Psychosocial Care of the Dying and Bereaved Course

*This course will not be offered again in 2019. Please check back for information on future offerings of this course*

Recommended prerequisite: If you do not have experience in palliative care, it is recommended that you first take Pallium LEAP Core or LEAP Mini prior to taking this course. Please contact [email protected] for more details on when these will be offered next. 

Victoria Hospice's introductory 5-day course presents a psychosocial perspective on hospice palliative care including self-care and team issues, the impact of disease transitions and holistic care, counselling and bereavement support. Victoria Hospice developed this course and has offered it since 1996. The course is instructed by the Victoria Hospice psychosocial team along with other professionals from their team and allied agencies.

This course is for:

  • Counsellors and social workers in acute, geriatric or community care
  • Hospice/palliative care physicians, nurses, and other professionals
  • Hospice bereavement coordinators or program coordinators
  • Spiritual care providers, counsellors, and social workers who are new to hospice/palliative care

Participants explore issues from both personal and professional perspectives. The course includes opportunities for reflection, experiential activities and small group discussions.


Course Objectives

  • To increase awareness of and sensitivity to personal learning and issues around death, dying and bereavement.
  • To understand and appreciate the diversity in people's experience of quality of life, illness, dying and bereavement.
  • To increase understanding of theory and interventions related to the experience of people across transitions and diseases.
  • To provide opportunities for participants to integrate their personal and professional experience and build knowledge and skills.
  • To address self-care, team, spiritual and cultural considerations for patients, families, communities and health care professionals.
  • To create a learning opportunity that brings professionals with similar interests and unique perspectives together for shared learning.
  • To understand the complexity of end of life care including individual, family and system factors.
  • To explore frameworks and interventions appropriate to end of life care.

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Course Content

  • Philosophy and principles of care
  • Interdisciplinary team
  • Spiritual and cultural considerations
  • Psychosocial care:
    • grief and loss
    • patient & family issues and perspectives
    • special populations
    • cancer and non-cancer patients
  • Counselling interventions:
    • transitions
    • bereavement
    • relationship management
    • children
  • Self-reflection and self-care
  • Special topics
    • family conferences
    • suffering
    • dementia
    • sexuality and intimacy
    • rituals
    • other topics may be added

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 Course Fee

Student Rates:

  • To qualify you must be a current student in your 4th year of your undergraduate degree or in a Master's or PhD program.  Please send proof enrollment for 2018 classes to Brittany Clark (below).
  • To apply: Before registering, please submit proof of study (unofficial transcripts, or other documentation) to [email protected]
  • Students experiencing excessive financial need may also apply for an additional 15% off their student fees by providing a cover letter explaining their need. These discounts are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Financial Need Rates: 

  • We have one discount at 50% off the ‘Regular’ rate for professionals experiencing financial need per session. This will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis to a qualified applicant. 

    To apply: please submit a cover letter explaining why you want to take the course and how the discount will help you realize this goal, along with two letters of reference (including one from your current employer/manager/volunteer coordinator).  Submit to [email protected]

*This course will not be offered again in 2019. Please check back for information on future offerings of this course*

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Quality palliative and end-of-life care for all: Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illness, death and bereavement through patient and family centred care, education, research and advocacy.