Grief, Loss, Death and Dying

Grief, Loss, Death and Dying

Unit Description

In this unit, students will develop an understanding of the issues and processes of holistic counselling and psychotherapy when working with people experiencing loss and grief, death and dying.

In this unit, students will develop an understanding of the issues and processes of holistic counselling and psychotherapy when working with people experiencing loss and grief, death and dying.

Classic and contemporary theories and approaches to working with grief, loss and death will be covered, including the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Arnold Mindell, Rudolf Steiner, Worden and Niemeyer, and models arising from palliative care. The holistic model will be differentiated from other models.

Students will discuss case studies weekly as a way of applying their understanding of the holistic model to a range of loss and grief circumstances, across the lifespan, and with culturally diverse clients.

Palliative care is introduced during the intensive by a palliative care specialist.

Counselling skills for loss and grief are taught and practiced under supervision at the intensive and will be demonstrated by students through the submission of an audio-visual assignment and critical analysis of the session.

Unit Code


Unit Type

Core Unit

Study Period

Year 2, Semester 2

Credit Points


Unit Coordinator

Katrina Dickson

Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during the semester

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(a) Critically analyse and compare classical and contemporary theories of grief, loss and death with the holistic model.

(b) Articulate and analyse key concerns and challenges in grief and loss counselling and therapy.

(c) Skilfully demonstrate and evaluate holistic counselling and psychotherapy interventions for bereavement and palliative care.

(d) Accurately define and apply concepts and terminology for loss and grief counselling and psychotherapy.

(e) Identify and analyse ethical and professional aspects of grief and loss counselling and psychotherapy.

Graduate Attributes

Attributes Statement
Ethical practice and integrity Our graduates will demonstrate high ethical standards in their practice and follow professional Codes of Ethics to do good (beneficence) and avoid harm (maleficence)
Professionalism Our graduates will have a highly developed understanding of their work roles and responsibilities and uphold a high level of professional conduct in their work
Holistic awareness Our graduates will have an in-depth understanding of how the physical body, the psyche and mind/ spirit/self are in constant interaction and relationship with each other and with the environment
Communication Our graduates will have well-developed written and oral communication skills, including listening deeply and receiving, interpreting and transmitting complex information, on many levels of awareness with colleagues, clients and the community
Critical thinking Our graduates will have critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and analyse information and make informed professional judgements

Delivery Mode

Workshop intensive on-campus, Start of Semester 4

9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday 18 – Saturday 23 July, 2023

15 hours in total.

Online delivery

3 x 1.5 hour Zoom discussions. Total = 4.5 hours Synchronous Online Training.

Study Buddy activities

20 hours over the semester, guided by lecturer.

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 6.85 hours per week over the semester, 109.5 hours in total.

  • 15 hours on-campus workshop intensive
  • 4.5 hours Zoom discussion
  • 20 hours study buddy work, with lecturer involvement
  • 70 personal study hours

Available in Courses

This unit is available in the following courses:

Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy (Holistic Practice)

Created: April 28, 2021, 4:48 p.m. • Updated: Oct. 16, 2023, 2:08 p.m.