Grief and Bereavement Course Descriptions
GRB 350/650 Palliative and Hospice Care: History, Theory, and Practice
This course is designed to explore the history, theory, and practice of both hospice and palliative care. The palliative approach to medicine (as contrasted with the "curative" approach) will be explored, as well as the medical aspects of dying; terminal disease trajectories; "active" dying; and the dying process. Multidimensional aspects of pain are discussed in theoretical and practical perspectives. The impact of end-stage terminal illness on caretakers and family members will be addressed, as well as strategies for self-care for caregivers. Content includes practical strategies for assisting families in communicating with health care providers; ethical decision-making at the end of life; and an examination of hospice and palliative care unit staffing needs and the role of volunteers.
GRB 355/655 Grief and Bereavement: Theory and Practice
This course provides a comprehensive examination of grief and bereavement theory and best practices. A variety of existing and emerging bereavement models are examined and current research in bereavement is evaluated. Evidence-based practice will be discussed. Students will consider bereavement models within the context of family systems, developmental and communication theories, grieving across the life span, and cross-cultural considerations. Some attention will be given to the diagnosis and treatment of complicated grief disorder, disenfranchised grief, grieving styles, and grief after special losses.
GRB 360/660 Walking with the Bereaved: Practical Helping Skills
Prerequisite: GRB 355/655
Building on the foundation of grief and bereavement theory, this course offers supervised classroom practice in helping skills. Attention will be given to a variety of models of helping the bereaved; assessment of complicated grief; helping the bereaved after special losses, such as suicide, stillbirth, and murder; attending to individual spiritual needs; cross-cultural considerations; setting appropriate boundaries; self-care for the caregiver; confidentiality; and clinical ethics. Course material will be presented through lecture, discussion, role-playing,
simulation, and practice in procedures.
GRB 365/665 Making Sense of Death: Personal, Spiritual, and Theological Perspectives
This course will examine diverse concepts of immortality related to death, dying, grief and bereavement. Students will explore the
foundations of Western philosophical and religious beliefs regarding death and dying. The course will proceed with an examination of contemporary perspectives toward death, dying, and bereavement practices within Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Native American communities. Emphasis will be placed on practical and effective spiritual and pastoral care techniques and strategies for assisting individuals, families, and health care providers in their quest for meaning in the dying experience, growth, and transition through the grieving process, and strategies for establishing healthy boundaries and self-care for the caregiver.
GRB 400/700 Death in the Lives of Children and Teenagers
This course provides an in-depth examination of the attitudes and responses of children and adolescents to death, loss, and grief, and how they relate to human developmental stages. Special emphasis will be given to working with families and caregivers of terminally-ill children and teenagers; facilitating communication between health care providers and families of terminally-ill children; strategies for helping children and teens in the midst of family illness and impending death of an adult loved one; and models of bereavement programs for children and teens.
GRB 405/705 Grief and Bereavement after Traumatic Death
This course examines the elements and impact of a sudden, unexpected death, including implications for grief and bereavement, first-responder effectiveness, and impact on communities. Some attention will be given to theories about suicide, suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention (bereavement services), including suicide in the military. A variety of crisis intervention models will be examined, as well as critical incident stress management, community response activities, and strategies for helping the bereaved after special losses.
GRB 410/710 Bereavement Education for Professionals and Communities
Education in death, dying, grief, and bereavement happens formally, informally, and in a variety of contexts. Most of the time this education occurs informally in the context of community and family systems, and not in formal classrooms where critical thinking is expected and modeled. Following an overview of historical and cultural perspectives on death, dying, grief, and bereavement, socialization around these issues will be examined and critically evaluated. Religion, spirituality, life span, and legal and ethical issues will be considered in the context of forming creative and viable educational opportunities for acquiring and disseminating knowledge about dying, death, and bereavement for multiple audiences.
GRB 414/614 Independent Study
A course designed by the student with an instructor's guidance to allow students of superior ability to pursue a topic of interest not available through regular courses.
GRB 420/720 Capstone Project
Prerequisites: Permission of the grief and bereavement concentration director and all course work completed.
In consultation with the grief and bereavement concentration director, students are required to independently design, prepare, research, and complete a project or thesis related to grief and bereavement. The project or thesis is supervised by a committee chaired by a committee chairperson and two additional committee members.
GRB 697 Internship
A course designed to provide the student with field work experience through a work opportunity related to the student's career objective in death, dying, grief and bereavement. A learning contract is used to focus expectations, duration of the experience, and means for evaluation. The student will benefit from applying classroom learning to actual job experience.