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6 Best Grief Coach Certification Programs

Last updated on February 16, 2024

Grief coaching has emerged as an alternative way to handle grief rather than counseling. The popularity of the field is attracting more and more people towards coaching, turning it into a rewarding career choice. 

But how can you show clients you’re skilled and gain their trust to guide them through their healing journey? This is where grief coaching certifications come in. 

If you’re looking for the best grief coaching certification, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explore high-quality training and certification courses for grief coaching that will boost your confidence, credibility, and knowledge. 

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What Is a Grief Coach?

A grief coach is a life coach who specializes in providing guidance, support, and tools to individuals who are experiencing grief and loss. They help clients navigate their emotions, cope with their feelings, and develop strategies for healing and moving forward in their lives. 

In their sessions, grief coaches offer a safe space for clients to express their emotions, work through their pain, and create a new sense of purpose. Some of the techniques coaches use are goal setting, cognitive reframing, mindfulness, and action planning to help clients navigate their grief and foster healing.

What Is the Difference Between Grief Coaching and Counseling? 

Grief coaching and counseling both offer support during times of loss, but they do have their differences. Grief coaching primarily centers on helping individuals set goals, develop coping strategies, and navigate their grief in a proactive and forward-looking manner.

Counseling differs as it often involves a more therapeutic and introspective approach. Counselors delve into the emotional aspects of grief and explore deep-seated feelings and past experiences. Their focus is on understanding and processing emotions to promote healing.

How To Become a Grief Coach

The most straightforward path to becoming a grief coach is undergoing specialized training and earning a certification that proves your expertise. Even though certification isn’t a requirement for becoming a coach, 81.3% of coaches uphold a certification, so it’s difficult to stand out and gain trust without it.

Grief coach training also equips you with the necessary skills to guide individuals through their grief process and provide them with support and coping strategies. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Grief Coach Certification

How to simplify your decision and determine the most suitable certification course? Consider factors like cost, duration, and accreditation to guide your choice.

Program Cost

Searching for grief coaching certification online will open up a lot of possibilities, allowing you to choose from the options that match your budget. The price tags start from less than $200 and span to over $2,500, so the discrepancy between pricing is quite big. You might also consider whether or not the training academies support payment plans or offer discounts. 

Course Length

You should evaluate your daily schedule and availability to see how much time you can dedicate to training. Certification courses can be time-consuming and last for a year or more. However, there are programs that are more flexible with a self-paced learning structure that adjusts to your availability for learning. 

Accreditation

Accredited certifications indicate that the training program was evaluated by a third party. The most recognized accreditation institution is the International Coaching Federation (ICF). There are exceptional programs that aren’t accredited, as accreditation offers an assurance of certain standards, and it’s not mandatory. If you come across a program that meets all your criteria but it lacks the ICF accreditation you desire, complement it with a life coaching program like Coach Training Alliance. It can earn you the ICF credential while also helping you level up your life coaching skills. We’ve covered everything you want to know about CTA in this review

Best Coaching Certifications for Becoming a Grief Coach

Beginners Option: Global Grief Coach Institute

The Grief Coach Certification Program by Global Grief Coach Institute covers a lot of actionable tips on how to hone relevant skills, provides a strong theoretical background in grief coaching, and dives into various types of grief triggers. The comprehensive syllabus, in combination with a reasonable cost, makes this program well-suited for beginners.

Global Grief Coach Institute – Grief Coach Certification Program

This course teaches about grief stages, symptoms, misconceptions, and how to manage emotions. It’s perfect for building and improving coaching skills and learning dialogues to support and guide clients.

If you want to further enhance your capabilities after completing this course, you can also check out their Grief Coach Business Certification Program and Grief Coach Master Blueprint.

Professional Development Option: Institute for Life Coach Training (ILCT)

To enroll in ILCT’s Grief Coaching Program, you need to have completed 20 hours of coach training or have prior experience in related helping professions. Thus, if you already have experience in the coaching field, this can be a great professional upgrade and a way to earn the respected ICF credential.

Institute for Life Coach Training (ILCT) logo
Institute for Life Coach Training (ILCT) – Grief Coaching Program

The course covers foundations like understanding grief’s effects and challenges and setting new life goals, as well as more unique and advanced topics like learning Wolfelt’s 11 principles for supporting grieving individuals and how they relate to the ICF Core Competencies. Teachers use role-play, real cases, and a practical approach to enhance coaching skills and show you how to work with clients to overcome grief and help them discover new strengths.

Once you finish this course, you can also enroll in the Institute’s Advanced Grief Coaching Certification program. 

  • Course Length: Determined by Teleconferencing Schedule – to learn when the next course is available and how long it will last, contact ILCT reps
  • Program Cost: $600
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Coaching Model Option: The International Academy for Grief

The International Academy for Grief will introduce you to the B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Coaching Model and how to apply it in your grief coaching. The model’s acronym represents the key steps in the coaching journey:

  • Begin with exploration
  • Reflect on values and vision
  • Establish clear goals
  • Action planning
  • Track progress
  • Harness strengths
  • Evaluate and adjust
The International Academy for Grief – Confident Grief Coach

The Confident Grief Coach and B.R.E.A.T.H.E Facilitator Certification program will give you a proven blueprint for helping clients who have experienced the loss of a child, sibling, parent, spouse, or other loved one. The program is self-directed, but it also includes live group sessions and a 1:1 virtual Human Design session by a trained Human Design coach.

The International Academy for Grief offers another training path, the Advanced Certified Grief Coach program, for Confident Grief Coach graduates. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $2,500
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Christian Grief Coach Certification Option: The Professional Christian Coaching and Counseling Academy (PCCCA)

If you’re a Christian coach or you want to incorporate Christian principles into grief coaching, PCCCA can be your pathway to Christian grief coach certification. Their program will earn you two certifications: Certified Joy Restoration Coach© and Certified Christian Grief Coach©. 

The Professional Christian Coaching and Counseling Academy (PCCCA) – Christian Grief Coach© Training/Certification

The Christian Grief Coach training program covers a comprehensive range of topics, including debunking myths about grief, understanding stages of grief, effective coaching criteria, and the science-backed power of transforming thoughts. It delves into handling early bereavement, offering support with healing words from scripture, and promoting emotional well-being.

Additionally, the course provides insights into happiness, stress reduction, establishing healthy habits, and business strategies, all supported by interactive teleclasses, Q&A sessions, resources, and practical tools.

  • Course Length: 9 weeks
  • Program Cost: $1,697
  • Accreditation: None
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

From Grief to Gratitude Coach Certification Option: Institute of Professional Grief Coaching

The Institute of Professional Grief Coaching (IOPGC) introduces a special approach to grief coaching by shifting from grief to gratitude. The From Grief to Gratitude Coach Certification Program will teach you compassionate methods for non-therapeutic support and guiding clients towards happiness from grief.

Institute of Professional Grief Coaching (IOPGC) logo
Institute of Professional Grief Coaching (IOPGC) – From Grief to Gratitude Coach Certification Program

What also makes this program unique is that it introduces a workplace-focused angle to grief coaching. You’ll learn about establishing a workplace culture that acknowledges and understands grief’s impact. It explains how grief’s emotional, physical, and psychological effects influence job performance, morale, and company revenue.

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $777
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Budget Option: Transformation Academy

Focus Mastery + Breakthrough Life Coach Certification is a 2-in-1 certification program that blends these two dynamic programs. The course is super affordable, and it dives into achieving clarity, focus, and mastery while living through stress, life transitions, and the healing process after grief and loss.

Transformation Academy (TA) logo
Transformation Academy – Focus Mastery – Breakthrough Life Coach Certification

Even though the program isn’t solely focused on grief coaching, it equips you with proven tools to help clients heal from grief and strategies to cope and navigate challenging life situations. Another relevant aspect that can enhance your grief coaching skill set is learning how to coach clients toward starting life anew after loss with clarity and a solid sense of direction. 

To learn more about Transformation Academy, head to our detailed review

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $197 (Get 50% off using our link. Discount applied at checkout.)
  • Accreditation: CPD
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

FAQs

  • How much does a grief coach make?

According to the Global Grief Institute, certified grief coaches can earn between $25 and $150 per hour. 

  • Do you need a certification to be a grief coach?

While certification isn’t a requirement, you will need a certification program if you wish to earn recognizable credentials that can help you attract clients and build your professional credibility.

  • How much does a grief coach certification cost?

The cost of grief coach certification doesn’t surpass a couple of thousand dollars—great news, as some life coaching programs cost over $10,000.

  • Does accreditation matter in a grief coach certification program?

Accreditation can give you peace of mind that the certification respects and follows standards set by a reputable accrediting institution.

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

With numerous certification programs available, it’s hard for coaches and clients to know them all. Therefore, accreditation matters more than just certification when it comes to recognition. ICF is a well-known accreditor, so certifications accredited by ICF or CPD are trustworthy options.

Conclusion

The field of grief coaching is expanding as more individuals seek its distinct approach to healing. While certification is not obligatory, it greatly enhances your credibility and trustworthiness. 

The diverse approaches of grief coach training programs—from Christian grief coaching to the B.R.E.A.T.H.E. coaching model—cater to different preferences and allow you to find a program that aligns with your beliefs. Your budget also shouldn’t hold you back, as affordable programs like Transformation Academy can help you get started. The path to becoming a skilled and effective grief coach is paved with well-structured training programs, each offering its own distinctive value. If you also decide to enhance your life coaching skills, top-notch life coaching programs like Coach Training Alliance will help you with that goal.

Take the Coach Certification Quiz

Need help choosing a coach training and certification program? We created this short quiz to help you find the best program for you.

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