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Grief Support Group Certified Specialist Course Program

The American Academy of Grief Counseling offers a full Continuing Education program of online courses for those seeking to receive an additional Certification in Grief Counseling, with a group setting focus. Upon completion of the four (4) courses detailed below, applicants are eligible to apply for and receive Certification as a Grief Support Group Certified Specialist, in the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Each course is provided for in a dedicated online classroom. The courses are designed as independent study/continuing education courses, with one-to-one faculty mentoring. There is open enrollment and students may register and begin the education program at anytime.


Certification Program

Those seeking Certification in Grief Support Group Certified Specialist must successfully complete the four (4) core courses as detailed below. To review information on the Certification program please view this page: click here

Course Fees: Below are listed the required courses for this curriculum. At the end of each course description you will find the course cost listed. All textbooks and learning materials are separate and not included in the course cost.  

The following CE Courses have provider approvals:

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. 

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc. is a licensed Continuing Education Provider in the State of California, Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15595.

The following CE Courses have provider approvals:   The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Florida State Board of Nursing  Provider # 50-11975.


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 Kentucky 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 New Mexico Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.


GC 700 – Developing Grief Support Groups

This course is an advanced CE course that provides students with a comprehensive learning and training experience in the developing of grief support groups. The course is based on two texts which provides comprehensive materials that will guide students in the overall process and development of highly effective grief support groups. Students entering this course should already have a solid foundation of knowledge in grief and bereavement before beginning this study. The course covers everything from early development of a support group all the way through final evaluation of group effectiveness. Students will examine each key component of support group creation and process implementation. Early preparations are reviewed as well as selection criteria for group members. Types of support groups are examined. The role of the facilitator(s) is clearly defined and expanded upon. Of particular benefit, this course assists students in identifying effective ways to work with multiple issues and dynamics that may arise in the course of grief support group work. Various types of group structures and specific focused groups are examined. Dealing with controversial topics that may arise are also examined. Students will also explore the use of journaling and journaling exercises that may be used with grief support groups as well as incorporating memories of the deceased in their work with group participants. Students will also study a core structure and process of a week-by-week actual grief support group in order to better internalize and operationalize the overall development and functions of a grief support group. This course is specifically designed for those students in the Certification program in Grief Support Group Counseling, although others who are interested may also take the course. This is an advanced level course in Grief Counseling. There are two required textbooks. Students will also be provided with videos in the online classroom for viewing.

Course Code: GC 700. Contact hours of education = 40. Cost: $150.00. 


GC 710 – Techniques for Group Counseling

This CE course is an introductory exploration of the practice of group counseling and psychotherapy. The textbook presents detailed presentation of discussions on the dynamics of group work as well as an array of strategies and techniques for use in group process. Students will learn to identify what is going on in groups and what interventions would be most effective. This course provides a foundation for the study and the practice of clinical group work. Key areas of study include the core of the group process, leadership of the group, and future issues in group counseling. Students will examine preparation of groups, transitions, interventions and termination.  Other key areas of study include training, ethical issues and practices as well as co-therapies. Students will also examine how to work with difficult clients within a group setting. The text authors are seasoned therapists who have facilitated groups for numerous years, and so what they have to share in the book will be found as highly informative for counseling practitioners who desire to utilize group work in rendering professional interventions for group work.

Course Code: GC 710. Contact hours of education = 35. Cost: $150.00. 


GC 720 – Assisting Grief Support Groups

Bereavement Support Groups are an important function for many bereaved who lack family support and personal coping skills with loss.  Support Groups can supply the needed guidance and commonality with others to help an individual successfully proceed through the grieving process.  Equally important is the Bereavement Support Leader.  The Bereavement Support Leader must be well trained in grief theory but also have the compassion and emotional qualities to help others heal.  This can be a daunting task.  This course looks at helping Grief Counselors become better equipped with running a successful Grief Support Group.  The course will explore the qualities a leader must possess as well as how to begin a group, sustain it and successfully conclude it.  In addition, this course will share Alan Wolfelt’s 10 touchstones to grieving which serve as outlines and meeting themes for the progress of the Grief Support group.  This course is highly recommended for individuals who wish to lead support groups or leaders who already lead but feel they need additional information and insight to successfully manage a group.

Course Code: GC 720. Contact hours of education = 40. Cost: $150.00. 


GC 681 – Grief After Suicide

This course is based on a text that presents the research and study of suicide (suicidology) as well as clinical practice of providing therapy and counseling to suicide bereaved/survivors. Numerous chapters contain discussions by noted professionals in the industry pertaining to the impact of suicide loss upon individuals of varying ages and family systems, as well as practitioners. This course is designed for grief counselors as well as clergy and all mental health professionals. It is particularly useful for those working in grief support groups as there are often participants who are survivors of the death of loved ones by suicide and this can be a difficult issue to deal with at times. This course is particularly helpful to those working with the survivors of suicide in a group setting and also in one-to-one sessions. Interventions to provide bereavement care are examined. The research literature on the topic is well reviewed and pointed out for the students. Practical clinical guidance on issues related to grief and suicide are provided. The selected text provides an informed overview of the topic of suicide bereavement and the state of the field of study.

Course Code:  GC 681.  Contact hours of education =50. Course Cost: $ 200.00


Additional Information

  • This Certification Specialty is available ONLY to those who are currently Certified as a Grief Counselor in the American Academy of Grief Counseling or hold a certificate in Grief Counseling from another organization AND meet at least one of  our GC-C pre-requisites. For information on our Grief Counseling GC-C (Certified Grief Counselor) pre-requisites, you may contact us at:
  • All courses are continuing education courses and are provided in online classrooms via our website. Upon enrollment a unique identification and password is provided for classroom access. The online classrooms provide full syllabi and course information, including the course exams and evaluations. Students must a achieve a minimum score of 70% on the course examination to pass the continuing education courses.
  • Participants are given two (2) years from the date of enrollment into the first course, to complete the entire program of six (6) continuing education courses.
  • Upon completion of each course, you will be awarded the corresponding continuing education contact hours and receive the CE certificate verifying course completion and the award of education credits. Registration may be completed online, by accessing the links below.

If you would like to find out if you meet the qualifications for this program. Please submit an Inquiry Form at the following link: Access Here.


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