Every person will experience grief and loss – a profound sense of final separation from something or someone important. Grief is a normal and appropriate reaction to the death of a loved one, the experience of separation/divorce, intergenerational loss, or the loss of opportunity. While there are similarities in how individuals work through loss, grief is a complicated and unique experience that requires helpers to be sensitive to the needs and experiences of those they are supporting. This workshop is designed to give helpers an increased awareness of the dynamics of grief, and to provide tools and strategies to best support someone who is grieving. Cultural and popular understandings of grief and loss, and the influences these have on how we experience and work with grief will be explored.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • Making Sense of Grief and Loss
  • Factors that Shape How Grief is Experienced
  • Considerations Related to Culture
  • Myths and Misunderstandings
  • Models for Understanding Grief
  • Exploring the Impacts of Grief and Loss
  • Responding to Grief and Loss
  • Key Qualities to Effective Support
  • Paths to Healing and Recovery
  • The Role of Remembering and Ritual
  • The Impact of Nutrition, Sleep, and Exercise
  • Finding a New Normal
  • Grief, Loss, and Depression
  • Grief, Loss, and Trauma/Complicated Grief
  • Grief, Loss, and Addictions

Target Audience

This is an intermediate level workshop for social service and health care professionals, counselors, social workers, school personnel, and anyone supporting people working through grief.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the complexities of grief and loss
  • Recognize the influence of dominant discourses and mainstream understandings of grief
  • Respond and support individuals, families, and communities impacted by grief
  • Identify those needing increased support and intervention
  • Apply and adapt learning to their own context and community