Psychosocial Care of the Dying and Bereaved 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.

Continuing Professional Development credits pending approval by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the BC Chapter for Fall 2018 course.

Find out more about the Psychosocial Care of the Dying and Bereaved Course objectives, content and course fees.

Health care professionals seeking a more clinically focussed course on palliative care may want to investigate our 5-day Palliative Care: Medical Intensive course. 

February 19th-23rd 2018:

Location: Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina, 146 Kingston Street, Victoria, BC
Victoria Hospice negotiates a special nightly rate for accommodation. To make your reservation, please call the hotel directly at 250-360-1211 or  1-866-716-6199 and mention that you are attending the Victoria Hospice program.

Course Fees Include:

Your course fees include tuition, the course textbook (see below), a binder of learning resources, daily continental breakfast daily, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, and lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.

Registration Fees 2018:

Course Fees


Jan 2nd-Feb 1st


Feb 2nd-16th

Professional $910.00 $965.00
Family Practice Resident/YAC $710.00 $710.00
Student $500.00 $540.00 

See Course Fees below for information about discounts for students and those with financial need.




Cancellations, Refunds, and Transfer Policy: 

If you need to cancel your registration, please contact Victoria Hospice's Event Coordinator, Brittany Clark.  Full refunds, minus a $25 cancellation fee, are available up until 30 days before the course start date.  Within 30 days of the course start date, no refunds will be issued. Transfers: If you would like to transfer your enrollment to another session, you are required to pay an additional $25.00 admin fee and the difference in cost if the fees increase between sessions.  

Textbooks/ Bookstore:

Your registration fee includes a copy of the recently revised textbook, Transitions in Dying and Bereavement: A Psychosocial Guide to Hospice Palliative Care (2016).  Victoria Hospice has additional publications available which can be purchased directly from our website's online bookstore

For more information, please contact Victoria Hospice Education & Research at 250-370-8283 or by email at [email protected].

Did you know? We offer this course bi-annually! Here's a look at 2018...

  • Psychosocial Care of the Dying and Bereaved:February 19th-23rd 2018 in Victoria, BC 
  • Psychosocial Care of the Dying and Bereaved: September 17th-21st 2018 in Victoria, BC 


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:

  • A limited number of student rates are available for students in their 4th year of undergraduate degree or in Master’s or PhD programs. 

    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]

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Quality end-of-life care for all: Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those facing advancing illness, death and bereavement through skilled and compassionate care, education, research and advocacy.