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

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

USD$99 for 3-hour module

As contemporary models of bereavement have become more nuanced and empirically informed, so too have the practices available to counselors and therapists who work with complicated, prolonged and debilitating forms of grief.  This module offers in-depth training in several of these techniques, nesting them both within the therapy relationship and in the context of current theories and research that provide flexible, trauma-informed frameworks for intervention. 

Beginning with a discussion of the power of presence as a fundamental dimension of the therapeutic “holding environment,” we will consider how we can quickly assess our clients’ needs and readiness for change.  We will then discuss how to create a safe relational container for a healing “re-telling” of the loss experience, anchoring such work in both contemporary Meaning Reconstruction and Dual Process models and related research.  Drawing on clinical videos of clients contending with losses through sudden natural death, accident and suicide, we will learn to listen between the lines of the stories clients tell themselves and others about the death to grasp more fully the unvoiced meaning of their grief, and how we can help them integrate the event story of the death into lives with less reactivity, and find a compassionate audience for its telling.


  • Describe the "Pyramid of Practice" and the role of Presence, Process and Procedure in the architecture of a session

  • Distinguish between therapeutic “presence” and “absence” in the process of therapy.

  • Summarize the essential features of Meaning Reconstruction and Dual Process models of grief and outline their implications for grief therapy.

  • Implement Restorative Retelling procedures for mastering the event story of the loss.

  • Summarize the use of audio recording of an event story of loss and its safe use between sessions to augment in-session work

Note:  Completion of this module and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies half of the Core Course on Trauma-Informed Approaches to grief therapy required for All PI Certification Programs.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. The Power of Presence: Constructing a Secure Base (49 mins)
  2. Orienting to the Work: Fixation on the Event Story of Dying (45 mins)

  3. Restorative Retelling: Principles and Procedures (53 mins)

  4. Restorative Retelling: A Practice Session (50 mins)


  • A list of techniques to process the "event story" of the death.

  • Detailed instructions for Restorative Retelling.

  • 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

Speaker Photo 4.jpg

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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