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

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

Adaptive grieving implies integrating the loss into our changed sense of who we are, as well as into the changed story of our lives.  In this module we consider two techniques for helping mourners discern the deeper significance of their experience, and in doing so identify the important needs and life lessons implicit in them. First, 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, which often resides at the level of their embodied emotion.  Drawing on both video of an actual session with a traumatically bereaved mother and a telehealth demonstration of the method, we will explore the role of metaphor in helping clients reach beyond literal language to symbolize how they carry their grief, and what it can tell them and us about how they now might move toward healing. 


We then consider innovations in journaling that prompt clients to name and claim the emotional impact of their losses, and also to step back, make greater sense of what they have been through and perhaps even encounter unsought benefits in it.  Alternating between jointly negotiated journaling homework and its seamless integration into subsequent therapy sessions, reflective writing can prompt the self-compassion, insight and action required to reconstruct life out of loss.


  • Summarize guidelines for Analogical Listening as a procedure to help clients make greater sense of their emotions and themselves;

  • Describe how a non-literal, figurative form of inquiry into the felt sense of loss can help clients symbolize their implicit embodied meanings;

  • Distinguish between emotion-focused, sense-making and benefit-finding approaches to journaling and highlight the role of each; and

  • Implement procedures for establishing safe entry into and exit from immersive and reflective journaling, and generalize to its use in therapy.

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. Analogical Listening:  Meaning Making in Metaphor (30 mins)
  2. Embodied Knowing:  Accessing the Felt Sense of Grief (32 mins)

  3. Voicing the Unspeakable:  A Live Demonstration (52 mins)

  4. Directed Journaling:  Finding Sense and Significance in Loss (36 mins)


  • Detailed instructions for Analogical Listening and Directed Journaling.

  • 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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