Online Courses for Grief Counseling

Updated February 15, 2022
female student studying from home

Taking online courses in grief counseling is suitable for anyone who works with grieving individuals and families, or wants to prepare to do so. Whether you are a professional counselor who works with bereaved clients, or you have (or plan to have) a job where you frequently interact with people who are grieving, it's important to be prepared to meet their needs.

What to Expect With Online Grief Counseling Courses

Completing an online grief counseling course is not sufficient to become a professional counselor. If that's your goal, explore what to know about becoming a grief counselor before signing up for any classes. Some grief counseling courses are intended as continuing education for counselors, social workers, nurses, case managers, funeral/burial professionals, and others who work in jobs that involve supporting people who are bereaved, while others are more general in nature.

CE for Bereavement Professionals

Licensed professional counselors, mental health professionals, healthcare providers, and others who have experience and credentials related to grief counseling or support can earn continuing education (CE) credit and/or prepare for specialized credentials via online grief courses. For example:

  • AIHCP Grief Counseling Certification - People who have a degree and work in jobs that involve bereavement support can attend an extensive online grief counseling certification course via the American Institute of Health Care Professionals (AIHCP).
  • Certified Grief Informed Professional (CGP) - Professional Education Systems Institute (PESI) offers a 6-hour online course designed for licensed mental health professionals with master's degrees to prepare to earn the CGP certification.
  • Hospice Foundation of America CE - The Hospice Foundation of America offers a series of online grief-related workshops that provide CE credit for many counselors, therapists, clergy members, case managers, and death educators.
  • Bereavement Studies Certificate - Hudson Valley Community College offers an online certificate program in bereavement studies. This certificate program is intended for mental health, healthcare, and funeral industry professionals.
  • Pet Bereavement Certification - The International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAPCC) offers a three-module online certification course that teaches people who work at such facilities to properly support grieving pet owners.

Entry-Level Education in Grief Support

Not all online bereavement support programs are limited to people who are already professional grief counselors or work in related occupations. Some online courses provide general information about grief counseling to anyone who is interested. There are even some online degree programs specific to grief counseling.

  • What's Your Grief (WYG) - WYG offers short standalone online classes focused on specific topics, such as understanding grief in children, creative tools for coping with grief, and managing grief on holidays and special days.
  • Grief and Bereavement Certificate - Udemy offers an online certificate program that anyone who is interested in learning about grief counseling can take. It includes a series of online lectures that cover various topics related to bereavement.
  • Ethereal Bachelor's Degree in Grief Counseling - Breyer State Theology University offers a fully online undergraduate degree program in grief counseling. Graduating from this program requires a minimum of 120 credit hours.

Choosing an Online Bereavement Class

As illustrated by the classes listed above, online grief courses can range from quick webinars or videos to extensive courses and even degree programs. If you make the decision to take an online course for grief counseling, be sure to choose a class that is suitable for your needs and educational or professional background. For example, if you have an advanced degree in psychology, you will need a different class than someone who is at the very beginning of their collegiate career or looking to explore the field.

Learn Grief Support Skills and Strategies

Helping to ease the pain of people who are bereaved can oftentimes be a difficult task. Grief counseling is a specialized profession in which licensed professionals provide mental health services to those who are grieving. It's not only counselors who need to know how to interact with bereaved individuals in a compassionate and effective way. No matter what role you play in supporting bereaved individuals or families, online bereavement counseling courses can help equip you with the skills you need to support or comfort them. If you're looking for resources to help you cope with your own grief versus learning how to support others, you may find it more helpful to connect with an online grief support group than to take a class.

Online Courses for Grief Counseling