Anxiety is often a natural human response and feeling to the thought and awareness of death. Counselors in the field will likely work with clients who experience death, loss, grief, or bereavement (ACA, 2011). Counselors must be self-aware of the phenomenon of death anxiety as this may largely impact readiness to work with clients experiencing grief and to understand the effects on one’s own ideas, thoughts, and awareness of death (Castano et al., 2011; Veilleux, 2011). The significance of the study is that it informs theoretical understanding of death anxiety among practicing counselors and focusing on the importance of counseling graduate programs implementing death education curriculum. The field of counseling has under explored counselors’ personal perceptions of death anxiety. Thus, this study explored counselors’ death anxiety levels by investigating relationships between religious and/or spiritual affiliation, death education exposure, and years of practice and to which extent these variables predict counselors’ personal level of death anxiety among practicing counselors in the United States (N=97). Participants of this study completed an online survey that measured counselors religious and/or spiritual affiliation, death education exposure, and years of practice in the field and their levels of death anxiety. Pearson correlation showed that religious and/or spiritual affiliation and death education were significantly positively associated with years of practice in the counseling field. Regression analysis revealed that death education statistically significantly predicted death anxiety levels. Lastly, the limitations to the study, implications, and recommendations for future research are discussed.


Diane Coursol

Committee Member

Tracy Peed

Committee Member

Tracie Rutherford-Self

Committee Member

Jacqueline Lewis

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)

Program of Study

Counselor Education and Supervision


Counseling and Student Personnel





Rights Statement

In Copyright