Palliative/ELC Certificate Curriculum

The Personal is the Professional: A discussion of your own experiences as it relates to palliative care and end of life care. This includes discussion of compassion fatigue, countertransference, and the meaning of the work as it relates to life history.

Theoretical Views on End of Life: Theories that address loss, separation, attachment, grief, and bereavement. 

Clinical Practice: A case-based seminar addressing issues of death and dying and bereavement over the life cycle. The trajectory of illness, developmental issues for children, adolescents, adults, transference/countertransference, and uses of self are addressed.

Complex Legal and Public Policy Issues: Using the legal paradigm, this seminar examines advance directives, state legislation and constitutional law concerning physician-aid-in-dying, refusal or withdrawal
of life-sustaining medical treatment and legal and public policy proposals that influence patient autonomy and EOL social work practice.

Ethical Issues in End of Life Care: A discussion of ethical principles and medical decision making in the context of psychosocial, spiritual and cultural aspects of the lives of patients and families integrating relevant material from law and policy.

Pain and Symptom Management: This course explores psychosocial-spiritual components of pain assessment and management, focusing on interventions for patients and families, integrating cultural, policy and ethical components.

Leadership in Palliative and End of Life Care: A discussion of the definitions of leadership practice, including organizational challenges, issues of interdisciplinary collaboration and how the professional use of self can strengthen leadership roles.

Clinical Practice II: This course uses participants’ cases to discuss uses of self, countertransference, and intersubjective practice in palliative, hospice, and bereavement practices. Participants consider the intersection of psychological, developmental, existential and spiritual issues in advanced clinical practice. Interdisciplinary support, education and supervision are considered. One hour of this seminar provides an opportunity for participants to present their case studies, to teach and to educate other members of the class in a seminar designed to look at advanced uses of self.

Spirituality in Palliative and End of Life Care: Integrating psychological and spiritual ways of making meaning and applying knowledge from a variety of religious traditions and spiritual disciplines to a range of end-of-life settings

Grieving Children & Their Families: Uses a developmental framework to address how death, grief, and bereavement shape self and identity. Using research drawn from work with children, concepts of “normal" grief are challenged and alternative views of grief and bereavement presented.

Mindfulness for End of Life Participants: This session will explore theory on the use of mindfulness with patients , clients and caretakers in end of life care. Exploration will also include the benefits of a mindfulness practice for self care in this difficult and exhausting work and include experiential work in mindfulness practice.

Narrative Writing for Exploration and Healing in Grief: This class is a blend of theory and experiential work.  A theoretical framework for narrative writing is explored, and research on the power of writing as a healing tool in end of life and bereavement is analyzed.  Students then use prompts to do some brief narrative work, to better understand how to use story telling in clinical interventions.

Palliative care with older adults: This course reviews bio-psychosocial dynamics of aging and coping with chronic and progressive illness in later life; environmental, structural, and life course impacts on wellbeing in older adulthood; family caregiving, communication and conflict; current standards for comprehensive geriatric assessment and clinical practice with older patients and their caregivers; and the critical role(s) of social workers in geriatric palliative and hospice care.