Singapore University of Social Sciences

Loss and Grief Counselling

Loss and Grief Counselling (COU262)


Loss and grief issues are widely experienced and can be intricately woven into both client’s as well as counsellor’s lives. COU262 Loss and Grief Counselling will equip students with the knowledge and understanding of the concept and theories of loss and grief. Students will also be equipped with skills to identify and respond effectively to grief-related issues.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester


  • Concept of Loss and Grief: (a) Definitions, significance and prevalence; (b) Types of loss: Symbolic and Actual Losses
  • Self-preparation: our experiences, attitudes and readiness related to grief
  • Loss and Grief across the life span: childhood and adolescence
  • Loss and Grief across the life span: Young, Middle and Older Adults
  • Normal and Complicated Grief: differences, types, risk factors
  • Misconceptions and Empathic Communications
  • Theories and Interventions: Psychodynamic (Freud; Bowlby; Lindemann)
  • Theories and Interventions: Anticipatory Grief (Kubler Ross; Rando)
  • Theories and Interventions: Contemporary (Rando; Worden)
  • Theories and Interventions: Contemporary (Klass, Silverman & Nickman; Stroebe & Schut; Walsh)
  • Cultural Influences and Communities
  • Self-care for Professionals

Learning Outcome

  • Define and discuss the concept of loss and grief.
  • Identify loss experiences and grief reactions across life spans, cultures and types of loss.
  • Examine the different theories of loss and grief.
  • Use appropriate questions that lead to identification of loss experiences and grief reactions.
  • Utilise empathic communication skills in the context of grief.
  • Apply counselling interventions for normal grief and make referral for complicated grief.
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