Loss & Grief Counseling
Instructor: John L. Garcia, Ed.D. Classroom: Avery 358
Phone: 512-716-4553 Meets: Th 6:30 - 9
An in-depth study of loss and its aftermath, grief. Emphasis is given to the counseling literature, loss and grief in the arts, personal loss experience and particular counseling interventions.
- To de-pathologize and normalize the human phenomenon of loss.
- To foster awareness of the emerging clinician’s own personal loss history and patterns relative to coping.
- To familiarize the student with theories from a variety of bodies of care-giving knowledge dealing with loss.
- To provide an understanding of the cyclical nature of loss and thus the clinical issues created in a linear society.
- To expand the clinician’s definition of loss.
- To establish a foundation for developing specific skills for clinical interventions in attending loss.
- To invite the power of the student’s own creativity in identifying and healing from loss.
Loss is a universal human experience. However, it is recognized and addressed in culture and gender-specific ways. Furthermore loss is one, if not the one, issue (experience) common to all counseling scenarios whether or not it is identified and addressed.
Methods of Instruction:
Lecture, popular cinema, professional DVD demonstration, and small group activities.
Required readings, such as journal articles, will either be provided as handouts or posted on TRACS.
Recommended Texts: Worden, J.W. (2002). Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner. New York: Springer
Numerous books and other materials will be recommended throughout the course. The student is encouraged to build a reading list for future reference.
The importance of attendance and active participation by everyone is always important in a graduate class, yet here and for this subject matter the importance is underscored since continuity is one of the ways safety is established and trust can grow. While this is not a therapy group it is important that members of the class feel safe among the collective relative due to the highly charged and necessarily personal material being discussed. Two (2) absences will result in the lowering of a letter grade and three (3) will constitute an automatic “F” for the course. If you have a cell phone or any other type of annoying device with you, please disarm it before entering the classroom.
It is not recommended that anyone take this course while dealing with an acute and painful personal loss experience.
(1) Take very careful notes. Lectures may be recorded, but not experiential portions.
(2) Keep a journal.
3) Stay very well hydrated.
The professor will provide specifications and instructions relative to these assignments.
(1) Personal Loss Line
(2) Critical Analysis Papers
(3) Personal Loss Box
(4) Designing and Participating in Loss Ritual
Standard Ten-Point Grading Scale Applied
(1) Attendance and Participation (no absences) 50 points
(2) Personal Loss Line 50 points
(3) Two Critical Analysis Papers 50 points
(4) Personal Loss Box 50 points
(5) Designing and Participating in Ritual 50 points __________________________________________________________
Aug 24 Introduction
Clinical Definition of Loss
Classifications of Loss
31 Linearity vs. Circularity
Sept 07 Ordinary People
Loss Line Due
14 Chaos Theory and Loss
Critical Analysis Paper I Due
21 My Life
28 Critical Analysis Paper II Due
The Symbolic Life & Loss
Oct 05 Control and the Function of Guilt
12 Rituals (theoretical)
21 The New Orleans Jazz Funeral
The United States Military Funeral
Nov 02 Sociodramatic Loss Enactments
09 Ritual Design (behavioral)
16 Loss Box Discussions
23 Class Does Not Meet – Thanksgiving Recess
30 Closing Ritual
Texas State University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with disabilities. This university will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal opportunity. It is the student’s responsibility to register with Disability Support Services and to contact the faculty member in a timely manner to arrange for appropriate accommodations.