Supporting Patients and their Families with Bereavement and Loss (10 CPD Hours)

This course provides an introduction to working with bereavement, and gives practical guidance to supporting patients and their families after a loss. It has been certified by CPD UK – The CPD Certification Service.

Working in a healthcare setting means that you are likely to encounter bereavement, either through your patients, or families of your patients. This could be due to someone’s passing, or the loss of something else – such as mobility, or a lifestyle they are no longer able to maintain. The reality of bereavement may feel difficult to navigate, as it is still a subject that remains very much a taboo. You may already be familiar with the concept of ‘stages of grief’, but you may wish to learn more about the different ways in which grief can present itself, and how to work practically with those who are bereaved. Would you like more confidence in working with those who are dealing with grief or loss? Are you interested in learning about how you can better understand and support those who are experiencing grief?

How will this course help me?

This course aims to help you to gain confidence in working with patients and their families when they are bereaved.  This can help patients and their families feel supported and understood while they are dealing with their loss. You will learn about some of the ways in which we can understand grief, how you might come across issues related to bereavement with your patients and service users, and how you can help within the scope of your role.

The course has been created by the National Counselling Society in response to calls from various healthcare practitioners across the sector – midwives, nurses, domiciliary care workers, physiotherapists to name but a few – for access to low-cost, convenient, high-quality courses in Counselling Skills and related subjects. In addition to meeting CPD requirements, we were asked to provide training that healthcare practitioners could use to feel more confident and prepared in their day-to-day role.

Standards & Certification

This course has been certified by CPD UK – the CPD Certification Service. You can find our certificate by clicking here.

This course is intended to be suitable for the target audience defined in Tier 1 of the Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework commissioned and funded by the Department of Health and developed in collaboration by Skills for Health, Skills for Care and Health Education England (HEE).

It will be valuable for support staff who may interact with those affected by mental health issues and therefore need to have an awareness and understanding of mental health issues.  It can help with establishing positive relationships with individuals who have mental health problems.

The F ramework can be found here:

Learning Outcomes & Course Requirements

By the end of the course you will be able to:

1. Explain various ways of understanding bereavement and loss
2. Explain how the experience of bereavement and loss is relevant to healthcare
3. Review a range of support skills
4. Evaluate how these skills can be used in your professional healthcare context
5. Apply learning appropriately to your own CPD requirements

Course Content:

  • Understanding Bereavement and Loss
  • Definitions
  • Theories – Mourning and Melancholia
  • Theories – Attachment Theory
  • Models of Grief and Bereavement – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Models of Grief and Bereavement – Colin Murray Parkes
  • Models of Grief and Bereavement – Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning
  • Models of Grief and Bereavement – Stroebe and Schut’s Dual Process Model
  • Bereavement and Gender
  • Bereavement and Culture
  • Bereavement and Health
  • Bereavement – a Summary
  • Case Example
  • Complicated Grief
  • Effective Communication


Further Information

This course is aimed at healthcare professionals from a range of backgrounds.

Topics covered by the course include, but are not limited to: understanding bereavement and loss; mourning and melancholia; attachment theory; models of bereavement; bereavement and gender; bereavement and culture; bereavement and health, and complicated grief.

The examples and activities given in the course are directly related to the healthcare profession, and will guide participants to think about how best to use relevant skills within their roles.

The course requires self-directed learning. You do not need to purchase any books or journals to complete this course, but there is a section on recommended reading at the end of the course should you wish to continue learning more.

Many of the skills and ideas presented in this course are used by professional counsellors and other talking therapists. Please be aware that this course is not designed to train you to become a counsellor or the sole provider of mental health support for your patients, but to give you the skills and tools to support them within your existing role alongside a qualified mental health professional where required.

To find out more about becoming a professional Counsellor, please visit the National Counselling Society website, where you can find Accredited training courses in your area.

Upon completion of this course you will be awarded a certificate for 10 CPD hours.

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