Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Jonathan Ohrt

Abstract

Grief is a universal event, yet many counselors are not prepared to used evidence-based practices when recognizing and working with grieving clients. Researchers have explored ways to improve grief counseling education, but none of these recommendations have been put into practice. The aim of this dissertation study, which consists of two full studies, was to develop a holistic grief counseling training for master’s level counseling students that incorporates recommendations for curricular inclusion from the research. The training was designed to be incorporated into one full class period in any master’s level counseling course. The first study is a pilot study where students received the training and gave feedback through focus groups, which was then analyzed using a qualitative method. The second study involved deploying the training on a larger scale, and analyzing scores on pre-and-posttest assessments of grief counseling experience and conceptual knowledge using hierarchical linear modeling. The results indicated that students who received the training felt more confident in their grief counseling skills and conceptual knowledge, but did not feel as though one training was enough.

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