This certificate program brings together the expertise of three Divine Mercy University faculty members and one Divine Mercy University graduate to explore a topic that touches everyone, personally and profoundly—the struggle with loss. After learning some basic empathy and listening skills that be used to accompany a person suffering from loss, Dr. Scrofani describes the sense of loss that some feel as they age. Dr. Sweeney describes several models of bereavement and points to the potential for resilience even in the face of grief. While experiencing loss, people are often emotionally exhausted, making conflict more likely. In the final presentation, Dr. Kolodziejczak elaborates on principles for empathic communication with others, particularly those who are closet. Grief, whatever the source, whether death, aging, miscarriage, loss of a relationship, is painful. These times more than ever require compassion and the opportunity to be for one another through empathy and understanding.
Certificate Program Description
This course brings together an introduction to empathy skills and ways to reduce conflict in relationships with knowledge about aging in today’s culture and theories of the grieving process. Together, this series of lessons infuses a psychological knowledge of empathy, communication, aging, and grief with a Catholic/Christian dimension of “being for the other” during times of hardship.
By the end of this certificate program, participants will be able to:
- Explain effective empathy-building techniques including attending and listening, reflection of feelings, using open-ended questions, and providing feedback.
- Discuss the purpose and advantage of using open-ended questions over close-ended questions.
- Demonstrate effective paraphrasing techniques.
- Identify the increasing aging population in American society and the ways aging might be seen differently by the five living generations in American society, beginning with the World War II generation.
- Identify key elements of the midlife crisis and some of the psychological challenges for the Baby Boomer generation as they enter into their senior years.
- Discuss midlife and senior adjustment to aging from the Darwinian and Humanist perspectives and consider the protective influences of a Catholic anthropology that is being developed at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, VA.
- Discuss some introductory intervention issues regarding seniors for ministers and psychologists with respect to the aging population.
- Explain the five-stage Kubler-Ross model of bereavement.
- Identify some common critiques of the Kubler-Ross model.
- Discuss the main components of resilience-centered models of bereavement.
- Explain the different principles of communication.
- Identify the importance of listening in fostering a healthy relationship.
- Explain the importance of using empathy when communicating.