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

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

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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

Evgenia (Jane) Milman, PhD

Practicum Faculty

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Faculty Member

Department of Counseling and College Development, St. Edward's University

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:  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. The "Staging" of Grief: Abstract Theory and Empirical Reality (38 mins)
  2. Dual Process, Two Tracks: Contemporary Models of Loss (42 mins)
  3. Mourning and Meaning: Grief and Its Complications (50 mins)
  4. Prolonged Grief Disorder: Conceptualization and Diagnosis (50 mins)



  • Diagnostic criteria for Prolonged Grief Disorder in the ICD-11 and DSM 5-TR;

  • Interview guidelines for the assessment of complicated grief reactions;

  • A copy of the Pandemic Grief Scale and Grief Impairment Scale with scoring instructions; 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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Evgenia (Jane) Milman, PhD

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Evgenia (Jane) Milman, PhD, is a psychologist and adjunct Assistant Professor at the National Crime Victim’s Center in the Medical University of South Carolina.  A frequent conference and workshop presenter, Jane has also served as a lecturer and clinical supervisor in the Department of Counselling Psychology at McGill University.  Jane has published book chapters introducing novel grief therapy techniques, assessment tools, and therapeutic protocols. Jane serves on the professional development committee at the Association for Death Education and Counseling and is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple international research journals and conferences.  Jane’s research examining how we make meaning in the context of grief and trauma has received funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council as well as the Fonds de la Recherche du Québec- Santé.  She has published research in established international journals within the fields of trauma, thanatology, counselling, and clinical psychology.  

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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