Education Series

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation Education

REGISTRATION STILL OPEN FOR CURRENT ONLINE COURSE:  The Essence of Caring for the Dying and the Grieving:  An Eleven-Part Journey to Understanding What Matters Most

Register Here

Last week’s recorded session by Ken Ross will be available to you until October 30th. Thank you!

Contact us at: for further questions

Online Course – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation Global Certificate of Participation (September 24-December 17, 2020)

Schedule: One class per week (Except: Oct 8, November 26/ Thanksgiving week) – Every Thursday 11AM -12:30PM (Eastern US). These classes will be available in English, Español and Português. If you are sign up for this series but are unable to view any classes, they will be made available to you freely for two weeks following the date of presentation.

Estas clases estarán disponibles en español. Essas aulas também estão disponíveis em português.

*See below for more detailed information on classes.

Kubler-Ross Foundation Online education series

Our vision is of a world in which all patients who need palliative care, people in grief and those close to them have access to care and support, whenever and wherever they need it. We believe that education is the key to achieving this ambition.

Generally recognized as where the modern thanatology movement began 50 years ago, education has always been one of the most important aspects of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s Legacy.

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross started an education movement for life, death and grief worldwide, actively participating in the training of hundreds of thousands of people on all continents. She believed in experiential training, in which people should deal with their unfinished business, personal grief and emotional pain, before learning the skills and competencies for this job.

More than anything, we believe that Elisabeth’s work focuses on a new awareness of what life means and what we can do to live more fully. Thus, our educational projects should serve this purpose. We want to transform the way we live on this planet and we believe that Elisabeth’s legacy still has a lot to say for contemporary society.

Person-Centered and Culturally Relevant Education and Training

We believe that the best palliative care and grief education and training is person-centered and culturally relevant, just like care should be. It needs to be designed and delivered in partnership and through relationships.

We seek to involve patients, family caregivers, communities as well as professionals and innovators, in identifying what information and skills are needed to provide the best possible experience at the end of life in whatever setting.


We have a longstanding collaboration with a lot of institutions, universities and palliative care and grief support centers all over the world, like North America, South America, Europe, South Africa and Asia.


Director of Education – Rodrigo Luz


Virtual Learning Courses 

Below are some of our upcoming courses, based on current practices and research, which respond to the real needs of practitioners in end of life care and grief support. Contact us if you want to know more or discuss other options.

– E-course “On Death and Dying”

On Death and Dying: The Legacy of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross to Present Times

Online Course – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation Global Certificate of Participation (September 24-December 17, 2020)

Schedule: One class per week (Except: October 8 & November 26/ Thanksgiving week) – Every Thursday 11AM -12:30PM (Eastern US). These classes will be available in English, Español and Português.

Estas clases estarán disponibles en español. Essas aulas também estão disponíveis em português

In this online course the discussions will cover a wide range of topics that include the work of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross up to the present-day on end-of-life (EOL) care. In this unprecedented course offered by The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation, we will discuss the legacy of this pioneer and how her contributions apply to contemporary methodologies and how it is being carried into the future.

Divided into eleven sessions, this introductory course aims to be an immersion in the thoughts of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, making connections between the past and the future, between students and members of the former staff of Dr. Kübler-Ross, as well as sharing knowledge and experiences by international experts from across the world who work in the fields of hospice, palliative care, and grief today.

If you register for this course you will:

– Develop a new awareness of the meaning of life, death, transition, and what it means to be alive in this limited space of time between birth and death.

– Learn some of the theoretical and practical foundations of care for patients with advanced diseases from specialists and experts with national and international recognition in their areas of training and expertise.

– Learn without leaving home, having access to this exclusive content through online classes and during weekly meetings through the Zoom platform.

– Receive a Certificate of Participation from the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation Global, an organization that represents the legacy of a pioneer in the hospice and palliative care movement internationally.

Online Classes

After you confirm your enrollment, you will receive a link to the Zoom platform within a few days which you can access all classes. Please watch for this link. The virtual environment will allow you to:

  1. Interact with students and ask questions with tutors, ensuring your maximum learning on the topics discussed.
  2. Learn the legacy of a pioneer without leaving your home. Please make sure that you have a good internet signal so that you may participate in activities.
  3. Receive exclusive certificate, as long as you participate in at least 80% of classes and actively participate in discussions.

What is virtual learning?

Virtual learning is a style of learning designed to recreate your classroom experience online. The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross virtual learning environment offers mixed methodologies to learning online from full interactions, engaging bite-size presentations, quizzes, and shared resources.

For maximum benefits, please ensure that you have a good internet signal and that your computer already has the Zoom program properly installed, so that there are no problems with the transmission of classes. We are not responsible for problems related to students’ internet signal.

Sign up by donating $75.- to the EKR Foundation via donate button.


Session 1 (Completed) – September 24: (Available by recording)

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: A Life Dedicated to the Care of Those Who Die – Ken Ross (USA)

Session completed but recording still available with ticket purchase.

Ken Ross – son of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, is the Founder of EKR Foundation (2006) and President (2006-2013 & 2018-present). He also served on the board of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Center from 1989-2005. Ken was the principal care provider for his mother in the last 9 years of her life until her passing in 2004.

His current role consists of handling more than 80 publishers of Dr. Ross’ work, managing public relations, copyright & trademark issues, website development as well as manages the  network of international Kübler-Ross chapters. In addition, he develops strategic partnerships, as well as manages the archives for the foundation.

While growing up, he got to accompany his mother on her extensive travels all over the world while getting to witness her lectures and workshops. Ken has lectured for more than twelve years on his mother’s legacy for hospices and various conferences in South America, Asia, and Europe. There are several film projects that Ken is currently serving as a consultant for, including a major motion picture, television series, and various documentaries- both foreign and domestic.

Session 2 – October 1st 

Symbolic Language in People Close to Death – Wilka Roig (Mexico)

Wilka M Roig, MA, MFA, PLC, holds a Master of Art in Transpersonal Psychology specializing in Creativity and Innovation, and a Master of Fine Arts specializing in Photography. She holds a Professional Dream Worker Certification from the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work, a Biomagnetism & Biodecoding Therapy Certification from el Centro de Medicina Contemporánea, Level 1 and 2 Psychosynthesis Coaching Certification from the Synthesis Center, Level 1 Degriefing Integrative Grief Therapy Certification, and has trained with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Archetypal and Cross-Cultural Psychology for four years.

Wilka is the president of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation branch in Central México. She is an affiliate of Death Cafe and the administrator of Death Café México. Her professional interests include Transpersonal Psychology, Somatic Psychology, Neurobiology of Trauma, Loss, Grief, Neurobiology of Relationships, Ecopsychology, Taoist Inner Arts, Tibetan Buddhism, Mindfulness, Creativity & Innovation, Dream Work, Transformative Storytelling, Transpersonal Education, Feminist & Gender Studies, Multicultural Studies, Visual & Expressive Arts, Confectionery & Culinary Arts, and Wine Culture.


Session 3 – October 15

Four Quadrants Theory and Natural Emotions – Jacob Watson (USA)

Jacob Watson founded an alternative chaplain training school, became a grieving counselor, and worked with AIDS patients and several Hospices. He belonged to the former Staff of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Center, receiving training and working in Thanatology directly with Elisabeth, during the 1980s and 1990s, in addition to co-creating the Center for Grieving Children. He is the founder of the Maine Chaplaincy Institute and dedicates his life to teaching and counseling patients who are experiencing deep trauma or grief.


Session 4 – October 22

Spiritual Care and Unconditional Love – Frank Ostaseski (USA)

Frank Ostaseski is an internationally respected Buddhist professor and visionary co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project and founder of the Metta Institute. He has taught at Harvard Medical School, at the Mayo Clinic, and major companies such as Google and Apple. He trained thousands of doctors and followed more than 2000 people through the death process. Frank is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Humanities Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. His groundbreaking work was featured on Bill Moyers’ PBS series, having been honored on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dalai Lama. He is the author of the book The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. For more information visit


Session 5 – October 29

Countertransference, Emotional Reactions and Unfinished Business in Healthcare Professionals – Stephen Connor (USA)

Stephen R. Connor, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the London, UK based Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), an alliance of national and regional hospice and palliative care organizations worldwide. After serving for 11 years in the leadership of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (US), he is now focusing on palliative care development internationally with the WHPCA. He also serves as Senior Research Fellow to Capital Caring in the Washington Area. Dr. Connor has worked continuously in the hospice/palliative care movement since 1976, as the CEO of four different US hospice programs, and has been a consultant surveyor for the Joint Commission. In addition to being a hospice and association executive, he is a researcher, advocate, and psychotherapist, licensed as a clinical psychologist in California and Kentucky. Dr. Connor’s areas of research interest in palliative care include bereavement, denial in the terminally ill, outcome and performance measurement, and evidence-based care for the dying. He has chaired the board of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, & Bereavement, is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Palliative Care Research Center and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. For the last 14 years, Dr. Connor has been working on palliative care development internationally in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin American. Dr. Connor has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews, & book chapters on issues related to palliative care for patients and their families and is the author of Hospice: Practice, Pitfalls, and Promise (1998), Hospice and Palliative Care: The Essential Guide (2009), and co-editor of the Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life (2013), a joint WHO and WHPCA publication.


Session 6 – November 5

The Patient as Teacher – Rodrigo Luz (Brazil)

Rodrigo Luz is a Clinical Psychologist, Thanatologist, and Palliative Caregiver from Brazil. He’s an active member of the Laboratory of Thanatology and Psychiatry in Other Medical Conditions, linked to the Institute of Psychiatry of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

He is part of the Research and Intervention Group in Situations of Suffering at Work at the Institute of Psychology at UFRJ. He’s the author of the book Contemporary Experiences on Death and Dying: The Legacy of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross to Our Days, published in Portuguese in 2019.

Rodrigo coordinates the advanced training on Thanatology and Palliative Care of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation in Brazil along with several social projects of the foundation in Rio de Janeiro and throughout Brazil. He and his team coordinate seminars on death and dying, interviewing patients facing death, using the same model created by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in the 1960s. Rodrigo is also a professor in several postgraduate courses in Palliative Care in Brazil, such as the Casa do Cuidar in São Paulo, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the University of Pernambuco, and in several regions of Brazil. He’s part of the Compassionate Communities project and coordinates several palliative and compassionate care actions with unprivileged populations, in the Rocinha favela, within the city of Rio de Janeiro. He’s the President of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation Brazil.


Session 7 – November 12

Palliative Care for Children: The Perspective of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross – Joan Marston (South Africa)

Joan Marston is based in South Africa and is presently an International Children’s Palliative Care Consultant with PaCCHI – Palliative Care for Children a Humanitarian Imperative; also ICPCN Global Ambassador for Children’s Palliative Care and Director of Education and Development for Sunflower Children’s Hospice in South Africa.

Joan’s background is in Nursing and Social Science and she has 22 years experience in palliative care for children – caring for children as the Executive Director of Bloemfontein Hospice and then founding the Sunflower Children’s Hospice in 1998 in Bloemfontein, South Africa, as well as a regional network for life-limited children, the St. Nicholas Bana Pele Network, in 2009. As the national pediatric development manager for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, from 2007-2010 Joan and her team developed a strategy for a national network of services, promoting the considerable growth of the number of children’s palliative care services for children in South Africa. During that time, she was the Project Manager for a program to develop children’s palliative care Beacon centers in Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa.

In 2005 colleagues from 15 countries established the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, with Joan as the first Chairperson from 2005-2010, then became the first CEO from 2010-October 2016. The ICPCN now has membership in over 100 countries.

Joan was part of the group that developed the new Guidelines for Persisting Pain in Children, as well as Guidelines for Disclosure in Children, for WHO. Married to Richard with two adult children living in the UK, and an active member of the Anglican Church, Joan is a Lay Minister in the Cathedral in Bloemfontein; and an Honorary Lay Canon of Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire, England. A committed advocate for children’s right to palliative care and pain relief, Joan believes that this can be achieved worldwide when people share knowledge and resources, and work together to expand access to palliative care for all children.


Session 8 – November 19

Everyone Deserves a Dignified Death: Human Rights and Palliative Care – M. R. Rajagopal (India)

Dr. M.R. Rajagopal was born in Trivandrum in Kerala, India, and graduated from Trivandrum Medical College. He did his post-grad in Anesthesiology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. While working as Professor and Head of Anesthesiology in Calicut Medical College, he and his colleagues founded the Pain and Palliative Care Society in 1003 offering free pain management and palliative care to poor patients. In 1995, this was declared a WHO demonstration project and grew to the present Institute of Palliative Medicine with a network of over 100 palliative care centers in the state of Kerala. This initiative resulted in palliative care reaching about 40% of the needy in Kerala compared to the national average of less than 1%.

Currently, he is the director of the WHO Collaborating Center at Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences and the founder-chairman of “Pallium India”, a trust that he founded to improve access to palliative care in India, focusing on balancing increased coverage with improved quality. His initiative has also led to the development of a Government policy on Palliative Care in the state of Kerala in 2008.

He also works with the WHO Collaborating Center at Pain and Policy Studies Group (PPSG) in Madison-Wisconsin and with the Access to Essential Medicines program of WHO, to remove regulatory barriers in the availability of oral morphine for pain relief. Over the course of 15 years, this resulted in the simplification of narcotic regulations in 17 of India’s 28 states.

Dr. Rajagopal is a lifetime advisor to the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) and is the vice-chairman of Asia Pacific Hospice Network (APHN). He is a member of the International Experts’ Committee of the WHO Collaborating Center at Madison-Wisconsin. He is also an Associate faculty member of the Institute of Palliative Medicine at San Diego, USA. He is on the editorial board of several international journals and has authored/edited two textbooks, several book chapters (including Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine), and more than 30 publications in scientific journals


Session 9 – December 3

Compassionate Communication and Active Listening – Dianne Gray (USA)

Dianne Gray is the President of Hospice and Healthcare Communications, an international firm focused on creating and furthering advocacy projects and education/communications initiatives involving all aspects of end-of-life and palliative care. Dianne is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning writer/journalist, film producer, master collaborator, and project director. She is also a passionate advocate for improved communication and care for seriously ill patients, their families, and the loved ones they leave behind.

In addition to being a board member of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation, Dianne also participates on the boards of International Children’s Palliative Care Network and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Pediatric Leadership Council. She is also the co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Parent Advisory Group. Over the last 20 years, she has founded four non-profit organizations, each focused on improving life for seriously ill children and their families.

She is collaborating with a variety of major media partners and hospice professionals to produce a wide array of films, books, and other exciting projects. Dianne is an intrepid traveler who enjoys connecting people everywhere. Over the past several years, she’s worked, hiked, adventured, and/or presented in 17 countries and over 100 cities.

Wherever she goes, Dianne sits beside the ill and the dying and still sees her family’s ten-year pediatric hospice/palliative care experience with her son, Austin, (who died in February 2005) as the gift of a lifetime.


Session 10 – December 10

Grief Support: Non-Judgment and Unlimited Compassion – Joanne Cacciatore (USA)

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is a researcher and professor at Arizona State University whose nearly 40 studies in the area of traumatic infant and child death have been published nationally. She founded the MISS Foundation, an international organization for grieving parents with 75 outreach centers around the world, in 1996 after the death of her fourth child. She started the Kindness Project in 1997. She is the author of two books, “Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and Heartbreaking Path of Grief” and “Grieving is Loving.”


Session 11 – December 17

Self-Care as an Act of Love – Irene Smith (USA)

Irene Smith is Founder and Director of Everflowing, a Project devoted to educating the health care community in mindful touching as an integral component to end of life care. In service to the dying for over three decades, Irene continues to teach, consult in the development of hospice massage programs, create educational resource materials, and has a private touch practice with the dying, in-home and facility care. As a respected author and educator, Irene’s work has been honored by the somatic and health care communities as an outstanding contribution to community well- being. She was the first National AIDS Memorial Grove’s inductee for AIDS service and in 2014 she was the first Lifetime achievement award recipient from the World Massage Festival.


If you have any questions about this or any of our other courses, please contact the Education team who will be happy to help:


Declaration and Call-to-Action on Palliative Care & COVID-19

Witnessing, with the rest of the world, the overwhelming physical, social, emotional and spiritual suffering COVID-19 is inflicting on infected persons and their families globally;

Recognizing that palliative care is aimed at prevention and management of serious health-related suffering;

Observing with great concern that the persons infected with COVID-19 are isolated from their families, and may never see them again;

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