Psychosocial Care of the Dying and Bereaved

A 5-day introductory course


This course is on hold. Please check back for information on future offerings of this 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 us 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.


  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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: please submit proof of study (unofficial transcripts, or other documentation)
  • Financial Need Rates

    Students: Students experiencing excessive financial need may apply for an additional 15% off their student fees.

    • To Apply: Provide a cover letter explaining your need. These discounts are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Professionals: 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-served 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).