Death may end a life, but not necessarily a relationship. Drawing on attachment-informed models of bereavement, we begin by considering grieving as a process of reconstructing rather than relinquishing our bonds with those who have died, and the circumstances that can interfere with this natural process.
Clinical videos bearing on a range of losses will sensitize learners to various impediments to reorganizing the “back story” of the ongoing relationship with the deceased, as we also note several techniques that can help move such work forward. Participants will learn a creative technique for mapping clients’ “secure base” relationships and leave with a framework for conceptualizing attachment issues complicating adjustment to bereavement and a tool for assessing those that merit attention in grief therapy.
In the afternoon, we will explore several creative narrative, emotion-focused and conversational methods for:
· re-introducing the deceased into the psychological world of the bereaved,
· fostering a sustaining sense of connection and alliance with the loved one in embracing a changed future, and
· working through issues of guilt, anger and abandonment triggered by the death and the shared life that preceded it.
Learners will leave with tools for helping clients appreciate the role of the loved one in their construction of their own identities and revise frozen dialogues with the deceased that interfere with post-loss adaptation.
This program constitutes 1 of 3 courses required for Basic Certification in Grief Therapy offered by the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition (PI) in collaboration with J&K Seminars. For more information about the optional certification program, click here.