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Captured in A Box of Pain: Transforming A Daughter's Endless Suffering

Captured in A Box of Pain: Transforming A Daughter's Endless Suffering

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

Presented by

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD


Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Professor Emeritus

Department of Psychology, University of Memphis

Purchase Now

USD$99 for 3-hour module

When a client seems to be “frozen” in grief across a period of years or even decades, delicate work with the “back story” of the relationship and complicating dimensions of the continuing bond is often called for.  This video case study examines an adult daughter’s ongoing anguish about her mother’s death, to a level that impairs her ability to function as a partner to her husband and mother to her young children.  Working toward the goal of a relational realignment that would recruit her deceased mother as a resource rather than liability in bearing her grief, Neimeyer demonstrates the process of co-construction of meaning in a single session that frees the client to grieve more adaptively.

This program begins with a model that orients therapists to the particular focus of grief therapy with bereaved clients, depending on their point of fixation or impasse in processing the loss, as revealed in characteristic symptomatology calling for a specific class of intervention.  Learners will then join Neimeyer in a close process analysis of the session, pausing every few minutes to connect the dots between the client’s presentation, the therapist’s intention, and the choreography of meaning-making that arises from their response to one another.  Learners will leave the session with a more holistic sense of the integration of the roles of metaphor, visualization, body work and chair work in freeing clients from protracted and preoccupying grief, allowing them to re-enter their family system with less complicated bonds to both the living and the dead.


  • Analyze factors that contribute to prolonged grief disorder in an actual case of grief therapy;

  • Discuss the role of imagery and the language of gesture in vividly conjuring and working with embodied grief;

  • Witness the use of externalization and chair work in deconstructing earlier “solutions” that have become problems; and 

  • Observe the effect of individual therapy on the family system.

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


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. Finding the Focus:  The Tripartite Model of Meaning Reconstruction (47 mins)
  2. On Metaphors and Mourning:  Recruiting Figurative Language of Loss (43 mins)

  3. Moving to Depth:  Externalizing the Grief (42 mins)

  4. Renegotiating Attachment:  Re-engaging Mother (47 mins)



Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, maintains an active consulting and coaching practice, and also directs the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition.  Neimeyer has published 30 books, including Routledge’s series on Techniques of Grief Therapy, and serves as Editor of Death Studies. The author of over 500 articles and chapters and a popular workshop presenter, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process.  In recognition of his contributions, he has been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Network on Personal Meaning.

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD

Speaker Photo 29a.jpeg
Purchase Now

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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