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Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction: A Trauma-Informed Approach

Live Interactive Webinar - 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET - This program is co-sponsored by J&K Seminars, LLC and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association. - REGISTRATION CLOSED

March 19, 2021

Other seminar info: 

6 CE Hours Credit For Most MH Professionals

Seminar Description

As contemporary models of bereavement have become more nuanced and empirically informed, so too have the practices available to counselors and therapists who work with complicated, prolonged and debilitating forms of grief.  This module offers in-depth training in several of these techniques, nesting them both within the therapy relationship and in the context of current theories and research that provide flexible, trauma-informed frameworks for intervention. 

Drawing on clinical videos of clients contending with losses through sudden natural death, accident and suicide, we will learn to listen between the lines of the stories clients tell themselves and others about the death to grasp more fully the unvoiced meaning of their grief, and how we can help them integrate the event story of the death into lives with less reactivity, and find a compassionate audience for its telling   We will also explore the role of metaphor in helping clients reach beyond literal language to symbolize how they carry their grief, and what it can tell them and us about how they now might move toward healing.


Objectives: Participants will be able to describe:

  • Differences between therapeutic “presence” and “absence”
  • Essential features of Meaning Reconstruction and trauma-informed models of grief
  • Restorative retelling procedures for mastering the event story of the loss
  • Guidelines for Analogical Listening as a procedure to help clients make greater sense of their emotions and themselves
  • How a non-literal, figurative form of inquiry into the felt sense of loss can help clients symbolize their implicit embodied meanings
  • Differences between emotion-focused, sense-making and benefit-finding approaches to journaling


10:00 The Power of Presence:  An Online Experience
11:25-11:40    Break
11:40 Restorative Retelling:  Principles and Practice
1:15  p.m. Lunch Break
2 pm  Meaning & Metaphor:  Analogical Listening to Embodied Wisdom
3:25-3:40  Break
3:40 Lessons of Loss:  Writing through Bereavement
5:15  Adjournment