Grief Support Specialist Certificate (Online)

The Grief Support Specialist Certificate program was featured in an Isthmus article about living with loss. Read the article here»

Why should you register for this certificate? You will come to know the instructors who are renowned experts who understand the complexity of personal loss. You will acquire knowledge and skills to enhance or create a professional specialty that focuses on counseling people who have suffered from a major loss whether the result of death, divorce, unemployment, destruction due to drug abuse, or any traumatic personal devastation.

At a glance

What: Grief Support Specialist Certificate (Online)

When: Jun 15-Aug 13, 2018

Where: Online

Cost: $1,295 on or before May 15; $1,495 after May 15 | 3.5 CEUs, 26 CECH

Continuing education credit: 35 hours (3.5 CEUs), 26 CECH (CHES) contact hours

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For additional information, contact Barbara Nehls-Lowe: 608-890-4653

2017 Grief Loss Mindfulness Brochure
Approved CE hours for social workers, counselors, therapists, psychologists, and more

Agenda and objectives, PDF


First of its kind in the nation

This certificate program is the first of its kind in the nation at a major university. The instructors are renowned experts in the field, more than one of whom have experienced great loss themselves. The program and 3 of the instructors are featured in Brava Magazine in Teri Barr's article The Positive Power of Grief: Using the Pain to Help Others.

This online program is also offered in person. Learn more, and see videos of student testimonials»

CEUs and prerequisites

The Grief Support Specialist Certificate provides 3.5 Continuing Education Units (35 hours of professional continuing education) for people in a variety of professions including, but not limited to, psychology, social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy.

To enroll, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a health care or counseling field and/or employment in a health care or counseling setting. Call Barbara Nehls-Lowe at 608-890-4653 if you have questions or concerns about this.

Your employer may be willing to pay for part or all of this course. View this document for details»

Is now the right time?

If you have had a significant loss within the past year, you may want to consider delaying participation in this program. The content may be difficult to process so soon after your own loss. If this applies to you and you would like to discuss, please contact Barbara Nehls-Lowe.

Meet your instructors

Lead Instructor Douglas Smith (MA, MSc, MDiv) is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant with over 25 years’ experience as a counselor, therapist, and health care administrator. He has worked in hospitals, hospices, and social services agencies. He is the author of a number of books including: The Tao of Dying; Caregiving: Hospice-Proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul; Being a Wounded Healer; and The Complete Book of Counseling the Dying and the Grieving.

Molly Tomony (MA, ATR-BC, LPC) is currently a child and family therapist for the Rainbow Project in Madison, Wisconsin. She has taught art therapy and education for both the University of Wisconsin and Edgewood College, and has worked in several hospices, specializing in art therapy and grief work with children. Molly has extensive experience in running grief groups for both hospices and schools, having written manuals for running grief groups in elementary, middle, and high school settings. She has also applied her art therapy talents to individuals with disabilities and is currently an art instructor for SALSO (Strong Artistic Ladies Speaking Out).

Ridley Usherwood (MA, D.Min) has over 40 years of experience in education, teaching, research, and program design. He is currently grief support coordinator for Home Health United as well as a practicing marriage and family therapist, with a strong background in pastoral ministry and counseling. He has taught classes in multi-cultural studies at Edgewood College and was for 9 years the director of the Intercultural Studies Program at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Ridley has done work in South Korea, Brazil, Great Britain, Ghana, Germany, Argentina, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Canada. He has also assisted in the development of Hope Africa University in Nairobi, Kenya.

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