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GC 595 – Pet Loss & Children


This is the final CE course in the core curriculum for Pet Loss Grief and Bereavement Counseling. This is a course focused solely on children and pet loss. Students will study and examine many dimensions of pet loss for children. Study content includes an examination in the way in which children grieve. Sign and symptoms are discussed in terms of child grief from pet loss. Ways to prepare a child for the death of a pet are examined as well. This course also focuses on cognitive differences regarding various ages of child and manifestations of grief. Many strategies are explored which are helpful and often effective in assisting children in the grieving process in instances of pet loss. Students will also study complicated grief reactions in children as well as issues of support groups, therapeutic treatment modalities, including strategies of memorialization and saying “good-byes” to deceased pets. Course Code: GC 595. Contact hours of continuing education = 30.

This course is specifically designed for those who are studying to meet the education requirements for the Certification in Pet-Loss Grief Counseling.

Pre-requisites: to enroll in this course, you must have successfully completed the following courses offered by the American Academy of Grief Counseling: GC 400, GC 410, GC 580, GC 585, and GC 590.

Instructor/Course Author: Jennifer Melvin, BSW, MSW, LCSW, CT

Link to resume 


TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete all of the required courses in the Pet-Loss Grief Counseling program. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the course within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an “incomplete” will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the course after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

TEXTBOOKS: There is one required textbook for this course:

Pet Loss and Children: Establishing a Health Foundation 1st edition. By Cheri Barton Ross. Routledge; 1 edition (February 25, 2005): ISBN-10: 041594919X ISBN-13: 978-0415949194

Link to Purchase on click here

GRADING: You must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 30 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by the American Academy of Grief Counseling and options for completing additional course work to achieve a passing score, will be presented.


The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is an Approved Provider for Continuing Education by the South Carolina Professional Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists licensing board, Provider # 4637. Access information

AIHCP is an approved provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Nursing and the District of Columbia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 30 Contact Hours.

This course, which is approved by the Florida State Board Of Nursing (CE Provider # 50-11975) also has the following Board of Nursing Approvals, for 30 contact hours of CE

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Arkansas Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Georgia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Professional Registered Nurses. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.

Course Refund & AIHCP Policies: access here


* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as “open book” tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page “Student Resource Center.” The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor’s online resume/biography, as well as your instructor’s specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional “readings” and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.



1). Assist children and families grieving the loss of a pet.
2). Identify personal losses and associated feelings.
3). Identify a variety of loss situations.
4). Know what signs, symptoms and feelings to be aware of in children grieving the loss of a pet.
5). Understand how children grieve.
6). Identify how grief is expressed in various developmental stages.
7). Prepare children for the death of a pet.
8). Recognize hidden grief in children.
9). Address the topic of euthanasia with children and support a family through the process of euthanasia.
10). Identify ways to assist children with multiple and unexpected losses.
11.) Identify therapeutic interventions to support children with pet loss.
12.) Understand the importance of children’s attachment to a pet and the significance of the loss.
13.) Identify how to promote healthy communication within a family.
14.) List helpful statements caregivers can utilize to support children.
15). Discuss the stages of grief.
16). Identify books to assist children with pet loss.
17). Discuss how children assimilate loss.
18). Identify appropriate rituals and goodbye options for children.
19). Discuss the relationship between self esteem and the grieving process.
20). Identify ways cognitive development affects loss and the grieving process for children.
21). Identify children’s complicated grief responses to pet loss.
22). Discuss the benefits of children having pets.
23). Identify the benefits of a pet loss support group.
24). Identify losses that warrant additional support.
25). Assist a family in knowing when to adopt another pet.

Course Content

A brief abstract of content:

Pet loss and the family experience
Healthy communication within the family
Hidden grief
Grieving and self esteem
Spiritual beliefs and religious convictions
Cognitive age and effects of loss
Children and euthanasia
Common grief reactions at different ages
Special types of loss
Pets and Ill children
Acquiring a new pet
Complicated grief responses to pet loss
Burial options
Pet loss support groups
Personal tragedy and pet loss
Therapeutic interventions for children
Treatment modalities
Rituals and goodbyes
Pet loss resources