Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
Liberty University logo

Online · School of Behavioral Sciences · Community Care and Counseling

Acute Stress, Grief and Trauma
CRIS-606

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 06/16/2020

Contact Information

See detailed faculty information in Blackboard.

Course Description

This course will provide a foundation of the theoretical concepts associated with the impact and consequences of acute stress on victims, first responders, families, and community members, taking into account the process of grief and loss, complicated grief, dying, death, and bereavement, and the long term consequences of unresolved trauma. Particular attention is paid to the treatment of the human stress response, effective counseling strategies, methods and techniques for immediate response, comorbidity, anxiety and depression, abuse, impact dynamics of crisis and trauma, survivor guilt, and cultural sensitivity.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

The definition of stress is becoming broader as anxiety and stress-related illnesses are now one of the major contributors to mental illness in the United States. According to the American Institute of Stress, 1/3 of the nation experiences “extreme stress,” 77% report stress that affects their physical health, and 73% report stress that affects their mental health. The various physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments caused by stress, have been well documented across a plethora of sources. The ability to work through acute stress can mitigate the effects of long-term trauma in the lives of those impacted. The combined strategies of effective psychological first aid and grief counseling can relieve the acute stress response, foster resiliency, promote the healing process, and mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the life of a traumatized individual.

 

 

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand the key differences between crisis intervention and psychotherapy/counseling.
  2. Have a basic understanding of crisis intervention, ethics, and cultural considerations in this field.
  3. Understand how developmental stages must be understood to have an accurate understanding of loss, stress, grief, and trauma.
  4. Understand basic issues regarding aging, disability, severe illness, and those coping with dying.
  5. Be able to identify those at risk for self-harm, harm to others, or those who are severely impaired and know how to support them and refer as needed.
  6. Explore the concept of death-related loss (bereavement) as well as non-death related forms of loss such as relationship loss (divorce, etc.) and financial loss (job loss, etc.).
  7. Have a basic understanding of community disasters and know the differences between man-made disasters, natural disasters, gun violence and forms of support.
  8. Explore issues specific to military culture and ways to support veterans and their families.
  9. Understand key dynamics of personal trauma including rape, sexual assault, bullying, and domestic violence. Learn key strategies and crisis techniques.
  10. Understand how working with trauma can affect crisis care workers and other caregivers.Explore how Scripture informs these various topics and how it can be utilized to inform coping strategies and healing.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Corr, C.A., Corr, D.M. & Doka, K.J. (2019). Death & dying, life & living. Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9781337563895.

Kanel, K. (2019). A guide to crisis intervention (6 ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9781337566414.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with that required by state licensing boards in the class subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resource Purchase

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Additional Materials for Learning 

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Office

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. The student will participate in four (4) Discussion Board Forums throughout this course. Each forum consists of two (2) parts: the thread and the replies. For each forum, the student will submit a thread of at least 450 words discussing the topic given in that module/week. The student will then submit replies of at least 250 words each to at least two (2) classmates. Threads must contain scholarly sources and at least one (1) appropriate biblical integration to support the post. All posts must be written in a substantive manner, without spelling and grammar errors. Current APA formatting and style is required.

Exams (2)

The student will complete 2 exams which are cumulative and cover the material presented in the Reading and Study material. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes. The mid-term exam will cover Modules 1-4 and will contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions and have a 45-minute time limit. The Final Exam will cover Modules 1-8, with an emphasis on Modules 5-8, and will contain 50 multiple-choice and true/false questions and have a 90-minute time limit.

Research Series Project

Research Series Project

The student will conduct a comprehensive research project throughout the course. The student will conduct a field interview with a crisis counseling professional, create a research paper, and synthesize the research in a slideshow presentation with a single, specific topic to research and use for all three major assignments.

Research Paper Topic Submission

The student will choose a specific topic to research throughout the course. The student will research a topic that is relevant to modern crisis counseling, grief, stress, and trauma. The topic will be the basis for his or her interview, research paper, and slideshow presentation.

Field Interviewee Approval

The student will identify a crisis counseling professional to interview for the research project. The student will submit the professional’s name, title, location, qualifications, and years of experience in crisis counseling for his or her proposed interviewee for instructor approval. The student needs to remind us of their topic and then advise that the instruction has specific experience in the area of their topic.

Field Interview

The student will gain interviewing experience by conducting a semi-structured interview with a professional with direct experience in the area of their approved research topic. Interviews typically last about one (1) hour and should be conducted with someone who is not known by the student. While there is no formal assignment based upon the direct, Information gleaned from the interview is prominently shared in the Slideshow Presentation as well as woven into the research paper as a significant and important resource.

Research Paper

The student will create a 12-15-page Research Paper compiling the research gathered from the field interview, course content, literature review, and major theories of crisis counseling. The student will integrate biblical principles with the research to produce a Christian perspective on the research. The following key components are required: 1) mental health symptoms and relational dynamics commonly found in the chosen population; 2) best practices in crisis intervention with this specific population; 3) any specific cultural concerns or considerations; and 4) spiritual application/integration. The student will create suggestions for future research based on the research findings in the Conclusion portion of the report.

Slideshow Presentation and Critiques

Part 1: The student will gain experience in developing a slideshow workshop presentation by creating a 10-12 slide presentation using PowerPoint or a similar software. The student will discuss the key findings of their Field Interview and Research Paper in a slideshow format to share with the class. The presentation must be concise, graphically appealing, include biblical application, and demonstrate proper APA format in citations/references.

Part 2: The student will learn to develop proper professional critiques by responding to at least 2 of his or her classmates’ slideshows in 250+ word formal critiques which must include strengths, additional thoughts/research, and ideas for future improvement. The student must include academic material (from the course as well as external sources with corresponding citations/references). Both strengths and areas of growth must be included to qualify as a critique.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Class Introductions (required but no credit)

 0

Discussion Boards Forums (4 at 100 pts ea)

400

Mid-Term Exam

100

Research Project Series:

 

Research Paper Topic Submission

25

Field Interviewee Candidate Proposal

25

Research Paper

200

Slideshow Presentation and Critiques

100

Final Exam

150

Total

1010

Course Policies

Professional Communication

Please be professional in your email communication. We live in a fast-paced world with text messaging which encourages short and abbreviated communication. However, since you are in a counseling program, you are encouraged and expected to use full sentences and good grammar when communicating with other students and faculty. It is also an expectation that your electronic communication is pleasing to God. Being courteous and polite to peers and professors demonstrates dignity and respect, "And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them" (Luke 6:31, ESV).

Dual Relationship

The faculty is responsible to interact with counseling students in a supervisory capacity/role. As such, faculty may provide students professional principles, guidance, and recommendations as it relates to the context of the student-client setting. The faculty is responsible to avoid dual relationships with students such as entering a student-counselor or student-pastor relationship. Thus, the faculty does not provide personal counseling addressing student personal problems. If a faculty member perceives that a student is in need of personal or professional counseling, then that faculty member will recommend that the student pursue either pastoral or professional assistance from a counselor in their community.

Limits of Confidentiality

In the event of a student’s disclosure, either verbally or in writing, of threat of serious or foreseeable harm to self or others, abuse or neglect of a minor, elderly or disabled person, or current involvement in criminal activity, the faculty, staff, administrator, or supervisor will take immediate action. This action may include, but is not limited to, immediate notification of appropriate state law enforcement or social services personnel, emergency contacts, and notification of the appropriate program chair or online dean. The incident and action taken will become part of the student’s permanent record.

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

CRIS 606

Textbooks:

Corr, C.A., Corr, D.M. & Doka, K.J. (2019). Death & dying, life & living. Boston, MA: Cengage.

Kanel, K. (2019). A guide to crisis intervention (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Module / Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Kanel: chs. 1–3, 5

3 videos

4 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1

Research Paper Topic Submission

10

0

100

 

25

2

Corr: chs. 12–15

1 video

4 presentations

DB Forum 2

Field Interviewee Candidate Proposal

100

 

25

3

Corr: chs. 6–8

Kanel: ch. 12

3 videos

4 presentations

DB Forum 3

100

4

Kanel: ch. 4

2 videos

Mid-Term Exam

100

5

Corr: chs. 9–11

Kanel: ch. 6

1 video

4 presentations

DB Forum 4

NOTE: the Field Interviews should be wrapped up by the end of Week 5 to include the data in Week 6 and 7 assignments.

100

 

 

0

6

Kanel: ch. 7

3 videos

1 presentation

Research Paper

200

7

Kanel: ch. 8

1 video

1 presentation

Workshop Slideshow Presentation (research findings & field interview findings) & critiques

 

 

100

8

Kanel: ch. 9

2 videos

1 presentation

Final Exam

 150

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.