluctant to diagnose a person as mentally ill during a bereavement. They may provide support to help the person grieve.

A grief counsellor can help the mourning process by allowing a person to move through the stages of grief in a relationship that is supportive and confidential. The grief counsellor will try to help the person to accept their loss and talk about it. They will encourage them to identify and express their feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, helplessness and anxiety.

Read What Our Students Think About This Course

"The course was excellent and better than I expected. It  was extremely valuable and I have been able to  commence Bereavement Counselling already. I am able to put into practise the valuable lessons I  have learned during this course. I received excellent  feedback from my tutor, Iona Lister, who marked my assignments very promptly.

I have nothing but praise for the professional and friendly manner of the administration staff, who wre always very helpful when I needed guidance.

I was very impressed with the course, the website and admin and I would dearly love to study with you at some point in the future, when funds allow."
   Eileen N -  Bereavement and Grief Counselling BPS209, UK


Learning Goals:
  •     Describe the nature and scope of grief and bereavement counselling and individuals’ 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
  •     Describe the different means through which individuals are able to adjust to loss and to consider other options available to them.
  •     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.


Lesson Structure:    Bereavement and Grief Counselling

There are 8 lessons:

 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

 2.       Types of grief

  •         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
  •         Greif for 3 to 6 year old
  •         Grief for 7 - 8 year old
  •         Greif 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 adolecent and adult grief experience

5.    Adjustment to Bereavement

  •         What is grief
  •         Accept the loss
  •         Feel the pain
  •         Adjust, Adapt, etc
  •         Grief counselling
  •         Counsellors 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

  •         Socio cultural 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
  •         Cronic 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.


  •     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 contemporary attitudes toward death in society and how they affect the treatment of dying.
  •     Describe the stages of grief.
  •     Explain why people pass through different stages at different times and not in a particular order.
  •     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 they are determined to be 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 separation and loneliness in the aged.
  •     Describe some effects of long term grief.
  •     Outline some long term counselling support strategies.
  •     Compare effective and ineffective support for people going through grief and loss.



Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Iona Lister and your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout. Here are Iona's credentials:

Iona Lister course tutorIona Lister
Licentiate, Speech and Language Therapy, UK, Diploma in Advanced Counselling Skills.

Iona has been a clinician and manager of health services for fifteen years, and a trainer for UK-based medical charities, focusing on psychosocial issues, mental health disorders, and also the promotion of communication skills for people in helping roles. She tutors and facilitates groups via workshops and teleconferences, and now specialises in Sight Loss. As a freelance writer, she contributes regular feature articles for magazines, has written five published books, as well as published courses relating to personal development and counselling skills.


Iona has also written published books, courses and articles across a wide range of subjects, mostly in the areas of health, counselling, psychology, crafts and wildlife.

She has drawn experience from clinical and managerial experience within the NHS as well as medical and humanitarian subjects. She has been a regular feature writer and expert panel member of a national magazine for six years.

Books include: A Guide to Living with Alzheimer's Disease (and associated dementias), The Psychology of Facial Disfigurement; a Guide for Health and Social Care Professionals, When a Medical Skin Condition Affects the Way you Look; A Guide to Managing Your Future, Facing Disfigurement with Confidence, Cross Stitch: A Guide to Creativity and Success for Beginners.
Courses written include: Mental Health and Social Work, Counselling Skills, Understanding and Responding to Substance Misuse, Journalling for Personal Development, Guided Imagery, Stress Management.


Current work includes: Tutor: Courses associated with Creative Writing, Counselling Skills, Psychology, Holistic Therapy, Certified Hypnotherapist and Hypnotension Practitioner. 

Facilitator of Teleconference Groups: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) 

Trainer (Skills for Seeing): Macular Society 

Reviewer of Books/Information: Macmillan Cancer Support 


Fundraiser: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Embroidery/Art Groups Facilitator, Board Member

Website Manager: The StrathcarroAim

Project, Coordinator (Delaware & Tennessee) Human Writes

Excerpt from the Course




To experience loss, we need attachment.  There are many theories about why humans and some animals make emotional attachments to others.  Survival could be one reason. Some theorists argue that it is purely biological, whilst others argue that attachments form due to the need for safety and security. John Bowlby (1980) supported the latter view. 

We learn attachment behaviour from the time we are born and this affects our relationships throughout our lives.  If we learn to trust and have steady, dependable care, we are able to grow up with high self-esteem and independence.  We are also able to love and be loved.  The greater the attachment, there is obviously the greater potential for loss.  We may experience many losses throughout our lives, the loss of a loved one, a pet, a job, financial security, but we may also experience the loss of potential, that is, what might have been – the job we might have had, the parent we never knew and so on. 

Society’s Views of Loss

Different cultures have different views of loss.  For example, in Western society it is not always acceptable.  There is the idea of the “stiff upper lip” and “coping well.”  People are often expected to be “well” again a couple of weeks after suffering a bereavement and leave granted from work for bereavement is often only a week or two weeks at most.  This is often compassionate leave for close relatives such as partners or children or parents.  But what about grandparents, close friends, and so on.  You may have had a very close relationship with them, but people may not expect you to have compassionate leave for this type of loss. 

Most of us live in a multi-cultural society. Some cultures have built in methods of supporting the bereaved, others tend to be unsupportive and the person feels isolated.  In some cultures, relatives openly grieve, in others the widow is seen as unclean and should not come into contact with the outside world for some time.  Western Society does not, in general, help people grieve. 

Some factors may contribute to this, such as the decline of the extended family, nuclear families, the decline of religious observance, the “stiff upper lip” mentality. 

It is increasingly acknowledged that cultures that do not support and encourage expression of grief can cause their bereaved to experience psychological and physical depression and illness.  In bereavement support, help, respect and understanding should be given to the bereaved person, whatever their race, gender or culture.  Everyone will mourn one way or another. 

Coping With Loss

The loss of a loved one is one of life’s most stressful events and can cause a major emotional crisis. After the death of someone you love, you experience bereavement, which literally means “to be deprived by death.” Grief is considered the involuntary emotional and behavioural response to bereavement. Mourning is the voluntary expression of behaviours and rituals which are the socially sanctioned responses to bereavement.

Knowing What to Expect

When a death takes place, people will experience a wide range of emotions, even when the death is expected. Many people report feeling an initial stage of numbness after first learning of a death, but there is no real order to the grieving process. Some of these emotions include: denial, guilt, anger, despair, shock, and sadness. These feelings are normal and common reactions to loss. They can be very intense and change swiftly. Some people even begin to doubt the stability of their mental health. These feelings are healthy and appropriate and help people come to terms with their loss.

It takes time to fully absorb the impact of a major loss but the pain eases after time and allows you to go on with your life. 


It is not easy to cope after a loved one dies.  People will mourn and grieve.  Mourning is the natural process people go through to accept a major loss. Mourning may include religious traditions honouring the dead or gathering with friends and family to share loss.  Mourning is personal and may last months or years.


EBook to compliment this Course

Counselling Handbook Ebook

The engaging world of the human psyche is thrown open in this deep and intriguing ebook.  Multiple case studies help the reader explore this fascinating subject in depth.

Link to eBook on Counselling HandbookCounselling Handbook

by the Staff of ACS

Counselling Handbook eBook course online. Full of interesting case studies, this ebook is a wonderful introduction to the complex world of the human psyche. Expand your mind and learn about what makes people tick.

Are you a good listener? Hone your skills by learning popular counselling theories and techniques. 

You will learn about: 

  • Listening skills
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Influencing skills
  • Defense mechanisms
  • Our perception of others
  • Attributions
  • Convariance theory
  • Lay epistemology

(and many more such things that may not make sense now but will by the end of the book).


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.

8. Appendicies.

Extract from book:

We don’t know for sure how much of our communication is non-verbal. Estimates vary from 50% to the 80%. Non-verbal communication becomes more significant, the more mixed the messages are. So if a person is saying one thing, but their body is saying something else, we will tend to pay more attention to what their body is saying to us. Most of us are aware that this is a sign of attempted deception.
Meharabian (1971) carried out a study to see how people decide if they like each other. They looked at facial expressions and spoken words. Participants had to listen to a recording of a female saying one word “maybe” in three tones of voice – neutral, like and dislike. The subjects were then shown photographs of a female face with three expressions – neutral, like and dislike. They were asked to guess which emotion the person in the photograph, the person on the recording and both together were experiencing.

The participants were more accurate in guessing the emotion of the photographs than the voice at a ratio of 3:2. Meharabian also carried out another study where participants had to listen to nine words. Three showed liking (dear, thanks, honey), three showed disliking (brute, terrible, don’t) and three showed neutrality (oh, maybe, really). The words were spoken in different tones. The participants were asked to guess the emotions behind the words. They found that tone carried more meaning than the word.

They concluded that:

■Without seeing and hearing non-verbal messages, there can be more chance of misunderstanding.
■A lot of communication does come through non-verbal communication, but we are still unsure as to the exact amount.
■When we are not sure about a particular word, we pay more attention to non-verbal communication.
■When we do not trust a person, we pay more attention to non-verbal communication.

There are many myths about body language. For example, crossing your arm means defensiveness, covering your mouth means you are lying and so on. But we should rely more on other factors such as:

■Clusters of factors (showing more signs of non-verbal communication).
■Non-verbal behaviour at the time a question is asked, particularly if the question is embarrassing or difficult.
■Situations where the other person may not be trying to control their non-verbal behaviour.

As we said above, it is important to consider your own non-verbal communication. BUT not to such an extent that you try to control it all the time, wh

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