4.5 Hour Workshop

Toward a Trauma-informed Grief Therapy: Processing the Event Story of the Death

Saturday, March 24
10:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Wilson

Particularly when death is sudden and traumatic, survivors often struggle with making sense of what has happened, at levels ranging from the practical to the existential. In this presentation we will consider techniques for helping the violently bereaved process the “event story” of the death itself, anchoring such work in both contemporary meaning reconstruction and dual process models and related research. Drawing on clinical videos of clients contending with losses through homicide, sudden 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 the larger narrative of their lives. Participants should conclude the session with a clearer appreciation for the challenge to meaning and spiritualty associated with violent death bereavement, and an expanded toolbox for using metaphor, body work and a variety of narrative procedures for helping clients make sense of the loss and their response to it.

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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Toward a Trauma-informed Grief Therapy: Processing the Event Story of the Death

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