February Intake: Companion Animal Loss

February Intake: Companion Animal Loss
Type: Online Short Course
Trainer: Bianca Lavorgna
Level: Introductory
Audience: Veterinarians, vet nurses, counsellors, teachers, therapists, psychologists and other allied health professionals
Length: 7 hours of education consisting of four pre-recorded modules and one Live Zoom Q&A 
Duration: Students will have one month to complete the 7 hours
Intake Start Date: Monday February 1st, 2021

Short Course Overview: Companion Animal Loss

In today's society, animals are considered part of the family unit. It is not then surprising that those who experience the death of a companion animal experience significant levels of grief, with symptomology and characteristics comparable to that of a human.

However, the Human-animal loss experience may go unrecognised or validated resulting in the bereaved individuals being highly vulnerable to insufficient societal support and unresolved grief.

This Online Short Course will explore the phenomena of grieving after the death of a companion animal and provide ideas and strategies that can be effective in offering support to those who are grieving.

Learning Modules: at the Conclusion of this Short Course, participants should be able to:

Module One: Introduction to Grief and Trauma

1. Understand the significance of having an animal die through current grief, trauma and bereavement theory
2. Identify how grief manifests in the client, family and support worker
3. Understand the importance of rituals and continuing bond practices.

Module Two: Supporting the Bereaved  

1. Identify a range of strategies that can be used to support people and families who have experienced the death of a companion animal 
2. Understand the different support needs required following different types of death
3. Identify when someone may need to be referred for professional support

Module Three: Working With Distressed Clients

1. Understand the importance of communication skills when working with distressed clients who have experienced the death of their companion animal. 
2. Learn techniques to respond appropriately to distressed clients
3. Identify when people may need a referral for professional support

Module Four: Self-care

1. Understand what self care is and the importance of self care for those working in the field of grief and bereavement
2. Gaining and understanding of Vicarious Trauma, Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
3. Develop a practical understanding of a range of personal and professional self-care strategies to identify ways you can care for yourself as a support person who may also have a companion animal.

Course Structure:

The structure of this course is self-paced learning.

Within the course, you will find four pre-recorded modules that go for roughly an hour each.
These are to be watched in your own time within the four week period.
The only set time which forms part of the course is the one-hour live Zoom Q&A in the last week of the course.
The timing of this will be provided upon course commencement.
More information including your login for LearnBook (online course platform) will be sent a few days prior to the course starting.
You will then have access to the platform, so you can make yourself familiar with it, ready for the modules to launch on the course commencement date.


Students will need to engage with each module and complete the learning opportunities along the way. Whilst no formal assessment is required to complete the course, students will be required to score an average of 80% or above in the multiple choice quizzes to receive a certificate of completion to claim the 10 OPD points offered by the ACA.

Trainer Bio: Bianca Lavorgna

Bianca is a Bereavement Counsellor, Educator, Supervisor and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer with expertise in the development, delivery and coordination of support services and programs. Bianca also comes with specialist knowledge and experience in working with children and adolescents. She is also the co-author of The Yellow Leaf a children’s book, helping children to understand that grief is not linear and that there is no perfect way to grieve.

Bianca has as a strong interest in companion animal loss and has recently published research, in which grief severity was investigated and compared between those who have experienced the death of a human and those of an animal.

Bianca has Master’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the Australian College of Applied Psychology and a Graduate Qualification in Bereavement Counselling from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.

Course Cost: an all inclusive cost of:

Members: $295
Non-Members: $345

Extensions and Intake Transfers

Extensions and Intake Transfers will not be granted to students that cannot complete their course before the conclusion date. If the course is not completed, students will forgo their registration fee in full.

Extensions beyond the course conclusion date will only be granted to those who can provide a medical certificate stating that they were medically unfit to complete the course.
Cancellation and Refund Policy: Participants must agree to this policy prior to commencing the course:

A refund may be given if:

The student is enrolled in a course and the course is cancelled due to insufficient student numbers.
The student advises the ACGB in writing that they are withdrawing from the course 14 days prior to course commencing.
If a refund is requested less than 14 days before course commencement, a full refund, less a $50 administration fee will be paid.

No refund is available to a student who leaves the course before finishing it.
1/02/2021 - 26/02/2021
Online registration not available.

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