Trauma, Grief & Renewal
Trauma, Grief and Renewal Certificate Program*
This certificate program combines experiential, introspective and expressive approaches to understanding issues of death, dying, grief counseling, related trauma and hospice work. The program’s educational philosophy views dying and death as a natural part of the life cycle and an ultimate challenge all human beings face. Understanding the natural process of life, death, grief and loss can help people to honor transitions, lessen fears and live life more fully and joyfully.
Personal growth can be found in times of grief and loss. The program is designed to shed light on this human journey. Grief can be both acknowledged and honored fully, supported, and eventually integrated into the wholeness of life. The dying have an opportunity to complete their life in a way they prefer. Those around them can reach a deeper understanding and ability to support their loved ones, and honor their own grief. This course emphasizes the therapeutic skills for care of the dying, as well as grief counseling, transition, trauma, loss and hospice philosophy and practice.
Cultural and spiritual traditions regarding death, dying and grief in various parts of the world will be explored. Ethics, self-care and renewal for grief and trauma counseling will be included. Students’ own experience of loss, of any kind, and/or death and trauma, will be the avenue into experiential deepening of loss, grief and trauma healing and transformation.
This program prepares the student for certification in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).
*NOTE: This Certificate program will become Grief, Loss and Renewal in the Fall of 2020. A new Certificate program focusing on Trauma will be added in the Fall of 2020.
6 required core courses
*Southwestern College students may take these courses at the Continuing Education price unless they are using the course to meet graduate program degree requirements.
Dying to Know: Issues of Death and Dying for the Professional
Topics covered include the natural process of dying, hospice and palliative care, the exploration of the nature and impact of different types of death, issues for survivors, funeral practices and transition rituals in a cross-cultural context.
The Art of Healing Grief and Trauma
Poetry, music, writing and drama are utilized as vehicles for transformation through the expression of the profound mysteries of life death and transition. Participants experience their own personal guidance through an exercise in embodied art and meditation. Art therapy interventions are explored.
Trauma Theory, Process and Interventions
The biological model of trauma is studied, including recent research. Trauma interventions are compared. The importance of sequential treatment strategies is stressed.
Theories of the Grief Process and Bereavement Interventions
Grief process is studied from various perspectives and models. Bereavement interventions and support programs and strategies are compared.
Counseling Skills for Grief and Trauma
The skills necessary to counsel clients with grief, trauma and complicated grief are demonstrated. Students have the opportunity to role play with the skills. Strategies and skills for group work are discussed.
Ethics, Self Compassion and Professional Issues
Topics include ethical principles, legal tools for planning, compassion fatigue and the necessity of self-care to prevent burnout. Other professional issues are explored. Participants are encouraged to identify ethical issues affecting their professional practice.
Program Learning Outcomes:
Students will demonstrate increased ease and familiarity with the transformative potentialities of grief and loss related to death as an intrinsic and inevitable part of life. They will also demonstrate introductory knowledge of current trauma treatment modalities.
Students will demonstrate increasing skills in working with issues related to grief, dying, death and associated trauma.
ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR
Students will demonstrate broadened understanding and compassionate attitudes regarding loss, dying and death as well as the sometimes traumatic impact of death on survivors.
Where you might use these skills:
- Hospitals/ Medical Clinics
- Religious settings
- Private practice
- Primary and secondary schools
- Inpatient and outpatient recovery centers
- Public and private agencies
- Community mental health centers
Sara Morgan, M.A., has worked in the fields of Death & Dying, Grief & Trauma throughout her professional life. As a deeply committed spiritual practitioner and with death predominate in her own childhood, she had no choice but to take the journey of making friends with grief, loss and death, and to find the transformational gifts hidden in these realities. She was invited to be on the staff of the original Dying Center, founded by Ram Dass, Stephen Levine and others in the 1980s, taught at the Elizabeth Kübler Ross Institute.
Her work as a psychotherapist opened her to the widespread and unique modalities needed to aid adults and children suffering from the many forms of Trauma rampant in our culture. Her ‘advanced training’ in trauma, life-threatening illness and death came through her own journey with a once extreme and terminal cancer. Sara’s worldview and therapeutic perspective has always been a blend of psychological and transpersonal realities. She is a senior teacher in an international Sufi lineage, a longtime Buddhist practitioner, has lived and studied in India, and in Benedictine and Zen monasteries. She has respect for all traditions, and finds an open, loving heart to be essential for all authentic healing and transformation.