top of page

About Portland Institute

IMG_6882 2.jpg

Our Mission


The Portland Institute for Loss and Transition (PI) offers international, interdisciplinary training for health and mental health professionals who support people struggling with profound and unwelcome changes associated with bereavement and other forms of life-altering loss.  We recognize that the death of a significant person, relationship or role often ushers in more than difficult symptoms of sadness and uncertainty, and sometimes calls for skilled assistance in meeting the challenges to identity and relationships that loss introduces.  PI therefore helps build the capacity of therapists, counselors, social workers, life coaches, chaplains and others who work alongside people striving to reconstruct their lives. PI offers high-level professional continuing education in grief therapy drawing on contemporary theory and research, experiential learning principles, one-on-one mentoring, and small group practicum to extend the practitioner's toolkit of creative clinical practices.

What is Meaning Reconstruction?

​At the heart of grief is the attempt to reaffirm or rebuild a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss.  Especially when the death is traumatic or premature, or when the relationship with the deceased was complicated or conflicted, the bereaved often need more than simple support and a listening ear. 

Looking at loss through a wide-angle lens, we also recognize that life confronts us with many unwelcome transitions, whether in the form of lost relationships, careers, health, possibilities, identity, security or even precious possessions.  Though these non-death losses are often ambiguous or invisible, they too can shake our taken-for-granted assumptions that life is predictable, the world is just, and people are reliable.

​Drawing on a large and growing body of bereavement research and clinical scholarship, a Meaning Reconstruction approach to grief therapy gives you the tools to work alongside clients struggling with intense and prolonged grief, as you learn to listen between the lines of the stories they tell themselves and others about the loss, and find the seeds of new beginnings.

Click on the image below to hear

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, Director of the Portland Institute,

 discuss the implications of Meaning Reconstruction

in our personal and vocational lives with

Jakob van Wielink of the School voor Transitie in the Netherlands.

The Portland Institute for Loss and Transition is dedicated to providing quality training and Certification Programs in Grief Therapy

based on Meaning Reconstruction framework. 

Explore the other pages on this site to learn more,

and check out Robert Neimeyer's personal website

for the latest scholarly and professional publications on

a Meaning Reconstruction approach to grief.

bottom of page