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Term: 2nd term
Credits: 2 credits
Academic Year: 2013 - 2014

Provides theoretical constructs for understanding the meaning of loss in maternal and child health, and techniques for short-term counseling that facilitate a healthy grief reaction for the bereaved family. Case studies of typical and atypical reactions are discussed for losses such as perinatal loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, termination of pregnancy for genetic reasons); birth of a child with a genetic condition/birth defect; death of a child with a chronic illness; and infertility. Topics include the psychology of pregnancy; and perinatal loss; phases of grief reaction; the art of facilitating bereavement; practical interventions in the hospital; follow-up counseling and short-term psychotherapy; resources; special needs of family members; gender differences; grandparent and sibling issues; provider issues (counter-transference, self-care, and burn-out prevention). Includes lecture, discussion, role play, video, field trips, and presentations by bereaved parents.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
describe the process of adaptation to disability from a family systems perspective
analyze cases in terms of adaptation theories
develop theory-based counseling interventions for families in an adaptation process
become aware of one's own attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and counter-transference issues that affect one's development as an adaptation counselor

Methods of Assessment: Student evaluation based on class participation and written assignments.
Location: NIH - Bethesda, MD
Class Times:
  • Friday 9:00 - 10:50
Enrollment Minimum: 10
Enrollment Maximum: 12
Instructor Consent: No consent required

415.650; Must be enrolled in ScM in Genetic Counseling Program

Auditors Allowed: No
Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Jointly Offered With:
  • NIH
Special Comments: Grades submitted at the end of the term.