Previous to approaching Dr. Rolf in February of 2014, I had started to research the topics of Grief and Loss, Grief Counselling, and then narrowed it down to Pet Loss Grief Counselling. I then turned my sights on what was available for Certification and what | found surprised me.
There was an enormous amount of information on Grief and Loss, and Counselling for humans as well as Universities and Colleges offering degrees for it, as I suspected, but the material specifically relating to Pet Loss Grief Counselling, was significantly less. And, Certification was only through a handful of organizations! After thoroughly researching what was available, I settled on 3 on-line organizations as
there were no bricks and mortar schools to attend (hmmm, hoping that I can play some small part in possibly changing that!)
- The Blackford Center, Somerset England — http:/www.inst.org/petbereavement-courses/
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- American Institute for Health Care Professionals (AIHCP) — http://aincp.org/petMEMORIALS loss-grief.htm
- Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB) — http:/www.aplb.org/training/counselor_training
I enrolled in, and successfully completed, each of the three organizations’ courses, receiving Certification through each, by September 2074. I also took the courses in the order as set out above, which could not have worked better!
The Blackford Centre’s Pet Bereavement Counselor course consisted of 12 Modules and was self-paced. It provided me with a “nuts and bolts” introduction to the subject matter.
The AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Recovery Specialist Certificate was comprised of 6 College/University-level courses and adopted a more “academic” approach to the subject matter.
Finally, the APLB’s Pet Loss Counsellor Training Program consisted of 4 weekly assignments, with a final exam based on six pet loss counselling situations. It not only tested one’s knowledge of the subject matter, but also ensured that one could apply it appropriately. This was the practicuum that would put it all together for me and set me on my way. Dr. Wallace Sife, founder of the APLB, sets the bar extremely high for Certification and for that, I am extremely grateful.