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Grief Support Practitioner CE Course Program

Woman in grief, crying kneeling down at a casket, grief counseling courses page

Grief Support Practitioner CE Courses

Grief Counseling Courses by The American Academy of Grief Counseling offers a full Continuing Education program of online grief counseling courses for those seeking to receive the advanced practice level Certification in Grief Counseling as a Certified Grief Support Practitioner. Upon completion of the eight (8) courses detailed below, applicants are eligible to apply for and receive Certification as a Certified Grief Support Practitioner in the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Each course is provided for in a dedicated online classroom. The grief counseling 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 the Grief Support Practitioner Program must first successfully complete the four (4) core courses in the Grief Counseling Certification Program and attain the status of a Certified Grief Counselor. To review information on the Grief Counseling Certification program please view this page: click here

Certified Grief Counselors, who qualify, may enter and complete the Certification Program to become a Certified Grief Support Practitioner, see certification program, access here.

Grief Counseling Courses Fees: Below are listed the required grief counseling courses for this Advanced Grief Counseling 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 Grief Counseling 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 Continuing Education 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 675 – Research And Clinical Practice In Grief Counseling

Grief Research and Practice is a comprehensive CE course that describes, explains and evaluates the most current research in the areas of grief theory, bereavement and specialized grief therapy modalities.   Analyzing the major themes in the literature on these topics,, the course provides the practitioner with a concrete connection between research and practice through the use of case studies, descriptive analysis of evidence based treatment plans, and comparative analysis of approaches to age, gender and cultural groups.  You will read the analyses of these topics by the leaders in the field of thanatology and grief therapy, including Robert Niemeyer, Colin Murray Parks, William Worden, Kenneth Doka, John Shep Jeffreys and many more. Among the topics described and applied are meaning reconstruction in the grieving process; new interpretations of attachment and coping theories; the two track model of bereavement; task based approaches to bereavement; and contextual issues that arise when dealing with grief.  The course presupposes and builds on your knowledge gained in previous grief counseling courses. This comprehensive course provides the student with 60 CE contact hours of education. Course Code: GC 675. Course Cost: $ 250.00.


GC 676 – Cognitive Grief Therapy

This course provides a focused consideration of cognitive grief therapy. The selected text contains theoretical background of this strand of grief therapy. Well known cognitive models are discussed in context of grief-related concerns. Among the discussions are the topics of therapeutic work with grieving couples and family systems. Several cognition-based interventions are displayed, both didactically and via case studies. And, importantly, the text concludes with a note regarding cognitive issues for the therapist working with grieving people. Malkinson averred that “cognitive constructions of a meaning to life without the lost person is a process” (p. 1), and it is this dynamic process that is treated and handled in this text from a cognitive perspective. This comprehensive course provides the student with 40 CE contact hours of education. Course Code: GC 676. Course Cost: $ 175.00.


GC 689 – Bereavement Groups and Social Support in Grief Therapy

Grounded in contemporary empirical research, this course gives grief clinicians practical techniques for using bereavement groups and social support as a means of grief therapy. The course weaves together theory, research and practice in order to help the clinician develop effective group content, identify training techniques for effective group leadership, meet challenges in support groups, deal with various age levels, and manage complicated grief situations. This course is designed to provide 35 contact hours of education. Course Code: GC 689. Course Cost: $ 175.00.


GC 678 – Grief And Bereavement In End Of Life Issues

This course is based on a text that presents an array of critical issues for the mental health professional concerning end-of-life care. Various topics are addressed by veteran voices in the field, and the extended perspectives render an informed amalgamation of useful points for practitioners. For instance, readers’ knowledge base will be enriched by situational illustrations, helpful practical tips, and detailed discussions found in the selected text. Given the inherent challenging nature of the topic, the content of this course is designed to assist mental health professionals to better navigate the complex issues of end-of-life care. This course is designed to provide 50 contact hours of education. Course Code: GC 678. Course Cost: $ 200.00.


GC 550 – Grieving Children

This course provides a way for grief counseling professionals to be informed on the dynamics and nuances of the delicate subject of children and grief bereavement. The text incorporates anecdotal accounts and narrative excerpts as well as references to published studies. A wide array of related issues are discussed including developmental distinctions of childhood, differential grief effects contingent upon the type of death, guidelines for tending to children’s grief, a special focus on aggrieved children in the school setting, and other topics of concern. A host of counseling/therapeutic suggestions are offered based on the author’s clinical practice. The author of the text and this course focuses on the topics of grieve reactions in children, as well as therapeutic interventions. Course Code: GC 550. Contact hours of Education = 30. Course Fee: $ 150.00


GC 679 – Anxiety In Long-term Grief

This course examines issues of anxiety and anxiety disorders related to long-term grief reactions. An exploration of Anxiety in the context of Long-Term Grief explores the experience of those who have lost a loved one, yet continue to struggle with persistent symptomatology (e.g., trauma and anxiety). Recommendation for treatment are made adding to the up and coming diagnosis of Complicated Grief. Overlap of Complicated Grief and trauma issues are addressed, as well as the factors contributing to the persistent grief, such as disorders of attachment. There is no empirically validated treatments for Complicated Grief, yet researchers are beginning to understand the risk factors that contribute to Complicated Grief, as well as the ability to discuss the up to date research and what seems to work and where the research needs to go from here. Course Code: GC 679Contact hours of education = 35. Course Fee = $ 175.00


GC 530 – Meaning Reconstruction In Grief And Bereavement

This comprehensive course explores the principles and propositions of the revisionist theory of “meaning reconstruction” as it applies to grief and bereavement. The course examines the current body of research that argues for a more dynamic concept of loss that goes beyond stage or task theory.  Meaning reconstruction positions the concept of grief on the constructivist process of meaning making and on a reworking of the griever’s assumptive world. The course elucidates this grief theory as a highly subjective and social process in which the bereaved – rather than withdrawing energy from the deceased – constructs a new world of meaning as a result of the experience of loss. As the student appraises this contemporary paradigm, he/she will develop a fresh understanding of the role of grief and loss in changing the life perception of the griever.  The student will also assess meaning making strategies and therapist dialog in order to apply the theory of meaning reconstruction as a technique in grief counseling.

The reading in this course is extensive and presumes that students have a good understanding of the process of grief as described in stage and task theory. Readings have been chosen from a variety of grief theorists in order to furnish the student with a thorough understanding of the rich dimensions of this approach. Contact hours of education = 40.  Course Cost: $ 150.00 Course Code: GC 530


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

  • Pre-requisite to enrolling in the continuing education program: registrants must be currently Certified in Grief Counseling by the American Academy of Grief Counseling and MUST hold a graduate level college degree. 
  • All of these grief counseling 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 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 eight (8) continuing education courses.
  • Upon completion of each course, you will be awarded the corresponding continuing education contact hours and receive the Continuing Education certificate verifying course completion and the award of education contact hour credits. Registration may be completed online, by accessing the links.
  • The grief counseling courses in the Grief Support Practitioner curriculum are also approved for use by Certified Grief Counselors for achieving continuing education requirements for Recertification of their GC-C status in the Academy.
  • Participants must complete the entire continuing education program to be eligible to receive this advanced grief counseling certification.


Additional Links

What is Certification?

“A certification is a third-party attestation of an individual’s level of knowledge or proficiency in a certain industry or profession. They are granted by authorities in the field, such as professional societies and universities, or by private certificate-granting agencies. Most certifications are time-limited; some expire after a period of time (e.g., the lifetime of a product that required certification for use), while others can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain requirements are met. Renewal usually requires ongoing education to remain up-to-date on advancements in the field, evidenced by earning the specified number of continuing education credits (CECs), or continuing education units (CE’s), from approved professional development courses. “ 1

Certification is an official recognition from a “Professional Organization” that one has met all of the established standards as determined by that professional organization to be conferred the specific “certification” by that professional organization.  Certifications are most frequently established and conferred by “professional organizations.” Certification is thus a validation that a professional has thus achieved a high standard of knowledge, learning and skills in a specific specialty area of practice. It attests to an achievement in professional practice that is beyond that achieved for licensure. It is also specialty practice specific, rather than generic in nature.

Certification is distinctly different from ‘licensing.” Licensure is conferred /granted by the Government. In most all cases, licensure is the responsibility of the State Government. Every state has its own government agencies that oversee and confer licensure to professionals, i.e. the state boards of nursing.  Licensure is established by “laws” and then specific rules and regulations which conform to the tenets of the state’s laws. Licensure is granted and over-seen by state agencies. Certification, on the other hand, is NOT licensure and is not established by any “laws.”  Licensing agencies generally do not “oversee” professional certifications, unless their specific laws mandate a certain professional certification, in order to practice. An example of this would be: for a registered nurse to receive and be conferred a license as a “Nurse Practitioner” most states require that the RN also have Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.  So, in order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner, the nurse must hold certification from one of those two professional organizations. The State Board of Nursing does not oversee the certification, but rather requires it for nurse practitioner license.

Why Achieve a Certification?

“Professional certification shows consumers and potential employers that you are committed to your profession and are well-trained. It gives them confidence in your abilities and knowledge. Certification makes you more valuable to employers, so you can expect to earn more than someone without certification. Certification also offers advancement opportunities.” 2  Other compelling reasons to consider a specialty practice certification include: Acquire advanced knowledge and skills in a sub-specialty health care practice: 1) Achieve national recognition for attainment of knowledge and skills by meeting established standards of professional advanced practice, 2). Enhance and expand your health care practice, 3). Increase your marketability, 4). Be viewed as a credentialed expert in your practice specialty, and 5). Become part of a professional group and network of recognized and certified health care specialists.

Report findings published on revealed the following regarding Nurses that held certifications: 1). Certified nurses make more money, 2). Certified nurses have respect and recognition, 3). Certified nurses have validated competence in their specialty area, 4). Certified nurses are more marketable and hireable, 5). Certified nurses perceive they have more power in their organizations, 6). Certified nurses have more professional opportunities, 7). Certified nurses have standing among their professional peers, and 8). Certified nurses are more confident. 3

While these study finds were specific to the nursing profession, we believe such benefits are applicable to all health care professionals who hold practice specialty certifications, especially related to recognition, opportunities in employment and validated competency in their practices.

Ongoing Learning

A major hallmark of quality Certification programs is the mandate that Certified Members commit to continued learning in order to maintain their certifications. This is most generally achieved by requiring a recertification process in which certified member’s document continued learning in their practice specialty by way of continuing education. Certifying bodies will establish quality standards for the requirements for its certified members to achieve contact hours of continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification status by the organization or association. 1, 2

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals upholds this high quality standard for recertification of its members by an established program of recertification via mandatory continuing education as well as clinical practice hours over a four-year time frame.  Certified members may recertify their status upon meeting the standards established for recertification of their practice specialties.

The AIHCP CE Model for Certification

The Model for Certification at the American Institute of Health Care Professionals is one based on a core curriculum of focused Continuing Education (CE) Courses. We feel strongly that the conferral of a professional certification requires the attainment of current knowledge and skills in a specialty practice and those who achieve certification should all have the same educational achievements and knowledge/skill base. We insure this by modeling our Certification programs on student’s achievements in a strong curriculum of continuing education in order to achieve our professional Certifications.

Why is continuing education important as a foundation of our model? There are several reasons why continuing education is important for health care professionals. First, it helps them keep up with the latest advances in their field. Second, it helps them maintain their skills and knowledge. Third, it helps them stay current with changes in the healthcare industry. Fourth, it helps them meet their licensure requirements. Finally, it helps them improve their patient care skills. With the rapid pace of change in the medical world, it is essential for health care professionals to keep abreast of new developments in order to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Another reason that we proposed continuing education courses as the foundation of our Certification model is that the benefits of continuing education courses are numerous. For one, they can keep you abreast of the latest developments in your field, which can be beneficial both professionally and personally. Additionally, they can help you network with other professionals in your field, which can lead to new opportunities. Finally, continuing education courses can simply be enjoyable and enriching, providing student candidates with a chance to learn new things and explore different topics.

Our model consists of several types of continuing education courses. Many of our CE courses are self-directed and self-paced with faculty-mentoring as required by the student candidates. Students utilize text books for the course and very often supplemental learning materials such as course handouts, articles and videos. Other types of courses we have include online video on demand lectures courses that provide for printable copies of the slides used in the videos.

All of our CE courses have examinations that must be successfully completed in order for students to receive credit for the courses and also receive a CE Course Certificate. Most all of the examinations on taken right online with a computerized system and are objective-type questions such as multiple choice and true/false questions. Students take the examination online and once completed receive immediate feedback of their examination score and the questions they may have missed including what the correct responses are to missed questions. Students must complete a comprehensive online course evaluation in order to receive their CE Course Certificate. Students may communicate with their course instructors regarding any questions they have about the examination both pre and post-test taking.

All of our CE Courses are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. We are an accredited provider of continuing education for the California Board of Registered Nursing. For many of our CE Courses we also have Board of Nursing Approval by the Florida Board of Nursing and the DC Board of Nursing. As well we are a Rule Approved Provider for CE by the following Boards of Nursing: Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky and New Mexico. The AIHCP is also an Approved Provider for Continuing Education by the South Carolina Professional Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists licensing board.

Upon successful completion of our CE Courses, our student candidates receive a full-sized Course CE Certificate with the full name of the course, date of completion, number of earned contact hours as well as all Board and Organizational approvals for the course. As our student candidates are generally health care professionals they have the added benefit of being able to use their earned CE Course contact hours for their State re-licensing CE requirements and many can use them for their CE requirements for recertification in other professionals organizations.

Our foundational model of CE for Certification is also based on the importance to stay current in the health care field as changes in technology and treatments occur rapidly. As a health care professional, you need to be able to provide the best possible care for your patients. Staying current also allows you to keep up with the latest guidelines and standards of care. Additionally, new research is constantly emerging that can impact patient care.

In conclusion, our foundational model of continuing education courses for certification for health care professionals is important in order to keep up with the latest advancements in health care. They also help to refresh and update the skills of those who have been working in the field for many years. All of our courses can be taken online and are self-paced for the student candidate’s easy of self-paced learning and many employers offer financial assistance to employees who enter our programs.


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