Live Training

Grief and Its Complications:

Loss and the Search for Meaning [Part I]

Earn 0.5 Credit for Core Course toward

All PI Certification Programs

Offered by the Portland Institute.

March 24, 2021

9am-12pm, PDT

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

The experience of loss and grief may be timeless, but our understanding of the psychological processes it entails has evolved greatly in recent years.  In the first module of this Core Course Series, we will consider adaptive grieving as a process of reaffirming or reconstructing a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss.  In contrast to older models of grief as a series of “stages” of emotional adjustment, this meaning reconstruction model underscores the personal and social means of processing the “event story” of the death and also accessing the “back story” of the relation with the one who has died to integrate both into the mourner’s ongoing life story.

As both research and practical experience teach us, however, for a significant subset of the bereaved, grieving may become a protracted and life-limiting ordeal, one that can undermine the quality of their relationships to others, their ability to pursue purposeful work, and even to preserve their basic physical health.  We will therefore review recently established diagnostic criteria for complicated, prolonged grief In both the ICD-11 of the World Health Organization and the DSM 5-TR of the American Psychiatric Association, and discuss their points of convergence and divergence as well as clinical utility.  Going beyond identifying mourners who are suffering from prolonged grief, we will then explore the role of meaning as a mediator of evidence-based risk factors for this disorder, and introduce two carefully validated and clinically useful measures of challenges to making meaning of loss at personal and interpersonal levels in the griever’s family and community.


  • Identify two key dimensions of adaptive grieving viewed through a narrative lens.

  • Recognize features of complicated grief in the context of clinical interviews and discuss evidence for the clinical utility of this conceptualization.

  • Review current criteria for a diagnosis of Prolonged Grief Disorder included in the ICD-11 and DSM 5-TR and apply these to a case example.

  • Summarize research on the role of meaning making in mediating the impact of evidence-based risk factors on bereavement outcome.

Note:  Attendance of the live training session confers credit of 0.5 Core Course Module required for All PI Certification Programs.


  • A Clinician’s Toolbox presenting 6 measures of challenges to meaning making in loss.

  • Copies of the Integration of Stressful Life Experiences Scale (ISLES) and Social Meaning In Life Events Scale (SMILES) with scoring instructions and permission to use both measures in clinical and research contexts.


  • 9am-12pm, PDT: Portland, OR, which corresponds to 12-3pm in New York, 5-8pm in London, and 6-9pm in Amsterdam.

The Zoom meeting link and the module materials will be emailed to all registrants in due course.

~ Register for the Core Course Series ~

  • April 5, 2021, 9am-12pm (PDT)

       Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction: A Trauma-Informed Approach I

  • April 12, 2021, 9am-12pm (PDT)

         Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction: An Attachment-Informed Approach I

  • May 3, 2021, 9am-12pm (PDT)

         Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction: An Attachment-Informed Approach II


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

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.