Intervening in Meaning: New Directions in Grief Therapy

Saturday, March 24
8:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: Red Lacquer

Viewed from a constructivist perspective, a central process in grieving is the attempt to reaffirm or reconstruct a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss. As research with bereaved young people, parents and older adults indicates, both natural and violent death losses can leave mourners struggling to process the event story of the death and to make sense of its implications for their lives, and to access the back story of their relationship with their deceased loved one in a way that reaffirms their sense of secure attachment. In this presentation I summarize our group’s recent studies of the psychological and spiritual struggle to make sense of loss, outline several validated measures of meaning-making processes and outcomes, and describe current research to evaluate the impact of narrative and expressive arts interventions to help people find growth through grief.

Learning Objectives:

Robert A. Neimeyer

Professor of Psychology
University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Since completing his doctoral training at the University of Nebraska in 1982, he has published 30 books, including Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved and Grief and the Expressive Arts: Practices for Creating Meaning, the latter with Barbara Thompson, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of nearly 500 articles and book chapters, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process, both in his published work and through his frequent professional workshops for national and international audiences. Neimeyer served as President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), and Chair of the International Work Group for Death, Dying, & Bereavement. In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted the Eminent Faculty Award by the University of Memphis, made a Fellow of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and given Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Network on Personal Meaning.

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