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Addressing Diversity in Grief & Loss: African American & Asian Perspectives

Addressing Diversity in Grief & Loss: African American & Asian Perspectives

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Earn 1 Credit for Orientation Module toward
Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or
Certification in Family-Focused Grief Therapy
Offered by the Portland Institute.

Presented by

Doris C. Vaughans, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of Alabama 

Practicum Faculty

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Carolyn Ng, PsyD, FT

Associate Director

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Fellow in Thanatology

Association for Death Education and Counseling

USD$99 for 3-hour module

Although loss is a universal experience, how people of different cultures and subcultures accommodate it can be surprisingly diverse.  In this module, we consider several of these variations, noting ethnic differences in grieving styles as a function of several factors, such as religious world views, individualistic vs. collectivist values, socioeconomic resources, exposure to violence, access to health care, and systemic racism.  Throughout, we will focus on how such factors manifest themselves in the context of end-of-life care and bereavement, balancing a consideration of cultural risks and resources that call for understanding and cultural humility in addressing special needs at times of vulnerable life transitions.


  • Identify practices of African American culture that shape grief and post-loss adjustments;

  • Identify three practical ways of providing support to African Americans that is culturally sensitive;

  • Summarize the cultural relevance of African American history and rituals related to grief experiences;

  • Understand the common characteristics among Asian families and their implications to death and dying situations; and

  • Learn an intra-interpersonal framework for both pre-death and post-death support.

Note:  Completion of this program and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies 1 Orientation Module required for Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or Certification in Family-Focused Grief Therapy.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. All in the Family:  An African American Perspective (36 mins)
  2. Eat, Love, Pray:  Practicing Cultural Sensitivity (36 mins)

  3. Culturally Attuned Conversations:  An Asian Perspective (49 mins)

  4. An Intra- and Inter-Personal Framework for Support:  Before and After the Death (48 mins)



Presenting Faculty

Doris C. Vaughans, PhD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, The University of Alabama, where she also maintains an active clinical practice.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Alabama and Georgia.  She has more than 30 years of experience working with patients and clients in Oncology, End of life, Hospice, and Palliative Care settings.  Vaughans is the recipient of multiple professional awards including the Alabama Counseling Association’s Outstanding Practitioner Award.  Her primary therapy focus is bereavement-related loss and grief, and non-finite losses.  She is a frequent presenter and consultant on grief and transitions-related topics, including coaching employees in work settings on "grief etiquette" when a co-worker is bereaved, and assisting families in making difficult transitions to care facilities.

Doris C. Vaughans, PhD

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Carolyn Ng, PsyD, FT, MMSAC, RegCLR maintains a private practice, Anchorage for Loss and Transition, for training, supervision and therapy in Singapore, while also serving as an Associate Director of the Portland Institute.  Previously she served as Principal Counsellor with the Children’s Cancer Foundation in Singapore, specialising in cancer-related palliative care and bereavement counselling.  She is a master clinical member and approved supervisor with the Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC) and a Fellow in Thanatology with the Association of Death Education and Counselling (ADEC), USA, as well as a consultant to a cancer support and bereavement ministry in Sydney, Australia.  She is certified in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Narrative Therapy, and holds an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Trinity Theological Seminary in the USA.  She is also a trained end-of-life doula and advanced care planning facilitator.  Find out more at:

Carolyn Ng, PsyD, FT

Speaker Photo (070421).jpg

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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