top of page

FAQs for Certification


Certification Program​s Offered by Portland Institute

1) Do I need to travel to Portland, Oregon, to take training with the Portland Institute?
By no means.  Although PI organizes major training events in its home city, it also sponsors training in every major world region, and you can choose workshops in the location or locations that work for you.  And of course online training modules are available anywhere, at any time.
2) Can I register for workshops without signing up for any Certification Programs?
Absolutely.  You can participate in any component of PI training simply as a professional continuing education experience, without pursuing certification.
3) Do I need to pay the Certification Enrollment Fee to receive PI credits toward certification?
Yes.  Payment of the Enrollment Fee is required to establish you as a Certification learner, and to set up a personal Progress Tracker to help you monitor completed requirements toward certification. If you decide to pursue multiple Certification tracks sequentially or simultaneously, Enrollment is required separately for each.
4) Do PI courses and other modules need to be taken in any particular sequence?
No.  You can take nearly any course or module you wish, in any order, with the exception of a few Practicum Studio modules that presume completion of a specified Techniques Module as a prerequisite.  Although many learners find the Core Courses a logical and helpful place to begin regardless of the Certification Track they are pursuing, others prefer a different path through the curriculum.
5) How long does it take to become certified through the Portland Institute?
That depends on your preferences and priorities.  Because onsite courses are offered at numerous locations throughout the world annually, and online components can be completed at your own pace, in most cases, certification can be completed in as little as one year.  Onsite training series offer multi-day workshops that deliver all the necessary components over a series of 6-8 days, which may be offered in close succession, or in blocks of 2- to 4-day workshops at different times of the year, depending on the agreement with PI's partner organizations.
6) Can I take more than the minimum number of Techniques, Case Studies, Mentoring or Practicum Studio?  And how long do I have to complete them once I register?
Certainly.  Many learners find it valuable to add more modules of training to consolidate their skills.  PI welcomes your registration for as many workshops and online modules as you like.  Similarly, the timing of the completion of each set of online modules is flexible, and can be negotiated with your assigned Faculty, if any.
7) Must I present cases with death-related loss issues for the Session Evaluation?
No.  Meaning Reconstruction is seminal to adaptation following all sorts of loss, be it death or non-death related, visible or invisible, evident or ambiguous.  The Mentoring, Practicum Studio, and Session Evaluation components can focus on therapy for any loss or unwelcome transition, not only on bereavement per se.
8) What if I don't have a video of work with a real client to submit for Session Evaluation?
No problem.  A spontaneous role play with another learner could be substituted, as it still allows you to demonstrate your skills in conducting grief therapy.
9) Does Certification offered by PI give me legal standing as a grief therapist?
No, there is currently no legal recognition of grief therapy as a profession in the USA or abroad.  Practitioners must be appropriately trained and credentialed in their relevant disciplines (e.g. psychology, counseling, social work, nursing, medicine) for the services they provide.  However, the respective Certification Programs can enhance the provider's skill base and specialization, just as certification does in other areas (e.g. trauma work, family systems).
10) I'm currently a graduate student in a helping profession.  Can I enroll in PI training and pursue Certification?
Yes.  You can participate in any form of onsite and online training you wish, and also be certified even before completing your degree.  But you must be an appropriately credentialed (licensed or registered) healthcare provider in your discipline to be listed in the Portland Institute's Global Provider Network.

Continuing Education Questions

1) Does PI onsite training meet CE requirements for my professional board or discipline?
That depends on the specific training event of interest, as well as your professional discipline.  Just see pages devoted to the specific events on the PI site for the relevant details.
2) Are online components eligible for CE credit in my field?
​Not at the present time.  All of our onsite events routinely carry APA CE approval, but APA does not directly certify programs that it does not own or co-own.  So, you would need to check with your state board about its CE status, as many states have Category 2 credits or a similar designation that readily confer credit for high quality training even when it does not carry the APA imprimatur.
bottom of page