Registration for the January, 2015 Class has been filled and shut down.
The next online training will be in August, 2015,
and registration will be announced in late July.

APLB Online Seminars
Pet Loss Counselor Training

Excellence in pet bereavement counseling is our watchword, here. We teach motivated students that they can reach down deep within themselves, and come up with some amazing things. This is a demanding course, but so much worth all the effort. A strong distinction is made between offering a client “warm fuzzies” and real, focused and clearly planned counseling. Our graduates become the best counselors, and we constantly receive correspondence from them, saying how much they appreciate having been required to accomplish our very high standards. No certificate is ever issued to anyone who can’t meet our requirements.

We make full use of The Loss of a Pet (Fourth Edition) as a course textbook for constant reference and resource in this curriculum. It is important to have a hard copy of this title, as it has been found that a downloadable E-book does not serve well as a reference textbook for any training course. Membership in the APLB is also a prerequisite. Tuition is $300. A pro-rated refund can be made only if the registrant requests this before the end of the third week of instruction. But we have to charge $25 to cover our expenses in processing this. There are no reimbursements for anyone dropped from the course after that. We will all be committed to working hard and completing the course, together.

We offer this class every January and August. Enrollment is limited to 25, and enrollment will be closed when that number is reached. The registration page will then be removed. This course is very popular, and the class always fills up quickly.

Effective counselors must be able to explain things clearly, and simplify the client’s perceptions, so they can be more easily dealt with. For this training, all the homework assignments teach and require that skill. As mentioned, we strive for excellence, and this is not an easy course. On average, 6-8 hours of study and work are needed, for each week’s assignment. And some of our learners get so motivated that they put in even more time, in preparation.

Our students have to be able to focus clearly only on what is being specifically asked about the assigned readings. Then they are required to write essay answers that are direct and well-organized – based only on what is asked for. Unfortunately, there are always some who can’t do that, and they are unable to complete our sessions. Other than these conditions there are no formal requirements such as prior training or counseling experience. Again, it requires reasonable skill in writing focused essay answers, and a willingness to learn and meet our demands for excellence.

This course is not for everyone. If you need additional communication and clarification beforehand, please feel free to contact Dr. Sife at To be eligible, we suggest that you join us and get the book, now, and are better prepared when the next class begins. The Fourth Edition of The Loss of a Pet easily can be obtained by going to the Bibliography Page on our website, and clicking on at that title. You will be connected directly to, with the book already highlighted, for your convenience.

You need to be online only twice each week for this course – unless additional Email communication is necessary. After you start, each week’s assignment will be Emailed to you as a .pdf file, and you will have up to one week to submit the homework. That is to be sent back as an attached Word or WordPerfect file. In each of the five sessions students will be given essay assignments, based on that week’s instruction, as well as designated reading in The Loss of a Pet.

The sole basis for all homework questions is in each session’s assigned reading. As mentioned previously, 6–8 hours of careful preparation are required for this. If that is not done, it will be very apparent, and it will not be possible to receive the minimum passing grade of B.

Homework must be completed and returned no later than 1 PM (Eastern) Friday of each week, and Emailed to Dr. Sife for evaluation. Total commitment and diligence is required. Short or “buckshot” responses are not acceptable. All the answers must be focused only on what is asked, written in clear and detailed exposition of the ideas asked for, and based only on the assigned reading. Students who experience problems are encouraged to speak with Dr. Sife, who will be glad to reach out to help them, individually. We want you to be comfortable with the requirements for this course, and as already mentioned, pro-rated refunds are given only through the third week.

Every session will be sent out on a Friday night, giving students seven days to satisfactorily complete the work. If any assignment is not successfully done or not returned by the next Friday’s deadline, the enrollment can be terminated, with no extensions or appeal.

After completing this unique course of instruction our highly regarded APLB Certificate of Training will be awarded and mailed to the trainee. Ten CE credits are also included, as authorized by NASW. and the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

And if requested, we will be pleased to post each graduate’s pet bereavement counseling service on our website’s Counselors’ Page. Of course, there is no charge for that.


Each session is based on the posted instruction for that week, and assigned readings in The Loss of a Pet.

Session 1 will include coverage of the first three chapters of the book and an introduction to petloss counseling.

Session 2 will include chapters 4 through 9, the loss experience, and the stages of bereavement.

Session 3 will include chapters 10 through 12, an overview of Cognitive Behavioral theory, and children and petloss.

Session 4 will include chapters 13 through the end, and euthanasia. Session 5 will test your skills as a petloss counselor, based on this course of instruction.

Session 5 is the final exam – a practicum of six different scenarios. The student is to write a comprehensive essay on each, saying how he/she would counsel a person in each situation. All these circumstances have been covered in the training.

Generally, this online course is offered twice yearly – in January and August. Registration dates are not announced until then. As a special benefit, we give advanced notice of this to our members. We do that because the 25-person enrollment limit fills up very quickly – in less than three days, after posting it on our website.

Since being a member is one of the required prerequisites for these classes, we suggest that you join now, and start enjoying some of the other benefits. You will like our newsletters. And reading The Loss of a Pet now will be an immediate advantage and preparation for the course.

The 5-week course will start on Friday, January 2, 2015.

The sessions will be as follows:

Schedule of Classes

First Session Friday, January 2 through Friday, January 9
Second Session Friday, January 9 through Friday, January 16
Third Session Friday, January 16 through Friday, January 23
Fourth Session Friday, January 23 through Friday, January 30
Fifth Session Friday, January 30 through Friday, February 3