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Grief and Its Complications: Loss and the Search for Meaning [II]

Grief and Its Complications: Loss and the Search for Meaning [II]

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Buy $99

Earn 0.5 Credit for Core Course toward

All PI Certification Programs

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

USD$99 for 3-hour module

If you have completed Part l of this Core Course, you are acquainted with the distinction between adaptive grieving which moves forward from loss to its integration, sometimes with surprising resilience, and complicated, protracted and life-limiting responses to bereavement, such as Prolonged Grief Disorder.  But beyond recognizing these latter struggles or syndromes, how can we get to the root of the meanings of mourning that seem to lock the bereaved into an intense and persistent form of suffering?

This module is designed to address just these questions.  Beginning with a discussion of the reality of resistance in grief therapy, we will consider new research that illuminates how the meaning of mourning can contribute to protracted grief and create invisible impediments to substantial and lasting change.  We will then consider two key experiential techniques by which clinicians and their clients can discover and ultimately transform hidden “pro-symptom positions” that work against the client’s own positive goals.  Each of these—analogical listening and symptom dialogues—will then be illustrated in an actual session of therapy with a bereaved mother to reveal and explore how she holds her grief for her son and is reluctant to allow it to change.  Learners will leave better prepared to discern and work with the sources of “stuckness” that many clients confront in the course of grief therapy.


  • Summarize research linking symptom coherence with complicated grief outcomes;

  • Spot the emergence of “immunity to change” processes in order to befriend resistance and overcome unconscious roadblocks to therapeutic progress;

  • Adapt analogical listening to reveal sources of reluctance to release painful symptoms and struggles; and

  • Utilize symptom dialogues to discover and transform the client’s hidden problem-sustaining positions.

Note:  Completion of this module and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies half of the Core Course on Grief and Its Complications required for All PI Certification Programs.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. Symptom Coherence: In Search of Emotional Truth (24 mins)
  2. The Coherence In Grief Scale: Measuring Pro-Symptom Positions (PSPs) (27 mins)

  3. Dialogue with Suffering: A Grief Observed (44 mins)

  4. From Discovery to Integration: Processing PSPs in Grief Therapy (34 mins)


  • Description of basic concepts and procedures of coherence therapy;

  • Copy of Coherence in Grief Scale (CIGS) with scoring key and unrestricted permission for use in clinical practice and research;

  • Clinician’s Toolboxes for Analogical Listening and Symptom Dialogues; and

  • Responsive Journal that, upon completion, confers 0.5 credit of Core Course leading to All PI Certification Programs.

The module materials will be emailed to the learners upon completion of purchase.


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

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USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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