PhD in Grief Counseling

This article focuses on what is involved in obtaining a Ph.D. in Grief Counseling. Explore career paths, course work, and admission requirements to determine if this doctorate in psychology is the right path for you. Schools offering Mental Health Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Obtain a Ph.D. in Grief Counseling

A doctorate in psychology in grief counseling can take one to five years to complete; students learn through research, statistics, practicing methodologies, psychotherapy techniques, fieldwork, and dissertation. Below are the types of courses included in the program.

Psychotherapy Research Methodology and Practice

A course in this area lays the foundation of psychology science, methods, and application. Students will dive into various approaches to research methodologies and practices of therapy that they can apply specifically to their concentration in grief therapy.

Understanding Grief and Bereavement

A course in Grief and Bereavement will look further into all stages of the grieving process. Gain an understanding through theory and practice of the elements involved that may hinder or aid in each stage of grief.

Loss, Trauma and Psychological First Aid

A course in loss and trauma will focus on attachment and resilience and assess where each come into play within grief work. Students will learn empathetic and practical approaches to managing psychological factors through a crisis or during traumatic events.

Grief Counseling

A course in grief counseling prepares you to deal with grief, attachment, and loss from a counselor's perspective. Examine the mourning process and the various types of loss. By applying mental health models and ministry counseling techniques, students learn to facilitate grief and its outcomes.

Community Grief and Crisis Counseling

A course in community or group grief counseling takes a multicultural approach as it explores intervention techniques to help manage community or group trauma. Learn organization skills to help become an effective support group facilitator.

Admission Requirements

The following are the standard requirements for a doctorate program in Psychology - Grief Counseling:

1. An undergraduate degree and a master's degree in grief counseling or in a related mental health field such as counseling and psychology.

2. A year of experience working within the mental health field. Though this is highly desirable to some programs, it is not mandatory.

3. A minimum G.P.A of 3.5 within your graduate coursework.

Although there are accelerated online programs that have a one-year duration, it is recommended to allow three to five years of post-graduate study and fieldwork before embarking on your dissertation. Most programs do not require applicants to be licensed counselors.

Choosing a Ph.D. in Grief Counseling

A Doctor of Psychology in grief counseling takes the knowledge base of grief work and counseling into a deeper level of insight.

While a Master's in Counseling Psychology provides the solid foundation and groundwork to establish a career as a licensed grief counselor, A doctorate in counseling psychology builds on that foundation with advanced knowledge and practice and opens the door to new career opportunities as well as to program accredited associations such as the American Psychological Association (APA).

This track of study is for professionals who are seeking to progress further in their current careers as grief counselors by becoming either licensed grief counseling psychologists or researchers and/or teaching scholars within academia.

Become a Grief Counseling Psychologist

Further your grief counseling practice. A Ph.D. is required to stand out as a licensed psychologist. A grief counseling psychologist works with people to help individuals and groups improve processes and behaviors as they undergo each phase of the grieving process. Various aspects of this career path include conducting research studies, writing research papers and articles, observing, identifying and testing behavioral patterns, and working with patients on treatment therapy techniques.

Become a Grief Counseling Scholar

Enter a career as a researcher or professor in academia. Teach college and university students theories, methodologies and counseling techniques specifically aligned to grief counseling. Conduct research and write articles and books on research findings for scholarly publications.

Professionals in the field of grief counseling or any other related counseling field can increase their median salary by 56% by obtaining a Ph.D. of Psychology in Counseling.

Position 2018 Median Salary* 2018-2028 Projected Growth Rate*
Grief Counselor$44,63022%
Postsecondary Teacher $78,47011%
Psychologist $79,01014%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A Ph.D. in Grief Counseling is for students who want to become a scholar in all the phases of grief and learn through advanced psychological research, theory, and counseling techniques to identify, assess and resolve issues related to grief and trauma-related events. This doctorate can lead to becoming a licensed psychologist or a professor and or researcher within academia.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Walden University

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    • Doctoral

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Liberty University

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Regent University

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  • The Chicago School

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  • Lesley University

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    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Toledo

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    • Ohio: Toledo
  • Stanford University

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    • California: Stanford