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Advanced Diploma in Bereavement Counselling and Thanatology - course textbooks (UK links):











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Advanced Diploma in
Bereavement Counselling
and Thanatology
(Adv. Dip. B. C. T.)

Distance Learning Course Details


   College accreditation: International Association for Distance Learning.

Course accreditation: ACCPH .

Total recommended period of study: approx. 6 to 9 months. Continuous enrolment. No time limit.

Cost: £325.00  (325 Pounds Sterling - for currency conversion see www.xe.com )

(Textbooks extra - approx. cost £165 new. Book costs have increased substantially since we first introduced this course but you can save considerably by searching for used books on Amazon.) 

Method of study: 

Textbook study. Written assignments based on textbook study and exercises. Assignment questions are issued by email and students return their written work by email. Grades and feedback are issued by email. Students normally buy books from on-line bookstores.

Course outline and syllabus

This course is a private qualification aimed at the helping professional and the care worker.


  • Interdisciplinary Study of Death and Bereavement (Psychological, religious and cultural aspects)

  • Grief Counselling and Therapy

  • Death, Dying and Bereavement

  • The Five Stages of Loss

  • Moving Beyond Death, Divorce and Loss

  • The Healing Power of After-Death Communication

  • Terminal Care and Bereavement Counselling

  • Scientific Evidence of life After Death

  • Final Project

    The final project requires the student to write 3,000 to 5,000 words on a special aspect of death or bereavement, using the student's choice of books, articles & other sources. A list of suggested topics will be provided.  The project may be cultural, philosophical, psychological, metaphysical,  spiritual or based upon practitioner case studies.


  • This syllabus is subject to change at any time if a book becomes unavailable or if a new unit is introduced to enhance the course.

Approx. 8 textbooks will be required for the core syllabus and the student will need to purchase the books.

Entry criteria and suitability 

The course can benefit any person who regularly comes into contact with people suffering from bereavement, grief or loss, e.g. counsellors, therapists, doctors and nurses, professional carers, hospice managers and staff, volunteers, social workers, charity workers, pastors,  police officers, magistrates,  legal workers, funeral directors, etc.

Qualified and practising counsellors, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists  will find this course a welcome addition to their professional portfolio, providing a key area of professional development. Professional societies that operate an unrestricted CEU policy may consider this qualification for CEU purposes.  

This course is not a general course in counselling and if you intend to practice bereavement counselling you should have a professional qualification in one of the following: counselling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, psychiatry, psychology, mental health nursing, etc. 

Required course reading

Please note that this reading list is subject to revision especially if new editions appear or books go out of print. Please do not purchase books without checking with us for any updates. Each time someone enrols for the course, we review book availability so we can make any necessary changes.

Rees, Dewi.  Death and Bereavement: The psychological, religious and cultural interfaces.  Second edition.  London: Whurr Publishers, 2001.

Worden, J. William,  Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy: A Handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner, Brunner-Routledge; 4th Revised Edition, edition, 2010.

Dickenson, Donna L. , et al., (eds.) Death, Dying and Bereavement (Published in association with The Open University) Sage Publications Ltd; Second Edition, 2000.

Kübler-Ross,  Elisabeth, and Kessler, David.  On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss (Paperback). Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2007.

Parkes, Colin Murray, et al.,  Counselling in Terminal Care and Bereavement, BPS Blackwell, 1996.

Friedman, Russell.  Grief Recovery Handbook, The (Revised: A Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Devastating Losses, Harper Perennial; 2nd Revised edition 1998.

Martin, Joel.  Love Beyond Life: The Healing Power of After-Death Communications. Dell Publishing Company; Reprint edition, 1998. Note: A Harper paperback reprint edition appeared in January 2009. Either edition can be used for your studies.

Fontana, David. Is There an Afterlife? A Comprehensive Overview of the Evidence. O Books, 2005.


Successful graduates will receive the Advanced Diploma in Bereavement Counselling and Thanatology awarded by UK College of Holistic Training which is a private UK qualification. The college is accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning. Course graduates may use the postnominal initials Adv. Dip. B.C.T.

The course is accredited by ACCPH (see links in left-hand column).

Graduates of the course will be eligible to apply to register with "Counselling", a registered charity - see www.counselling.ltd.uk, and on successful registration the graduate will be entitled to the style "CCC Registered Counsellor." (Applies to UK only. "Counselling" does not accredit or approve the UKCHT course.)

Where suitable we will give advice to graduates on the possibility of joining other professional bodies.

Prospective overseas students are responsible for checking whether they need any form of accreditation or licensing to practise as a counsellor or psychotherapist in their own country. UK College of Holistic Training is unable to give advice on local regulations in your country.

Further information

Please see our FAQs page for general information about practising counselling and psychotherapy in the UK and elsewhere.

We reserve the right to change the syllabus and other details of any course at any time. If any key textbook becomes unobtainable we will provide a substitute module based on another book.

Please note that this course is not accredited or approved by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy or the British Psychological Society.  It does not lead to UKCP or BACP accreditation and is not accredited by any body that is recognised by the UK government. In the UK, counselling and psychotherapy are not government-controlled and there are many independent routes to private qualifications & professional society memberships.

To apply for this course now, go to our Application page

US spelling (for search engines) Advanced Diploma in Bereavement Counseling and Thanatology



Our new URL is www.ukcht.uk  (Note: this is a "dot UK" not a "dot co.uk" address)
(Our courses are by distance learning/ home study only - we have no classes in London.  All enrolments must be made by email or post)
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 Tel.   020 7060 2283  International +44 207 060 2283